Tonight at the proms they are featuring the “Ukulele Orchestra of GB” for the first time.

When I heard this on the news I was thought of my Auntie Cis and wondered if she would be looking down on them and smiling at them playing in such august company.

 Auntie Cis was my Mum’s elder sister.  She had no children herself  and liked to spend a lot of time with us, even though she lived about 14 miles away in the country.

My grandfather taught all his children to play either piano or violin and some played both….except Auntie Cis who played ukulele and banjo. I don’t know why the exception was made for her unless, being the first girl after so many boys, she got more of her own way than the others.

She used to sit in our living room strumming away and teaching me all the songs popular in the war years and after.  I enjoyed singing  songs like “Maisie Doates”,  “Old man Sunshine”and many others, but my favourite was “Lily Marlene” and I always clamoured for her to play it, until my Mum must have been sick of hearing it, but not half as sick as she became of dragging me away from the lamposts  where I started putting actions to words!

I told my Mum one day that I thought Auntie  Cis was so clever to play like that, whereupon  I remember my Mum remarked wryly,”So she should be. She used to play all day while I helped grandma with the housework!” 

I don’t know what happened to the instruments as I don’t remember seeing them when I was grown up.

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