THE accidental birth of The Petersfield Ukulele Band began when Buriton man Dave Grant was asked to play his instrument at the village’s talent evening 18 months ago.

Not really being a solo performer, Dave asked two other players to join him to form a small group for the event – John Lucas, who was also booked for the concert with his band Sentimental Journey, and Bob Chambers, who led the folk band Ampshire Arf for many years.

Although originally guitarists, the two musicians saw the error of their ways and started playing the ukulele.

Four more uke players were soon recruited – all relative beginners like Dave, John and Bob – and the name Petersfield Ukulele Band was adopted.

As regular practice sessions began, it wasn’t too long before the band was asked to perform around the town and so he decided to request donations from its audiences for The Rosemary Foundation.

The group hoped they might raise £100 or so during the year but that amount was soon exceeded, and last week its treasurer, Susan Edwards, sent a cheque for £40 to The Rosemary Foundation, bringing the total raised so far to £233.

Five more engagements are already booked for this year, so the Petersfield Ukulele Band hopes to swell that amount further.

Sue, Carol, Jan, Geoff, Dave, John and Bob will carry on next year and are grateful for all the support they receive from the management and staff at The Square Brewery, on Petersfield High Street, where they are given a room for their practice and rehearsal sessions.