You are never too old to strike up a tune.

That’s the message from a rip-roaring ukulele club set up for the over 60s in Shelley, which has become a “big hit”.

Over 30 people are now rocking and rolling every Monday to the big hits of the 50s and 60s with their small four-stringed Hawaiian guitars.

They meet at Shelley Methodist Hall and at performances throughout the area.

They are taught by Dominic Beresford, a professional musician who is one half of the wedding act Rock My Reception, and he says everyone, including those who have never picked up an instrument before, hit the right notes.

David Firth, the Shelley Over 60’s Ukulele Group organiser, explained the group’s success.

He said: “It started about 18 months ago as an idea by Jean Eskrett, and immediately attracted members keen to learn.

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“We played every fortnight but it became such a big hit that we now play every week to accommodate the growing number of eager performers.

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“We have people of all abilities and the emphasis is on fun and social interaction.

“We play simple songs that our members may remember from their youth and people come away from our classes with a smile on their face.

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“And you don’t have to live in Shelley to be in the group– we’ve had people travel from as far as Keighley.

“The only criteria is that you’re over 60 and that you love music.”

The ukulele, is historically associated with Hawaii and found fame during the 1920s jazz and post WWII eras and with famous musicians Elvis Presley and George Formby.

It has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with amateur groups emerging across the UK, including in Kirklees.

Dominic said: “People often wonder why the ukulele has taken on such popularity.

Dominic Beresford

“I think for elderly people it’s because it is such a simple instrument to learn to play so is ideal for retirees who fancy taking up a new hobby.

“You can pick one up from any music shop starting at around £20, so they can be pretty cheap”.

Dominic encouraged the group to begin performing gigs.

He said: “Just to keep us on our toes I thought it would be fun to play a few gigs and entertain audiences with the songs we’ve been learning.

“They now have a string of concerts under their belts and have performed in nearby churches, village fetes and care homes.

“The reactions in some of the care homes have been overwhelming and they have been a joyous experience for both our performers and residents alike”.

Rehearsals take place at the hall on Far Bank from 2pm to 3.30pm and cost £4.

Starters are able to borrow instruments before they buy their own.

For more information regarding joining Shelley Over 60’s Ukelele Group contact David Firth on 07891704009 or email: shelleyukelele@gmail.com