Hartlepool Ukulele Group spreads the musical message to Greatham children

Greatham Primary school pupils (standing left to right) Matthew Fenwick, Callum Cockerill and Helen McKie (kneeling) erron Whitton and Aiden Walkey with Ukulele group members

Greatham Primary school pupils (standing left to right) Matthew Fenwick, Callum Cockerill and Helen McKie (kneeling) erron Whitton and Aiden Walkey with Ukulele group members

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A SMILE-SPREADING musical group treated primary school children to renditions of their favourite songs.

Hartlepool Ukulele Group (HUG) paid a visit to Greatham Church of England Primary School, in Greatham on the outskirts of Hartlepool, as a musical twist on the youngsters’ wartime topic this term.

Greatham Primary school pupils Errin Whitton (left) and Helen McKie get to grips with playing the Ululele with a little help from Ukulele group members Jess Watson (left) and Trish Tobin

Greatham Primary school pupils Errin Whitton (left) and Helen McKie get to grips with playing the Ululele with a little help from Ukulele group members Jess Watson (left) and Trish Tobin

The 10 and 11-year-olds have been learning about the world wars and HUG were kind enough to incorporate a few historical hits in the line-up.

They played songs like Pack Up Your Troubles, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Daisy Daisy, Run Rabbit Run, and the theme-tune from Dad’s Army.

Headteacher Nicola Dunn said: “Geoff Lilley is a governor at the school and he was telling me about how the group was to be doing some performances in the community, and particularly some war-time songs.

“Our Year 5s and 6s are studying world wars at the minute so I thought it would be really good as part of that.

Geatham Primary school pupil Callum Cockerill listens as Ukulele group members Brian Edmenson (left) and Brian McMossis play

Geatham Primary school pupil Callum Cockerill listens as Ukulele group members Brian Edmenson (left) and Brian McMossis play

“That’s how the visit came about.

“The ukulele musicians played some war-time songs and also some more modern numbers before giving a talk to the children.

“It was brilliant and at the end they let the children have a go of the ukuleles. We’ve actually ordered some because they were so popular.”

She added: “The group were excellent and put smiles on the faces of all the children and staff.

Ukulele group member Geoff Lilley with Greatham primary school pupil Matthew Fenwick

Ukulele group member Geoff Lilley with Greatham primary school pupil Matthew Fenwick

“The musicians just looked as if they were having such a good time and that had such an impact on the audience, the smile spread to all of us as well.”

And Geoff said HUG enjoyed the little gig as much as the youngsters they were playing to.

He told the Mail: “It went really, really well. We were only too happy to visit the school and show the pupils what can be achieved.

“They seemed to really enjoy and the staff loved it too. It was a really good and positive day.”

Josephine Bonner from the Ukulele group and Greatham Primary school pupil Aidan Walkey as they play the Ukulele

Josephine Bonner from the Ukulele group and Greatham Primary school pupil Aidan Walkey as they play the Ukulele

He added: “We want to promote young people learning how to play music, not just through ukuleles but through any instrument.

“Music is a skill that you can carry on into secondary school and adult life.

“It’s a lovely skill to have.”