Will Van Allen

Originally owned by George Formby, this instrument was withdrawn from the 1961 auction by George’s fiancée Pat Howson. It was later purchased by Rex Blaker and following his death purchased at auction for £240 in 1989 in Sheffield by a Society Member.

Will Van Allen was an entertainer and although this instrument is labeled as being made by New Revelation Banjos, London it may well have been made by Jack Abbott Snr.'s company in the early 1930’s.

It was the first Banjo Ukulele to be played in a George Formby film and was first used in the film ‘OFF THE DOLE’ (1935) and after singing 'If you don't want the goods don't maul ‘em’, he said "It is a good Ukulele". It can also be seen in the opening scenes of 'LET GEORGE DO IT" as the instrument being played by the Banjo Ukulele player who gets shot.

It was fitted with the original vellum, which is marked in the middle with the words ‘Mr. Formby’ and on the right side with ‘Mr. Wu’s a Window Cleaner Now’ and underneath that with ‘Mr. Wu’.

026_Will_Van_Allen_1.jpg (19080 bytes) 027_Will_Van_Allen_2.jpg (10843 bytes) 028_Will_Van_Allen_3.jpg (18079 bytes)

Home Page