I learned this week some sad news about a well known GFS personality from the 1990’s.  Gordon Markendale who made beautiful instruments for Society members has passed away. I remember Gordon very well when he first arrived on the Formby scene, at a time when good instruments were very scarce. Gordon soon changed all that with his brilliant skills. He created lovely copies of Abbott, Gibson and Ludwig instruments that in actual fact were probably made better made than the originals! If you look at Vellum magazines in the 1990’s, Gordon was very prominent, with many members praising his skills and boasting that they had now finally acquired a good instrument without paying a king’s ransom!. I can speak from first hand experience when I went to a party at a ukulele friend’s house around 1992 and I remember Dickie Speake and Dennis Mitchell arriving with a prototype Markendale Silhouette. It was played by many people at the party and all were impressed by the quality, sound and finish of the instrument. I immediately contacted Gordon and ordered one together with a Gibson UB3 copy that he was creating. I remember paying £350 for the Silhouette and £285 for the UB3. I can tell you that I was delighted with my new ukuleles and felt that for the first time I could hold my head up with the longer established members of the GFS. Not only did Gordon make such beautiful instruments, he also brought down the price of the original classic instruments in the used instrument market as frankly many people (myself included) thought Gordon’s were just as good. Gordon eventually wound down making ukuleles for GFS members and found his way to a new life in China. I did not know Gordon that well, but met him at many conventions. He was always much in demand and at times I thought that he must have been under a lot of pressure from impatient potential instrument owners. The instruments he made were top class and I have never met anyone who was dissatisfied with one. May I, on behalf of everyone within the GFS, extend our deepest sympathies to Gordon’s family. Peter Pollard 08 December 2016
Gordon Markendale
GORDON PICTURED ALONGSIDE GEORGE FORMBY’S NEPHEW, JEFFREY BOOTH
A CLIPPING FROM A 1993 VELLUM MAGAZINE
I learned this week some sad news about a well known GFS personality from the 1990’s.  Gordon Markendale who made beautiful instruments for Society members has passed away. I remember Gordon very well when he first arrived on the Formby scene, at a time when good instruments were very scarce. Gordon soon changed all that with his brilliant skills. He created lovely copies of Abbott, Gibson and Ludwig instruments that in actual fact were probably made better made than the originals! If you look at Vellum magazines in the 1990’s, Gordon was very prominent, with many members praising his skills and boasting that they had now finally acquired a good instrument without paying a king’s ransom!.
Gordon Markendale
GORDON PICTURED ALONGSIDE GEORGE FORMBY’S NEPHEW, JEFFREY BOOTH
I can speak from first hand experience when I went to a party at a ukulele friend’s house around 1992 and I remember Dickie Speake and Dennis Mitchell arriving with a prototype Markendale Silhouette. It was played by many people at the party and all were impressed by the quality, sound and finish of the instrument. I immediately contacted Gordon and ordered one together with a Gibson UB3 copy that he was creating. I remember paying £350 for the Silhouette and £285 for the UB3. I can tell you that I was delighted with my new ukuleles and felt that for the first time I could hold my head up with the longer established members of the GFS.
Not only did Gordon make such beautiful instruments, he also brought down the price of the original classic instruments in the used instrument market as frankly many people (myself included) thought Gordon’s were just as good. Gordon eventually wound down making ukuleles for GFS members and found his way to a new life in China. I did not know Gordon that well, but met him at many conventions. He was always much in demand and at times I thought that he must have been under a lot of pressure from impatient potential instrument owners. The instruments he made were top class and I have never met anyone who was dissatisfied with one. May I, on behalf of everyone within the GFS, extend our deepest sympathies to Gordon’s family. Peter Pollard 08 December 2016
A CLIPPING FROM A 1993 VELLUM MAGAZINE