Adderbury ukes

Adderbury Ukes

A brief history of the Adderbury Ukulele Group, 2015 - 2023

In the 2010’s, in the village of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, several ukulele players met each week at The Sun Inn, taking it in turns to pick a song to strum and sing. By 2015, the numbers had dropped and the remaining players moved to The Bell Inn in the village of Adderbury. The pub was renowned for supporting music with the back rooms being used by folk and singing groups and the local Morris dancers. The ukulele players were welcomed and the Adderbury Ukulele Group was formed. Around a dozen players met each week, to play a selection of songs for fun.

Requests for entertainment at functions required the group to organise their music. A music book of 20 numbers was created together with a word book to be handed out to the audience. The tone was then set for a “Sing Along” entertaining band and each year a new book was added with a current total of six books. 

Once or twice a year, beginner courses were run and the number of players grew. Some very talented teenagers joined and were sadly missed when they left for university. A ukulele bass player joined, adding depth and tone to the sound. Unfortunately, it lasted a few short years when he passed away.

With success came the problem of space with a large number of players squeezing into the back room of the Bell. The nearby Adderbury Bowls Club, offered a large lounge with good lighting and in 2019 they moved to the club. But, early in 2020, life changed for everyone with the start of the covid pandemic. Soon after performing to an Age Concern group, the country shut down with covid restrictions. The group moved online with a twice weekly zoom meeting and though not ideal, it kept them together.

By the summer of 2021, restrictions were eased and they were able to meet up to practice and play at a few gigs. The care homes however, were unable to allow large groups to play. During the shutdown, many members left, but soon a regular 20 plus members met each week. Beginner class resumed and by the spring of 2022 the number of members grew to 40 with a wide range of abilities and ages enjoying playing in a friendly and relaxed environment.  The group also enjoy performing to a live audience and 2022 proved to be a busy year, especially around Christmas time. 

2023  has been busy with a great number of gigs at care homes in and around Banbury, including Bicester, Chipping Norton and Brackley. One change to our regular Monday night practice is the introduction of an Open Mic evening every few weeks, that is proving to be very popular. The highlight of the year, was playing at the Red Lion pub in Cropredy as part of Fairport Fringe. We had a prime spot at 2.00 pm on the Saturday afternoon. Following a very popular band and having another well known group to follow was daunting, but the crowd all joined in singing along to our popular songs from the 1960's and 70's. We also collected £168.00 for Let's Play and are now looking forward to returning next year. Christmas was particularly busy with the group in great demand at parties and care homes.

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