They may not resemble the archetypal cheeky chappie but a group of ukulele-playing youngsters from a village school have been wowing audiences with their musical talents.
The group of seven-year-olds from Westwood School, in Clayton Brook, near Preston, struck a chord with judges when they emulated the unique style of George Formby at the Penwortham Youth Music Festival.
The year-three class stole the show, and the Earnshaw Memorial Trophy, after just six months of strumming.
Headteacher Julie Martin couldn’t believe her ears .
It’s the first trophy the school has won in the five years she’s been there.
She said: “It was wonderful. The children just let out a cheer when we were announced as winners”
She added that one little boy was so overcome with emotion he burst into tears.
The headteacher said she was “so proud” of the children and added: “Some of these children have only been learning the instrument since September so it is great that they have done so well.
“About three years ago we decided to give the children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument so the year threes learn the ukulele.”
It was her idea to bring back the “old fashioned” mini guitar mostly association with George Formby because, she said: “I used to see children at other schools struggling with big instruments and thought that this was one which they could easily carry it home and they love it.
“It is just like a little guitar and a lot of the children go on to play the guitar, which is really nice,
“They make massive progress and get to play at Christmas for their families and in the spring and summer.”
However, she added that most of the winning band had only been together for a few months, having one half hour lesson a week.
The school pays for a private teacher, Carmel Galea, to go in once a week to work with the children.
Julie said: “ We were so thrilled when we won.”
The trophy has been given pride of place and the headteacher plans to
The winning band was made up largely of year three children and they even roped in a brave soloist to give a rendition of When I’m Cleaning Windows, one of Formby’s best-known tunes.