Ukulele orchestra among the line-up for Wirral festival

Wirral Globe: Ukulele orchestra members Kev Founds (front), Pat Ross,  Emma Owen, Sheila Coventry, Tom Baker, Jean Pound and Patrick McCarthy. Ukulele orchestra members Kev Founds (front), Pat Ross, Emma Owen, Sheila Coventry, Tom Baker, Jean Pound and Patrick McCarthy.

A WIRRAL Ukulele orchestra that counts Radio Two presenter Chris Evans among its fans is among a host of acts appearing in a show celebrating the borough's talent.

The Love Wirral Festival at Pyramids Shopping Centre will be staged at Birkenhead Shopping Centre on Saturday, May 31.

The band formed three years ago. Their diverse repertoire includes hits by Abba, The Lumineers, Fleet Foxes, The Clash, the Zutons and, of course, George Formby, among many others.

The group started out meeting the Vanilla Lounge, a café and wine bar in Hoylake, with 25 people turning up. It was invited to perform at the Festival of Firsts in 2012. Since then it has played at venues across Merseyside.
 

A highlight came when a recording of their version of Bing Crosbie's classic White Christmas on Chris Evans' breakfast show two years ago. 

Spokeswoman Pat Ross said: "Our orchestra includes men and women ranging in age from their twenties to their seventies and our 20 members come from all sorts of backgrounds – everyone from a midwife to a graphic designer.

"What they have in common is a love of playing the ukulele. It's an instrument which is becoming really popular at the amount, perhaps because it’s easier to learn than the guitar.

"It's also getting very big with youngsters who are now learning the uke rather than the traditional recorder at school."

The Love Wirral Festival, which will centre on a stage set up in St John's Square at Pyramids Shopping Centre, will also see Peppa Pig making personal appearances for narrated story sessions at 11am, 12pm, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 3.30pm.

Other highlights include a mediaeval themed Snapperjaxx Kids Club, a Tranmere Rovers FC penalty shootout display, a Wirral Tennis Centre inflatable tennis court, live performances from the Birkenhead Comets and dancers from Funkstar and Xtreme Dance Schools.

The festival will run from 10am to 4pm with activity in St John’s Square and St Werburgh’s Square at Pyramids Shopping Centre, Birkenhead.

Derek Millar, the centre's commercial director said: “The Love Wirral Festival is going to be a sensational celebration of the Wirral and all the wonderfully talented people who live here.

"I think the Wirral Ukulele Orchestra are going to be a particular attraction and I am looking forward to hearing them myself!"

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