Blackpool Blackpool looks like a bomb has dropped on it, you can’t even walk across the road to the promenade when you are in the vicinity of the tower – and that magnificent Victorian treasure is shrouded in scaffolding. Therefore I ask you, why would anyone want to be in Blackpool over the weekend of March 5/6 2011? Yet the March convention of the GFS was without a shadow of a doubt a record attendance throughout the whole fabulously successful weekend! Record attendance There wasn’t a chair to be had either on Saturday or Sunday within the confines of the Lancastrian Suite in the Imperial Hotel as we all gathered to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of George Formby. Even at 10:30 on Saturday morning there were people gathering in the room, chatting, playing or just grabbing the best seats for the day. There must have been at least 400 people in the room on both days. The Blackpool Gazette reported the attendance as 600 on each day. Fantastic Entertainment The main event was a two-day extravaganza to acknowledge the passing of fifty years since the untimely death of George Formby.  This weekend has been talked about and planned for over 12 months and a special committee was set up to organize it. Their efforts certainly paid off. Every performer did a fantastic job; some of them stepping in at the last minute to perform songs because the original performer couldn’t attend the weekend. From the very first song by Daz Barry (If You Don’t Want The Goods Don’t Maul ‘Em) to the close of the show on Sunday afternoon when Jonathan Richards sang “You Don’t Need A License For That” we had every song from George’s entire film career. Many of the performers decided to “dress for the part” and it all made for a much more enjoyable spectacle. It was decided that the performer’s path to the stage would be screened off and this really lent a theatrical atmosphere to the whole production; a great idea that we should think about keeping for all future events. It was also emphasized that performers should be tuned up and well rehearsed as this weekend was always regarded as a very special one. Because the performers took note of this we had a totally professional presentation. Great Performances I honestly couldn’t separate any performer and it would be unfair to do so as everybody did a brilliant job but, what about our band? They were well rehearsed with Tony Thornton and Dave Partington sharing the bass, Dale Norman on drums and the fantastically versatile talents of Matthew Richards on keyboards. The vast majority of performers chose to use the band and no matter what song came up the band was equal to the task. Dressed for the Occasion The members who took the trouble to dress for the occasion should be congratulated as they really added some colour and atmosphere to the proceedings. We had everything from a cowboy to an overgrown jockey who later transformed into a rather sexy looking “Barmaid At The Rose and Crown” to gentlemen in tails and many representatives from the armed forces. Well done to all, you made the event all the richer by your efforts. The Presenters Four long-standing members of the GFS presented the performers over the two-day event and interestingly related facts, figures and anecdotes of each film before introducing each performer. The films were presented in chronological order and the presenters John Walley, Dennis Taylor, Dennis Mitchell and Gerry Mawdsley added their own brand of professionalism to the weekend and made sure that there was a full house on both days. The Rest of the Weekend The evenings of this weekend were taken up with the usual concert but again some great performances were in evidence. Non-Formby material was allowed because of the structured afternoon events and some notable performances came from Gabriella La Foley with Charles Trenet’s “La Boom” and Dennis Taylor’s memorable interpretation of the Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There.” Dennis Taylor Little did we know that this would be the last performance of the legendary Dennis Taylor, but as ever, Dennis left the stage to a standing ovation.  I would like to think that the wonderful memories we all share of this event will be a lasting tribute to our much-loved past- president.
MARCH 2011
Songs from the films!
DOUBLE DVD AVAILABLE HERE
Blackpool Blackpool looks like a bomb has dropped on it, you can’t even walk across the road to the promenade when you are in the vicinity of the tower – and that magnificent Victorian treasure is shrouded in scaffolding. Therefore I ask you, why would anyone want to be in Blackpool over the weekend of March 5/6 2011? Yet the March convention of the GFS was without a shadow of a doubt a record attendance throughout the whole fabulously successful weekend! Record attendance There wasn’t a chair to be had either on Saturday or Sunday within the confines of the Lancastrian Suite in the Imperial Hotel as we all gathered to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of George Formby. Even at 10:30 on Saturday morning there were people gathering in the room, chatting, playing or just grabbing the best seats for the day. There must have been at least 400 people in the room on both days. The Blackpool Gazette reported the attendance as 600 on each day. Fantastic Entertainment The main event was a two-day extravaganza to acknowledge the passing of fifty years since the untimely death of George Formby.  This weekend has been talked about and planned for over 12 months and a special committee was set up to organize it. Their efforts certainly paid off. Every performer did a fantastic job; some of them stepping in at the last minute to perform songs because the original performer couldn’t attend the weekend. From the very first song by Daz Barry (If You Don’t Want The Goods Don’t Maul ‘Em) to the close of the show on Sunday afternoon when Jonathan Richards sang “You Don’t Need A License For That” we had every song from George’s entire film career. Many of the performers decided to “dress for the part” and it all made for a much more enjoyable spectacle. It was decided that the performer’s path to the stage would be screened off and this really lent a theatrical atmosphere to the whole production; a great idea that we should think about keeping for all future events. It was also emphasized that performers should be tuned up and well rehearsed as this weekend was always regarded as a very special one. Because the performers took note of this we had a totally professional presentation. Great Performances I honestly couldn’t separate any performer and it would be unfair to do so as everybody did a brilliant job but, what about our band? They were well rehearsed with Tony Thornton and Dave Partington sharing the bass, Dale Norman on drums and the fantastically versatile talents of Matthew Richards on keyboards. The vast majority of performers chose to use the band and no matter what song came up the band was equal to the task. Dressed for the Occasion The members who took the trouble to dress for the occasion should be congratulated as they really added some colour and atmosphere to the proceedings. We had everything from a cowboy to an overgrown jockey who later transformed into a rather sexy looking “Barmaid At The Rose and Crown” to gentlemen in tails and many representatives from the armed forces. Well done to all, you made the event all the richer by your efforts. The Presenters Four long-standing members of the GFS presented the performers over the two-day event and interestingly related facts, figures and anecdotes of each film before introducing each performer. The films were presented in chronological order and the presenters John Walley, Dennis Taylor, Dennis Mitchell and Gerry Mawdsley added their own brand of professionalism to the weekend and made sure that there was a full house on both days. The Rest of the Weekend The evenings of this weekend were taken up with the usual concert but again some great performances were in evidence. Non-Formby material was allowed because of the structured afternoon events and some notable performances came from Gabriella La Foley with Charles Trenet’s “La Boom” and Dennis Taylor’s memorable interpretation of the Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There.” Dennis Taylor Little did we know that this would be the last performance of the legendary Dennis Taylor, but as ever, Dennis left the stage to a standing ovation.  I would like to think that the wonderful memories we all share of this event will be a lasting tribute to our much-loved past-president.
MARCH 2011
Songs from the films!
DOUBLE DVD AVAILABLE HERE