Allen Sanderson R.I.P. “The Archivist”

Allen Sanderson

We were very sad to learn on Thursday that Allen had passed away and offer our sincere condolences to Allen’s widow, Fiona.

Although he was very ill, Allen still attended sessions up until a few months ago, kindly chauffeured by Mick or Derek.  More recently, Dot, Maggie and other members visited Allen at home and in hospital. He sorely missed playing the ukulele and seeing everyone at sessions. So Chris and Denis made a video of a Sunday Session at The Millstone, where we made sure to include some of Allen’s favourite songs.


Allen will be very much missed and we have many happy memories.  Dot remembers that when Allen first started attending that he had never played ukulele before but was determined to master the instrument. Allen practiced relentlessly at home, becoming one of our most accomplished players.

Many of us will remember Allen as “The Archivist”, called on to produce long-forgotten song sheets instantly from his bulging file. Allen’s secret trick to accessing his song sheets so quickly was that he filed them in sections according to who usually led a song. By the time the mic had reached its destination, Allen had his file open at the right section, all ready to retrieve a songsheet. This was usually for the benefit of his “neighbours” as Allen knew most of the songs by heart.

Allen sat quietly smiling by the piano during sessions at The Cumberland Arms. He could rarely be persuaded to lead a song, preferring instead to contribute alternative chord voicings and to pick “finger style” through songs.  However, there were the very occasional, and very memorable, forays into song, when Allen duetted with Maggie or Andy.

My favourite memory of Allen is his surprising me by asking me if I would learn, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, confessing that he was a big fan of Crystal Gayle. Dusty Springfield we already knew about, from Allen’s duets with Maggie. Crystal Gayle must have had a special place in Allen’s heart though, as he also gave “Somebody Loves You” to Terri for her to sing.

Allen was an artist and he generously made and gave “Ukes4Fun” and general ukulele T-Shirts, badges and mugs to other members.  So many of us have happy memories of Allen from ukulele sessions over the last eight or nine years.  His presence has been much missed and he will be remembered with affection.

Funeral arrangements

  • Dot will be bringing a card for us to sign on Thursday 16th and will be making a collection.
  • If you are not attending Allen’s funeral and would like to contribute something to the collection, we understand that Allen’s family will be giving donations to a palliative care charity.
  • If you will be going to The Foxcover afterwards, please could you let Dot know on Thursday or send an email? This is so that Dot can give an estimate of numbers attending for catering purposes.

Allen Sanderson: Wednesday 22 February 11:30

Cowpen Crematorium
Cowpen Road
NE24 5SZ
Tel: 01670 620405


The Foxcover
Freeman Way/Newbiggin Road
North Seaton
NE63 0YB

Best wishes,


Methodists riot at Misspent Uke gig!

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Shocking secret surveillance photo’s of riot at Misspent Uke gig for Methodist Church roof fund, 19th May 2012, Co Durham!

Lovely Misspent Uke and Friends Gig at Rowlands Gill Highfield Social Club last night

Gig in aid of charity to send local volunteers to work at a Romanian Orphanage.  Dot at the helm doing a sterling job – as well as wielding the kazoo with even more than usual gusto on “Pencil Full of Lead”.  Tasty strawberries at the buffet and Charlie won a Barbie-type necklace and earrings set in the raffle :-)

Misspent Uke and Friends Gig – Crisis Skylight Newcastle – Wed 23 March 2011 – 7:00pm

Crisis Skylight Newcastle is an education, training and employment centre for homeless and vulnerably-housed people, located in the heart of Newcastle. Classes include Art, ESOL, ICT and Digital Photography.   Support is offered from the staff team who provide advice and guidance and help members to achieve their chosen goals and move forward with their lives.

“Misspent Uke and Friends” are providing the entertainment for a fundraising event at Crisis Skylight Newcastle on Wednesday 23 March at 7:00

If you are not playing but would like to attend then Alan, who is a volunteer at Crisis Skylight Newcastle, says to bring your uke if you would like to join in from the floor. Tickets are £6 (includes a “Northumbrian buffet supper”). Please book in advance to avoid disappointment and feel free to bring your own wine, beer, etc. – there are no alcoholic drinks served but the venue has a drinks licence.

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested in being entertained by Misspent Uke and Friends in aid of a worthy cause!



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