NOVEMBER 2009
Back at the Imperial
Back after 20 years. Approximately 175 members attended the Lancaster Suite on Saturday November 21st 2009 for the first convention inside the magnificent Imperial Hotel for over 20 years. That means that around 900 GFS members weren’t there and I can state quite emphatically that if you weren’t there, you missed a treat. I am well aware that many members never come to Blackpool and are happy just to receive The Vellum each quarter. I am also well aware that Christmas is just around the corner and of course we are all still suffering desperately from the deep recession that this country is entrenched in. But please, just make sure you are there in March 2010. Anyone with the slightest interest in the history and development of the George Formby Society could not have failed to be impressed by the return of the GFS to our original home, The Imperial Hotel. When the founder members first gathered in the then known “Warbreck Suite” forty seven years ago, little did they realize just what they were starting. Today we gathered in the Lancaster Suite, a much larger room than the original one. We also had excellent food and drink facilities, together with a smashing sea view thrown in as well. Welcome To The Formby Weekend Tony Thornton very appropriately started the weekend off, being the first entertainer on stage with “Welcome To The Formby Weekend.” Pamela Baddely was the first m/c at the new venue and did a great job throughout the afternoon. Other m/c's were Cathy Darlington, Jon Baddeley and Dennis Taylor and the whole weekend's entertainment was capably handled by Alan Chenery. As usual Pat Taylor and Kathryn Pollard managed the shop and Dennis Taylor hovered around them! The boys on the reception desk also did their stuff and all helped to make it a very memorable weekend. All the m/c's did a great job but when Cathy Darlington described myself and Dennis Taylor as two virile young men, she instantly became my all-time favourite! All in one place One thing I noticed about the weekend was that most of the members, once inside the venue, stayed there as it isn’t as easy just to walk to the town centre. But I have nothing but praise for the Imperial as a convention venue. It has everything anyone would want and still isn’t that far from the centre of Blackpool. This combined with lovely walks on the sea front (weather permitting), make this a very appealing place to be to listen to Formby music and be with friends. Many members commented on the special atmosphere created by us all being together in the Imperial. All the conventions are special but I and many others thought the new venue made things even more so. Good performances Every convention brings special performances and they are really too numerous to mention. Our members level of professionalism when taking to the stage has always been one of our strengths. One performer who I would like to mention in this report is Matthew Richards whose “Some Of These Days” medley on Saturday afternoon was quite brilliant. This together with his personality and the respectful and professional way that he addresses his audience puts him in the very top bracket of entertainers. Another young man with all the same qualities is the ever popular Martin Harrison who has been within our Society for most of his life and is (in my opinion) the nearest thing to Formby that we have. Blackpool One of the reasons why we are at the Imperial is because Blackpool Tourism ceased to fund events within the Winter Gardens. The Tourism department have stated that they are very keen to have the GFS remain in Blackpool and although we have to now start to pay our way to some degree, the tourism people have pledged to support us as much as they can. In return, they hope that members will use their booking service when choosing their accommodation. I am well aware that many of the convention regulars will not bother to book, as their hotels will expect them for each convention but if you haven’t got a permanent base, please use the system. There is a link to this service on the home page of the George Formby Society website and it will support us and support Blackpool as well. With a Society like ours we should be filling any room allocated so please turn up in your hundreds in 2010. Remember the old adage, “If you don’t use it you could will loose it.” Winter Gardens bid It is interesting to note that Blackpool Council are interesting in buying back Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens complex. I purely speculate here but if this should happen, will we be moving back to our recently departed home?
NOVEMBER 2009
Back at the Imperial
Back after 20 years. Approximately 175 members attended the Lancaster Suite on Saturday November 21st 2009 for the first convention inside the magnificent Imperial Hotel for over 20 years. That means that around 900 GFS members weren’t there and I can state quite emphatically that if you weren’t there, you missed a treat. I am well aware that many members never come to Blackpool and are happy just to receive The Vellum each quarter. I am also well aware that Christmas is just around the corner and of course we are all still suffering desperately from the deep recession that this country is entrenched in. But please, just make sure you are there in March 2010. Anyone with the slightest interest in the history and development of the George Formby Society could not have failed to be impressed by the return of the GFS to our original home, The Imperial Hotel. When the founder members first gathered in the then known “Warbreck Suite” forty seven years ago, little did they realize just what they were starting. Today we gathered in the Lancaster Suite, a much larger room than the original one. We also had excellent food and drink facilities, together with a smashing sea view thrown in as well. Welcome To The Formby Weekend Tony Thornton very appropriately started the weekend off, being the first entertainer on stage with “Welcome To The Formby Weekend.” Pamela Baddely was the first m/c at the new venue and did a great job throughout the afternoon. Other m/c's were Cathy Darlington, Jon Baddeley and Dennis Taylor and the whole weekend's entertainment was capably handled by Alan Chenery. As usual Pat Taylor and Kathryn Pollard managed the shop and Dennis Taylor hovered around them! The boys on the reception desk also did their stuff and all helped to make it a very memorable weekend. All the m/c's did a great job but when Cathy Darlington described myself and Dennis Taylor as two virile young men, she instantly became my all-time favourite! All in one place One thing I noticed about the weekend was that most of the members, once inside the venue, stayed there as it isn’t as easy just to walk to the town centre. But I have nothing but praise for the Imperial as a convention venue. It has everything anyone would want and still isn’t that far from the centre of Blackpool. This combined with lovely walks on the sea front (weather permitting), make this a very appealing place to be to listen to Formby music and be with friends. Many members commented on the special atmosphere created by us all being together in the Imperial. All the conventions are special but I and many others thought the new venue made things even more so. Good performances Every convention brings special performances and they are really too numerous to mention. Our members level of professionalism when taking to the stage has always been one of our strengths. One performer who I would like to mention in this report is Matthew Richards whose “Some Of These Days” medley on Saturday afternoon was quite brilliant. This together with his personality and the respectful and professional way that he addresses his audience puts him in the very top bracket of entertainers. Another young man with all the same qualities is the ever popular Martin Harrison who has been within our Society for most of his life and is (in my opinion) the nearest thing to Formby that we have. Blackpool One of the reasons why we are at the Imperial is because Blackpool Tourism ceased to fund events within the Winter Gardens. The Tourism department have stated that they are very keen to have the GFS remain in Blackpool and although we have to now start to pay our way to some degree, the tourism people have pledged to support us as much as they can. In return, they hope that members will use their booking service when choosing their accommodation. I am well aware that many of the convention regulars will not bother to book, as their hotels will expect them for each convention but if you haven’t got a permanent base, please use the system. There is a link to this service on the home page of the George Formby Society website and it will support us and support Blackpool as well. With a Society like ours we should be filling any room allocated so please turn up in your hundreds in 2010. Remember the old adage, “If you don’t use it you could will loose it.” Winter Gardens bid It is interesting to note that Blackpool Council are interesting in buying back Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens complex. I purely speculate here but if this should happen, will we be moving back to our recently departed home?