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A group of music-loving people aged over 50 demonstrated they are not too old to learn new tricks on the anniversary of their first year together.

Friends of Beaumont Park Ukulele Group have been bringing the sound of music to visitors in the information centre since they set up last February.

Made up of around 20 members over the age of 50, they have been meeting every Tuesday at 2pm to learn upbeat songs and could now give George Formby a run for his money.

Although most of them had never touched a guitar before, their progress was celebrated when they were invited to become the first ukulele band to take part in the inaugural Mrs Sunderland Festival last week.

It was the latest encouraging step for the group, who are taught by local musician Ginette Eady and formed after the Friends group treasurer Mary Kenworthy took up a challenge by Kirklees Music Centre to put on the new activity in the park.

Since then they have played on the heart strings of audiences around the region in places such as Holmfirth, Holmebridge and on the park bandstand.

Ukulele fever sweeps the Holme Valley  

Mary said: “The centre suggested putting on a ukulele group and because we always like to say yes to a project, we accepted.

“It was originally meant for those aged over 55 to get people out and about but people don’t have to be that age to come along.

“It’s an easy instrument to learn so is a good way to get people into playing music, which is what I like about it.

“Creating the group has encouraged a great community spirit and I’m amazed at our progress.

“We really enjoy playing together and Ginette teaches us great pieces.

“We were delighted to get asked to play at Mrs Sunderland Festival and hope to go back next year.

The ukulele is a member of the guitar family of instruments and is thought to be one of the easiest instruments to learn.

It usually has four nylon or gut strings and originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian instrument.

Member Peter Turner said: “I didn’t ever expect to be in a ukulele band but it’s good fun and I’ve played an instrument which I’d never managed to do before.

“I’ve even learned to sing through going along to the group.”

They will next play at an elderly care home in Meltham.

For more details about the group call 01484 301411 or email friends@fobp.co.uk