GFS September 2002 THE CONVENTION The September 2004 convention of the George Formby Society took place on Saturday and Sunday the 11/12 in the magnificent Spanish Hall within the Winter Gardens complex.   As ever, the weekend was a great success with members and friends travelling from all points of the compass. Our good friend Eleanor Dugan travelled from San Francisco together with travelling companions Jill and Shawn. From New Zealand Raymond Morgan made the trip to join the Society and we had friends from Sweden and Holland as well. The Saturday event was focused on by channel 4s Richard & Judy show and a film crew spent the day with us.  MEMORABLE HIGHLIGHTS The memorable highlights of this weekend were the creating of three new honorary members. This is the highest honour that the George Formby Society can bestow and the three members who gain this prestigious award for their service and devotion over the years were Alan Southworth, Kitty Barrett and Vellum editor Tony Thornton. Alan has put many years in to the GFS and in his time he has held various roles within the committee. He has collated virtually the complete Formby song catalogue in words and chord windows and if anyone has the chords to a song it has to be Alan. Kitty Barrett has been a member of the GFS along with devoted husband Alex for forty two years. They just missed out on the first year of the society but over most of the last 42 years Kitty has organised a raffle at every Blackpool convention and must have raised a tremendous amount of extra cash for the benefit of the society and its members.   Tony Thornton for the last seven years has held the post of editor of the Vellum, the quarterly magazine which is circulated to all members of the society. Tony has produced 32 issues in that time and all bear the hallmarks of quality and professionalism. All three people were warmly applauded by the audience when presented with their certificates by President (and Honorary Member) Dennis Taylor. THE GFS RAFFLE The other main highlight of the weekend was the drawing of the winning ticket in the GFS ukulele raffle which has been running for the last 12 months. The lucky person was Jack Burgess who also was warmly applauded by the audience. Jack received a lovely UB2 instrument to take back to his home in Leeds. WORKING FOR THE GFS The weekend was made up of concerts which were organised most professionally (as usual) by Alan Chenery ably assisted by Jon Baddeley, Mac McGee and the king of MCs Gerry Mawdsley.  The GFS shop did brisk business throughout the weekend in the capable hands of Pat Taylor, Kathryn Pollard, Dolwyn Shone and Jenny Smith.   The weather was atrocious but it did not spoil the weekend for anyone present and as ever, the standard of entertainment by the members gets better and better.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

It was a dark and stormy weekend in Blackpool, but, inside the Spanish Hall, the painted-vault of sky was radiant blue and the music sunny and hot. The September convention brought fans from all over. As a San Franciscan, I had hoped I might be the member who had come the farthest, but I was more than outdone by Ray Morgan who flew all the way from Gisborne, New Zealand. There were three main thrills for me. First, meeting Ted Formby, George's brother. Second, having my name mentioned from the stage by President Dennis Taylor in the same breath with those of actress Penelope Keith and singer Dame Vera Lynn. (We had all sent letters of regret, but I managed at the last minute to show up!) Biggest thrill of the week for me was recalling all the tremendously talented kids I had seen perform on my 2001 trip and seeing them
again, now maturing into polished adult musicians. I felt like a proud auntie, as if my enthusiasm had somehow contributed to their success. A TV crew was on hand Saturday, filming for the Richard and Judy Show. (As an ignorant foreigner, I had never heard of it.) The following Monday, still in hovercraft mode from the excitement of the weekend, I was glued to the telly in my London hotel when the segment aired-- beautifully edited and a great plug for the George Formby Society. It was a fitting finale to a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I hope I can someday repeat for a THIRD time. Eleanor Dugan San Francisco
Three New Honorary Members!
GFS September 2002

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

It was a dark and stormy weekend in Blackpool, but, inside the Spanish Hall, the painted-vault of sky was radiant blue and the music sunny and hot. The September convention brought fans from all over. As a San Franciscan, I had hoped I might be the member who had come the farthest, but I was more than outdone by Ray Morgan who flew all the way from Gisborne, New Zealand. There were three main thrills for me. First, meeting Ted Formby, George's brother. Second, having my name mentioned from the stage by President Dennis Taylor in the same breath with those of actress Penelope Keith and singer Dame Vera Lynn. (We had all sent letters of regret, but I managed at the last minute to show up!) Biggest thrill of the week for me was recalling all the tremendously talented kids I had seen perform on my 2001 trip and seeing them again, now maturing into polished adult musicians. I felt like a proud auntie, as if my enthusiasm had somehow contributed to their success. A TV crew was on hand Saturday, filming for the Richard and Judy Show. (As an ignorant foreigner, I had never heard of it.) The following Monday, still in hovercraft mode from the excitement of the weekend, I was glued to the telly in my London hotel when the segment aired--beautifully edited and a great plug for the George Formby Society. It was a fitting finale to a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I hope I can someday repeat for a THIRD time. Eleanor Dugan San Francisco

THE CONVENTION

The September 2004 convention of the George Formby Society took place on Saturday and Sunday the 11/12 in the magnificent Spanish Hall within the Winter Gardens complex. As ever, the weekend was a great success with members and friends travelling from all points of the compass. Our good friend Eleanor Dugan travelled from San Francisco together with travelling companions Jill and Shawn. From New Zealand Raymond Morgan made the trip to join the Society and we had friends from Sweden and Holland as well. The Saturday event was focused on by channel 4’s Richard & Judy show and a film crew spent the day with us.

MEMORABLE HIGHLIGHTS

The memorable highlights of this weekend were the creating of three new honorary members. This is the highest honour that the George Formby Society can bestow and the three members who gain this prestigious award for their service and devotion over the years were Alan Southworth, Kitty Barrett and Vellum editor Tony Thornton. Alan has put many years in to the GFS and in his time he has held various roles within the committee. He has collated virtually the complete Formby song catalogue in words and chord windows and if anyone has the chords to a song it has to be Alan. Kitty Barrett has been a member of the GFS along with devoted husband Alex for forty two years. They just missed out on the first year of the society but over most of the last 42 years Kitty has organised a raffle at every Blackpool convention and must have raised a tremendous amount of extra cash for the benefit of the society and its members. Tony Thornton for the last seven years has held the post of editor of the Vellum, the quarterly magazine which is circulated to all members of the society. Tony has produced 32 issues in that time and all bear the hallmarks of quality and professionalism. All three people were warmly applauded by the audience when presented with their certificates by President (and Honorary Member) Dennis Taylor.

THE GFS RAFFLE

The other main highlight of the weekend was the drawing of the winning ticket in the GFS ukulele raffle which has been running for the last 12 months. The lucky person was Jack Burgess who also was warmly applauded by the audience. Jack received a lovely UB2 instrument to take back to his home in Leeds.

WORKING FOR THE GFS

The weekend was made up of concerts which were organised most professionally (as usual) by Alan Chenery ably assisted by Jon Baddeley, Mac McGee and the king of MC’s Gerry Mawdsley. The GFS shop did brisk business throughout the weekend in the capable hands of Pat Taylor, Kathryn Pollard, Dolwyn Shone and Jenny Smith. The weather was atrocious but it did not spoil the weekend for anyone present and as ever, the standard of entertainment by the members gets better and better.