The Lancastrian Suite That’s it! Another year almost over and another very successful convention comes to a close. We all met once again in the Lancastrian Suite at the Imperial Hotel and enjoyed each other's company and each other's talents on the stage.Owing to another function at the Imperial, we couldn’t gain access to the concert room until Saturday morning so at 07:30 Alan and Mike Chenery, Gerry Mawdsley, Andy Poppleton and Daz Barry were on duty setting up the sound equipment and converting the room from the previous night’s event, to a room fit and ready to welcome Formby members. Archives Everything was in place for the start of the weekend and a good crowd was in attendance to see Gerry Mawdsley introduce the first entertainer on stage. There is obviously great emphasis on the stage and the entertainers but the Formby Society is about much more than that, as was proved when new archivist Lewis Clifton arrived with not only totally refreshed display boards showing images and documents of the Formby Story, but also a brand new display cabinet which contained actual George Formby Society archives, something we haven’t been able to look at for quite a few years. The cabinet will be refreshed for each convention to allow everybody to have a look at just what there is in the GFS archive. It is obvious that Lewis and Debbie and Paul (Lewis’s parents) have dedicated themselves to the archivist role and they are all to be warmly congratulated for their input in making the weekend the success that it was. Lewis has lots of new ideas and his enthusiasm and professionalism knows no bounds. Formby or Non-Formby The weekend had a slightly different arrangement for the concerts, it had been noted and reported to the committee by various members that more were people are singing non-Formby material and this obviously is of some concern. We have never tried to restrict anyone from doing whatever they want on stage (as long as it is decent) but you are bound to wonder just why some people are in the Society, considering their choice of material. There is nothing wrong with a little variety - but let's not forget what this weekend is all about, two words - George Formby. So with that in mind, the committee made a slight change to the concert format in that if a member wishes to perform a non-Formby number, his/her second song must be a Formby song. If they don't have a Formby song, then they will only sing the one song. This applies to the Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon concerts. Saturday night is Formby only and has been for quite some time. On Sunday evening there are no restrictions to what a performer might want to sing. So in actual fact, nothing much has changed. Just a little 'fine tuning' and many of the members have already stated that it is a change for the better. Lovely Performance Some lovely performances over the weekend (both Formby and non- Formby) and I have to say that Greg Simister and Sonja McKinnon singing The Beatles "Octopus's Garden " was just lovely - sadly I missed it with my camera, maybe they will do it for me when I next visit the Chester branch. Dedicated Workers As usual, the convention doesn't happen without lots of people putting time and loads of effort into the event, concert organisers Pam Baddeley, Daz Barry, Gerry Mawdsley, Caroline Stewart and Lewis Clifton, on the reception desk Andrew Gatherer and Vivien Mawdsley worked with Andy Poppleton who also ran the Sunday tuition class. On the sound, Michael Chenery ensured that all the instruments and voices could be heard, I have to say that in spite of one or two people complaining about sound issues, I thought the sound was excellent. Introducing the artists is always one of the nicest tasks and is hardly a chore, the professionalism of Caroline Stewart, Gerry Mawdsley, Jon Baddeley, John Walley and others is to be applauded. End Of The GFS Year All in all, a lovely way to end the GFS year - but one more treat was in store for me personally, when on Monday morning, after the weekend, Kathryn, myself and some friends paid a visit to Lytham Crematorium to view the recently discovered monument to Beryl Formby. After Beryl's death in 1960 Harry Scott arranged to have the monument erected in memory of the lady who ran and managed George's private and professional life and without whom we would certainly never have been in the Lancastrian Suite for this last (or any other) weekend. My sincere thanks to Lee Mannering for finding the monument. It is hoped that in the new year, the GFS will be allowed to do some restoration work on the stone. A word from Chairman Caroline Stewart... I have to say that my first full weekend as Chairman of the George Formby Society started a little anxiously as there were so few people waiting to get in when we opened the doors on Saturday morning. However, our loyal members turned up in a steady stream and though it was relatively quiet, the atmosphere during the weekend was fabulous In the last issue of the Vellum I wrote about how I'd like to see, hear and talk more of George at our conventions and I think during our November convention weekend we certainly did that. The new concert format meant that on Saturday afternoon there were much more George Formby songs performed. Thanks to everyone for taking this on board - I too had several comments of approval. I must confess that it wasn't my idea though-thank Andy Poppleton and Kathryn Pollard for that! I must echo what our Vice President, Peter Pollard said about our new archivist. He had a hard act to follow but Lewis has thrown himself into the role and come up trumps. The artefacts on display brought George into the room with us and the new display boards were interesting and well received. Well done Lewis. We also had the pleasure of Founder Member John Walley introducing a couple of George's recordings. I stood at the back and observed our members listening intently to the way it should be done. Fabulous. We'll be doing more of it in March so I hope you'll all be joining us then! I must also give a mention to the gentleman who gives so much of his time to our Society. Peter Pollard painstakingly maintains this website and in his convention reports is generous in his praise of everyone who 'gives' at the convention. Well I would like to thank him for his filming, compering and most of all for getting me up on stage to sing a song with him in a key that I just wasn't expecting.
NOVEMBER 2014
Archives help to make the weekend!
The Lancastrian Suite That’s it! Another year almost over and another very successful convention comes to a close. We all met once again in the Lancastrian Suite at the Imperial Hotel and enjoyed each other's company and each other's talents on the stage.Owing to another function at the Imperial, we couldn’t gain access to the concert room until Saturday morning so at 07:30 Alan and Mike Chenery, Gerry Mawdsley, Andy Poppleton and Daz Barry were on duty setting up the sound equipment and converting the room from the previous night’s event, to a room fit and ready to welcome Formby members. Archives Everything was in place for the start of the weekend and a good crowd was in attendance to see Gerry Mawdsley introduce the first entertainer on stage. There is obviously great emphasis on the stage and the entertainers but the Formby Society is about much more than that, as was proved when new archivist Lewis Clifton arrived with not only totally refreshed display boards showing images and documents of the Formby Story, but also a brand new display cabinet which contained actual George Formby Society archives, something we haven’t been able to look at for quite a few years. The cabinet will be refreshed for each convention to allow everybody to have a look at just what there is in the GFS archive. It is obvious that Lewis and Debbie and Paul (Lewis’s parents) have dedicated themselves to the archivist role and they are all to be warmly congratulated for their input in making the weekend the success that it was. Lewis has lots of new ideas and his enthusiasm and professionalism knows no bounds. Formby or Non-Formby The weekend had a slightly different arrangement for the concerts, it had been noted and reported to the committee by various members that more were people are singing non-Formby material and this obviously is of some concern. We have never tried to restrict anyone from doing whatever they want on stage (as long as it is decent) but you are bound to wonder just why some people are in the Society, considering their choice of material. There is nothing wrong with a little variety - but let's not forget what this weekend is all about, two words - George Formby. So with that in mind, the committee made a slight change to the concert format in that if a member wishes to perform a non-Formby number, his/her second song must be a Formby song. If they don't have a Formby song, then they will only sing the one song. This applies to the Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon concerts. Saturday night is Formby only and has been for quite some time. On Sunday evening there are no restrictions to what a performer might want to sing. So in actual fact, nothing much has changed. Just a little 'fine tuning' and many of the members have already stated that it is a change for the better. Lovely Performance Some lovely performances over the weekend (both Formby and non-Formby) and I have to say that Greg Simister and Sonja McKinnon singing The Beatles "Octopus's Garden " was just lovely - sadly I missed it with my camera, maybe they will do it for me when I next visit the Chester branch. Dedicated Workers As usual, the convention doesn't happen without lots of people putting time and loads of effort into the event, concert organisers Pam Baddeley, Daz Barry, Gerry Mawdsley, Caroline Stewart and Lewis Clifton, on the reception desk Andrew Gatherer and Vivien Mawdsley worked with Andy Poppleton who also ran the Sunday tuition class. On the sound, Michael Chenery ensured that all the instruments and voices could be heard, I have to say that in spite of one or two people complaining about sound issues, I thought the sound was excellent. Introducing the artists is always one of the nicest tasks and is hardly a chore, the professionalism of Caroline Stewart, Gerry Mawdsley, Jon Baddeley, John Walley and others is to be applauded. End Of The GFS Year All in all, a lovely way to end the GFS year - but one more treat was in store for me personally, when on Monday morning, after the weekend, Kathryn, myself and some friends paid a visit to Lytham Crematorium to view the recently discovered monument to Beryl Formby. After Beryl's death in 1960 Harry Scott arranged to have the monument erected in memory of the lady who ran and managed George's private and professional life and without whom we would certainly never have been in the Lancastrian Suite for this last (or any other) weekend. My sincere thanks to Lee Mannering for finding the monument. It is hoped that in the new year, the GFS will be allowed to do some restoration work on the stone. A word from Chairman Caroline Stewart... I have to say that my first full weekend as Chairman of the George Formby Society started a little anxiously as there were so few people waiting to get in when we opened the doors on Saturday morning. However, our loyal members turned up in a steady stream and though it was relatively quiet, the atmosphere during the weekend was fabulous In the last issue of the Vellum I wrote about how I'd like to see, hear and talk more of George at our conventions and I think during our November convention weekend we certainly did that. The new concert format meant that on Saturday afternoon there were much more George Formby songs performed. Thanks to everyone for taking this on board - I too had several comments of approval. I must confess that it wasn't my idea though-thank Andy Poppleton and Kathryn Pollard for that! I must echo what our Vice President, Peter Pollard said about our new archivist. He had a hard act to follow but Lewis has thrown himself into the role and come up trumps. The artefacts on display brought George into the room with us and the new display boards were interesting and well received. Well done Lewis. We also had the pleasure of Founder Member John Walley introducing a couple of George's recordings. I stood at the back and observed our members listening intently to the way it should be done. Fabulous. We'll be doing more of it in March so I hope you'll all be joining us then! I must also give a mention to the gentleman who gives so much of his time to our Society. Peter Pollard painstakingly maintains this website and in his convention reports is generous in his praise of everyone who 'gives' at the convention. Well I would like to thank him for his filming, compering and most of all for getting me up on stage to sing a song with him in a key that I just wasn't expecting.
Archives help to make the weekend!
NOVEMBER 2014