The Ukulele Society of Great Britain (USGB) was founded in 1970 with the aim of 'promoting and establishing an interest in the playing of the ukulele and ukulele banjo in their various styles and methods of presentation'. The following year Billy 'Uke' Scott was made President and in his acceptance letter he stated that "he was pleased to learn that the aims of the Society were dedicated to promotion of the instrument".
USGB was for many years the only ukulele society in the country, (apart from the 'George Formby Society') and members travelled from all corners of Britain, and indeed abroad, to meet other uke players, enjoy the concerts and perform at the bi-annual gatherings.
In a relatively short space of time; as the popularity of the Ukulele increased, an abundance of new 'local' ukulele groups and events emerged and the society lost some momentum, yet these local groups cannot match the quality of a national society where ultra-keen enthusiasts travel from far and wide!
So in recognition that many Uke players want more than a 'local' uke jam in a pub can offer, Emily Miller and I set up the USGB Facebook group and Twitter account and when our Chairman Fred Pearson recently announced that the current committee needed new enthusiastic helpers, Lorna Johns offered to re-vamp the tired old website and Clarice Wokes volunteered to edit the magazine. Now that we have filled in some of the gaps in the structure of the society, we are hoping that soon it will be 'standing room only' at our meetings once again!
Between meetings, we have a magazine, 'The Syncopator' which keeps members informed and involved and those who share a passion for the Ukulele and the Ukulele Banjo continue to meet in April and October where they catch up with friends, play the ukulele and share their knowledge and talent with others - but above all ... have fun!
The atmosphere has always been wonderfully friendly; established members welcome newcomers into the fold, sharing their experience, tips and skills - it's a perfect place to learn about the instrument and how to play it.
So if you want 'something more' Why not join us to sample the unique experience of the USGB? If you're an existing member, in touch with any of the members who aren't online, please remind them and to get along to the next meeting on Sunday 2nd October 2016 at Digswell Village Hall, Hertfordshire!
The USGB produces 'The Syncopator International'; an aptly named bi-annual magazine for members which includes articles, features, readers letters, reviews, ukulele arrangements and techniques, articles about players, meeting details, reports, media snippets, adverts and cartoons. This unique publication is compiled by our editor Clarice Wokes, known to many ukulele enthusiasts in the UK as the 'Ukulele Pirate Queen'
Download a free copy of The Syncopator (Spring 2016)