Gloucestershire

Ukulele players descend on Cheltenham

Crowd with ukuleles - Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Image caption The guitar-like instrument has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years

More than 200 ukulele players have descended on a town centre in Gloucestershire to take part in a mass celebration of the instrument.

The first Ukulele Festival of Great Britain is taking place in Cheltenham over the weekend.

Jude Baker, one of the organisers, said it was inspired by similar events in Europe.

The small, guitar-like instrument has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years.

During what organisers call the 'big busk', shoppers on the Promenade were treated to renditions of songs including Sloop John B by the Beach Boys.

Mr Baker, who has been playing for 18 months, said: "It's just so portable and you can sling it on your back. It's very easy to pick up.

"A lot of people are a bit suspicious to begin with and think it's a bit odd, until they see how much fun you are having."

The festival, which ends on Sunday, is expected to attract hundreds of people.

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