Behind every great man there is usually a great women and George Formby was no exception. Beryl Formby masterminded George's rise to fame and helped to keep him in the limelight for the whole of his career.

She managed all his affairs and handled all his bookings. She appeared with him on stage and was his constant companion even when he was entertaining the troops during World War II.

George Formby met Beryl Ingham when they were playing in Castleford in 1923. She and her sister were a clog-dancing speciality "The Two Violets".

Beryl's first impression of George and his talent was rather low but George was obviously attracted to Beryl and he persued her until she agreed to marry him in September 1924.

George Formby was originally billed under his mother's maiden name as George Hoy. When he decided to use his father's name it was Beryl who secured his first booking - a six month contract at the Newcastle Empire where, ironically, his father was taken fatally ill.

Wherever George was, Beryl was never far away and even when entertaining the troops on the various fighting fronts if they got George, they had to have Beryl as well.

She built up a reputation as a hard-headed business woman and completely dominated the management of George. Over the years they amassed a fortune, which they used to enjoy a sumptuous yet private lifestyle.

Beryl wore the finest jewelry and dressed in the height of fashion.
In the late fifties her health started to decline and sadly she died at her Blackpool home on December 24 1960.

In her own way, it could be said that she shared equal billing not only in their marriage but in George's show business career as well.

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