THE Cleveland Hills are becoming alive with the sound of different bands and music again.

A few years pre-pandemic, the closing of Thursday nights at the Station pub in Stokesley created a gap. The venue was lost, but not the music.

Pubs such as the White Swan in Stokesley held regular music evenings, there were Ceilidhs and bands playing in village halls, opportunities to learn instruments in the U3A, and elsewhere, and many ukulele groups sprang up. Between lockdowns, Stokesley's Doc Brown put on a socially-distanced free outside concert, in order to cheer people up.

Since emerging from the worst of the pandemic, instruments have been dusted off, and slowly the music is coming back, groups are re-forming, and venues are opening up.

One such group to reform is called "Safety in Numbers". It was originally started by Dave "The Fiddle" Bentley, a professional music teacher, who also did a lot to bring the ukulele into the town. It was re-formed in June, under a new name, now run by Mark Wilson, a band member.

"Under Dave there was more emphasis on teaching and learning," he said. "I came up with the name Safety In Numbers when I took over, as it reflected how I felt about singing and playing in public and how I felt more confident as part of a larger group. We are all frustrated rock stars really, and are very supportive of one another. There's a really friendly atmosphere."

The group are what Mark calls a mixed bag of ages and abilities but with a common theme, the love of playing and singing rock and pop classics. They welcome new members.

Mark is very keen for the band to do charity concerts, and their first one will be on December 11 from 5pm to 7pm at St Joseph's Church Hall, Stokesley. It will be a complete sing-along concert full of Christmas songs and carols, accompanied by guitars, all in aid of Zoe's Place baby hospice.

Mark is no stranger to raising money for good causes, having donated £1,200 to the RSPCA by walking from Stokesley to London with a friend. "I just remember the blisters." he said.

He added: "Christmas is a tough time for children and their families at Zoe's Place. It's such a worthwhile charity. There is a JustGiving page where people can donate or buy tickets for the concert. We are non-profit so all the money raised will go to the charity. There will be refreshments, and people can bring their own bottles, so long as they take the empties home."

For information and the JustGiving page visit

For inquiries, email