Sunderland ukulele group is thriving in new home

Members of ukulele group who now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chester Road, Sunderland.
Members of ukulele group who now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chester Road, Sunderland.
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A thriving music club lives on after its base was turned into a restaurant.

Ukulele group the Steamin’Ukes used to attract up to 25 musicians after it started meeting regularly at The Dun Cow, in High Street West, Sunderland.

Charlie Lally of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

Charlie Lally of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

But after the function room of the Edwardian pub was turned into Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse, the space couldn’t host the group and it had to look elsewhere.

Founder Charlie Lally has since found a new home for the group at The Stumble Inn on Chester Road.

To mark the new location, the group has been renamed The Strumbles.

Charlie, from Seaburn, who’s been playing the stringed instrument since he was eight, said: “It was a smashing room we had upstairs in the Dun Cow. After Longhorns moved in, the pub offered us the use of the downstairs snug, but we just couldn’t fit everyone in.

Members of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

Members of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

“One of the other acoustic groups who used to use the Dun Cow function room moved to the function room at The Stumble Inn and it’s perfect. It’s fitting because the pub, which used to be called The Royalty, has a tradition of hosting music clubs and was once home to a well-known folk club.”

The musician says the ukulele is enjoying a revival.

“It’s been getting more popular for a few years now,” he explained. “It’s an easy instrument to play and it makes a nice, sweet sound. Plus, it’s easy to carry around.

“There’s a lot of resources on the internet for you to get up and running with the ukulele, even if you’ve never played an instrument before. Because it’s so easy to pick up, schools have started teaching it instead of the recorder.

A member of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

A member of The Strumbles ukulele goup that now meet at The Stumble Inn, Chrster Road, Sunderland.

“It means the children can sing and play at the same time and it’s a great introduction to a stringed instrument.”

He added: “There’s another ukulele group in the city, they meet at Hylton Castle Workingmen’s club, but they are an evening club. We’re an afternoon club for people with spare time in the day.”

Everyone is welcome to attend The Strumbles for free and there’s no obligation to attend every week. It meets on the second and fourth Monday of the month at The Stumble Inn between 1pm and 3.30pm.