middleton towers
Film captures Formbys at Norfolk speedway meet
Speedway Racing in the early post war years enjoyed a massive spectator appeal and this was reflected in an event that took place at Middleton Towers, Norfolk which captured the interest of people from the surrounding area. The event was captured on 16mm film by a new local film company whose intention was to distribute the film to be shown at local venues in the area. The film company didn't last too long but fortunately the film did and a mint condition copy was recently obtained via the internet Ebay auction website. GFS member Richard Bothway- Howard has done much research into George Formby's activities in Norfolk and came up with the actual newspaper report of the event. THE LYNNE NEWS Nearly 5,000 people saw George Formby open a British Legion fete at Middleton Towers on Saturday. The Lancashire comedian was in his finest form. From the time he took off his sun- glasses, his laughter-creased face, to the time he interviewed veteran farm-worker Mr. J. Drew: (“You’ve had nine children, I’ve only had three dogs”), George kept his audience chuckling at the funniest opening ceremony they could remember. But interlaced with his rich, racy stories told in his inimitable manner, George subtly reminded them of the purpose of the occasion. He called his wife Beryl – looking charming in full-skirted New Look red coat, “my old woman” in public and explained to the audience “It was just a term of endearment”. “It gives us great pleasure to be here,” he went on, “And to see such a lot of people. But there are a lot of people all going different ways, pushing on and inclined to forget those who did so much during the last war. “And there are a lot of chaps from the war before who still need our help. I think the British Legion are doing a good job in helping them”. COURTING DAYS Then George – who was later to entertain the crowd with a ride round the track in his best film fashion – referred to the speedway racing which was going to take place. “I did my courting on a motor-bike (laughter), well, not exactly on the bike (louder laughter). We used to stop now and again” (even louder laughter). George went on to crack jokes about this, followed it with the one about the Lancashire man who bought an egg from a parrot “whose husband was a duck,” rounded it off with another about a swearing parrot and finished up with a third bird story concerning a pet owl put in with the parrot. WHAT’S LIFE IF YOU DON’T LAUGH “These events like this get everyone together and that is what we want. We want more pulling together to get a better world – These social events get people together and let them laugh. And what’s life if you don’t laugh?” George was introduced by Mr. H. Brassnett (president). Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Formby were extended by Mrs. Ramsden (president, women’s branch), and Mr. A.J. Plaice (chairman), who coupled with their names that of Mr. John Talbot, “whose efforts make it something we shall remember for the rest of our days.” A spray was presented to Beryl Formby by Miss Ruby Bonnet. To Mr. and Mrs. T. Ramsden, in whose delightful grounds the fete was held, a buttonhole and a spray were presented by two-year-old twins Brian and David Cawston. Heacham lavender was handed to Mrs. Formby by 12 year old Geraldine Wilkins, and a bouquet of cream roses by Jean Hurn. The speedway track was thickly lined with people for the racing, at which George Formby and Ted Williams (Wisbech), a former rider, were starters. The trophy for the highest points was won by Tip Mills (Holbeach), whose time of 70.8 secs. also earned him £5, given by George. Tumbles on the grass track were fairly numerous, but the only injury was to John Talbot who was carried off with a twisted ankle. It is expected that the net profits will be about £600 – one of the highest amounts ever raised for a village fete in this district. GEORGE SAID ‘NO’ Autograph hunters at Middleton fete on Saturday failed to bag George Formby’s signature. “if I do it for one,” he said, “I have to do it for everyone to be fair – and there’s too many here to do that.” He consented to be photographed by several amateur photographers, talking off his dark glasses. George sported a blazer without collar. Lady fashion spotters were quick to notice that George’s wife”Beryl” (“my old woman” he called her!) was smartly dressed in a red gored New Look coat and black dress with black hat, with feather , and black accessories.
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middleton towers
Film captures Formbys at Norfolk speedway meet
Speedway Racing in the early post war years enjoyed a massive spectator appeal and this was reflected in an event that took place at Middleton Towers, Norfolk which captured the interest of people from the surrounding area. The event was captured on 16mm film by a new local film company whose intention was to distribute the film to be shown at local venues in the area. The film company didn't last too long but fortunately the film did and a mint condition copy was recently obtained via the internet Ebay auction website. GFS member Richard Bothway-Howard has done much research into George Formby's activities in Norfolk and came up with the actual newspaper report of the event. THE LYNNE NEWS Nearly 5,000 people saw George Formby open a British Legion fete at Middleton Towers on Saturday. The Lancashire comedian was in his finest form. From the time he took off his sun-glasses, his laughter-creased face, to the time he interviewed veteran farm-worker Mr. J. Drew: (“You’ve had nine children, I’ve only had three dogs”), George kept his audience chuckling at the funniest opening ceremony they could remember. But interlaced with his rich, racy stories told in his inimitable manner, George subtly reminded them of the purpose of the occasion. He called his wife Beryl – looking charming in full-skirted New Look red coat, “my old woman” in public and explained to the audience “It was just a term of endearment”. “It gives us great pleasure to be here,” he went on, “And to see such a lot of people. But there are a lot of people all going different ways, pushing on and inclined to forget those who did so much during the last war. “And there are a lot of chaps from the war before who still need our help. I think the British Legion are doing a good job in helping them”. COURTING DAYS Then George – who was later to entertain the crowd with a ride round the track in his best film fashion – referred to the speedway racing which was going to take place. “I did my courting on a motor-bike (laughter), well, not exactly on the bike (louder laughter). We used to stop now and again” (even louder laughter). George went on to crack jokes about this, followed it with the one about the Lancashire man who bought an egg from a parrot “whose husband was a duck,” rounded it off with another about a swearing parrot and finished up with a third bird story concerning a pet owl put in with the parrot. WHAT’S LIFE IF YOU DON’T LAUGH “These events like this get everyone together and that is what we want. We want more pulling together to get a better world – These social events get people together and let them laugh. And what’s life if you don’t laugh?” George was introduced by Mr. H. Brassnett (president). Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Formby were extended by Mrs. Ramsden (president, women’s branch), and Mr. A.J. Plaice (chairman), who coupled with their names that of Mr. John Talbot, “whose efforts make it something we shall remember for the rest of our days.” A spray was presented to Beryl Formby by Miss Ruby Bonnet. To Mr. and Mrs. T. Ramsden, in whose delightful grounds the fete was held, a buttonhole and a spray were presented by two-year-old twins Brian and David Cawston. Heacham lavender was handed to Mrs. Formby by 12 year old Geraldine Wilkins, and a bouquet of cream roses by Jean Hurn. The speedway track was thickly lined with people for the racing, at which George Formby and Ted Williams (Wisbech), a former rider, were starters. The trophy for the highest points was won by Tip Mills (Holbeach), whose time of 70.8 secs. also earned him £5, given by George. Tumbles on the grass track were fairly numerous, but the only injury was to John Talbot who was carried off with a twisted ankle. It is expected that the net profits will be about £600 – one of the highest amounts ever raised for a village fete in this district. GEORGE SAID ‘NO’ Autograph hunters at Middleton fete on Saturday failed to bag George Formby’s signature. “if I do it for one,” he said, “I have to do it for everyone to be fair – and there’s too many here to do that.” He consented to be photographed by several amateur photographers, talking off his dark glasses. George sported a blazer without collar. Lady fashion spotters were quick to notice that George’s wife”Beryl” (“my old woman” he called her!) was smartly dressed in a red gored New Look coat and black dress with black hat, with feather , and black accessories.
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