16 Jun 20

Hartlepool's ukelele You Tube star

Operations engineer Caroline records George Formby classic

Caroline Stewart, an operations engineer at Hartlepool, with fellow George Formby fan Frank Skinner
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What do you do when you are not operating a nuclear power station? Simple, you pick up your ukulele along with 26 others and create a smash hit on YouTube.

Caroline Stewart, an operations engineer at Hartlepool, suggested recording ‘When I’m cleaning windows’ with fellow members of the George Formby Society.

After first picking up a ukulele nine years ago Caroline is now a key member of the George Formby Society and has been its chairman.

She said: “I’ve been a member of the George Formby Society for eight years, five of them as Chairman.  I joined the society after seeing a George Formby documentary by Frank Skinner who also I’ve met a few times since.

“I was also lucky enough to play at the Royal Albert Hall at the Queen’s 90th Birthday Concert in 2018.”

The society usually holds regular conventions in Blackpool but as this year’s was postponed because of Coronavirus, the players have been ‘meeting’ virtually using Zoom.

“We play together on Zoom and we have up to 57 on the call. I thought we could make a song as a group but I had no idea how to put it together.

“So our musical director Matt Richards organised the whole thing. He managed to get 27 of us to record the iconic George Formby song and then he edited it so it was perfectly synchronised.

“He put it out on YouTube and it has had thousands of views so far. Hopefully it has helped people smile in these strange times.”