No spare chairs! The first meeting of 2012 carried on the success of the 2011 conventions with a record attendance on Saturday afternoon. Not a chair could be had in the Imperial Hotel’s largest room and hotel staff were kept busy bringing further stacks of chairs to accommodate both new and old faces to this prestigious venue. Eventually the room was just full! In fact I would state emphatically that this was the best-attended convention in the history of the George Formby Society. Increased membership There are numerous factors why the Society continues to enjoy increased membership, last year’s Frank Skinner BBC4 show certainly played its part but it surely must be stated that the music and the memory of George Formby OBE is as strong today as it has been at any time in the last fifty years. The ukulele is the instrument of choice in many schools throughout the UK and thanks to the George Formby Society, its website and its shop many people can are now finding out just why the George Formby Society flourishes over fifty years after its birth. Tommy Bland and Lewis Clifton This weekend brought in many more new members and amongst them a really top class player in Lewis Clifton who got the weekend off to a flying start with Tommy Bland. With talents like Lewis and Tommy, the George Formby Society future is assured. “Judge” Henry made his first appearance on the Imperial stage accompanied by relatively new member Alan Kershaw and again, they gave a top-class performance and the Judge returned later on to bring the house down with a song written especially for him. The band The band consisted of Tony Thornton, Dale Norman, Geoff Shone, Dave Partington and Matthew Richards and they coped with everything that members could think of. Why anyone would want to use a backing track when these lads are available is a mystery. Beginners class Gerry Mawdsley took on the role of chief instructor in the beginners class and again, I have never witnessed so many people taking the first step on the road to ukulele wizardry. Gerry also played a part in a special tribute to the one and only Nat Lofthouse, Bolton Wanderers legendary centre forward when along with his wife Vivien, Glyn Mitchell and Frank Laird they performed a song especially written about Nat which was entitled "The Lion of Vienna". Vital roles Neil Forshaw presented an excellent display of photographs from the archives and young and old made it a very special weekend. Kitty Barrett enjoyed record takings in her raffle and the shop ladies (Kathryn Pollard and Pat Taylor) were also working hard throughout the weekend. The team that manned the desk at the entry point was also kept busy with all the people flocking through the door but nobody complains and they know that their services are appreciated.
MARCH 2012
Record attendance
DOUBLE DVD AVAILABLE IN THE GFS SHOP
No spare chairs! The first meeting of 2012 carried on the success of the 2011 conventions with a record attendance on Saturday afternoon. Not a chair could be had in the Imperial Hotel’s largest room and hotel staff were kept busy bringing further stacks of chairs to accommodate both new and old faces to this prestigious venue. Eventually the room was just full! In fact I would state emphatically that this was the best-attended convention in the history of the George Formby Society. Increased membership There are numerous factors why the Society continues to enjoy increased membership, last year’s Frank Skinner BBC4 show certainly played its part but it surely must be stated that the music and the memory of George Formby OBE is as strong today as it has been at any time in the last fifty years. The ukulele is the instrument of choice in many schools throughout the UK and thanks to the George Formby Society, its website and its shop many people can are now finding out just why the George Formby Society flourishes over fifty years after its birth. Tommy Bland and Lewis Clifton This weekend brought in many more new members and amongst them a really top class player in Lewis Clifton who got the weekend off to a flying start with Tommy Bland. With talents like Lewis and Tommy, the George Formby Society future is assured. “Judge” Henry made his first appearance on the Imperial stage accompanied by relatively new member Alan Kershaw and again, they gave a top-class performance and the Judge returned later on to bring the house down with a song written especially for him. The band The band consisted of Tony Thornton, Dale Norman, Geoff Shone, Dave Partington and Matthew Richards and they coped with everything that members could think of. Why anyone would want to use a backing track when these lads are available is a mystery. Beginners class Gerry Mawdsley took on the role of chief instructor in the beginners class and again, I have never witnessed so many people taking the first step on the road to ukulele wizardry. Gerry also played a part in a special tribute to the one and only Nat Lofthouse, Bolton Wanderers legendary centre forward when along with his wife Vivien, Glyn Mitchell and Frank Laird they performed a song especially written about Nat which was entitled "The Lion of Vienna". Vital roles Neil Forshaw presented an excellent display of photographs from the archives and young and old made it a very special weekend. Kitty Barrett enjoyed record takings in her raffle and the shop ladies (Kathryn Pollard and Pat Taylor) were also working hard throughout the weekend. The team that manned the desk at the entry point was also kept busy with all the people flocking through the door but nobody complains and they know that their services are appreciated.
MARCH 2012
Record attendance
DOUBLE DVD AVAILABLE IN THE GFS SHOP