JUNE 2017
Farewell to Alan Southworth
A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE I come away from every GFS convention with memories (mostly happy ones) and have been doing so since joining in 1991. In that time I have found many new friends and over that time the GFS has become (after my loved ones), the biggest part of my life. Sunday afternoon for me was one the most memorable of all the conventions that I have attended. The GFS paid a wonderful tribute to the brilliant Alan Southworth. Selected players performed in front of Alan’s wife Hilda and her family. The songs they sang were all selected by Hilda and the players who performed them were the best that the GFS could call on and all gave outstanding performances. The best performance was from Jill Richardson, Alan’s daughter. Jill came on to the stage at the end of the concert and although unfamiliar with all that her dad had been so comfortable with, she spoke with love and sincerity about her father. You could have heard a pin drop within the Lancastrian Suite. It is never easy to get on that stage in front of a large audience with cameras flashing all over the place, but Jill did her dad proud. The players all knew Alan of course and Gerry Mawdsley, John Walley and Dennis Lee all shared nice memories of one of the most iconic members in GFS history. All in all, a very special concert for a very special man who has left us so many memories, not only of his wonderful playing skills and his knowledge of Formby, but also his constant support  of the GFS and its members, his input in The Vellum (which goes right back to the day he started in 1971) and his total love and dedication to all things Formby. MITCHELL MONARCHS Another nice memory for me was a stage full of players singing Chinese Laundry Blues and Leaning On A Lamp Post on instruments all made by Dennis Mitchell. What made this event far more significant was that Dennis Mitchell was in attendance as a totally unsuspecting member of the audience. Dennis was delighted that his work was celebrated in this way. He made forty instruments over a period of years and Caroline Stewart managed to get eleven of those lucky owners on stage to serenade the creator of the Mitchell Monarch. This very nice idea was the brain child of GFS President Gerry Mawdsley and was organised by Caroline, they both deserve our thanks for the work on this project, it is nice moments like these that take a convention to a higher level. CAROLINE STEWART The aforementioned Caroline Stewart was in the limelight again when she presented a cheque for £2108.25 to Andy Clarke of Prostate Cancer UK. These vital funds were realised when Caroline staged her Goathland George Formby Day recently in the memory of Alan Kershaw. Caroline has only been a member of the GFS since 2011 but has embraced the Society in the most dedicated fashion and has worked so hard on many tasks since she entered into GFS life. Even in her remote but beautiful part of North Yorkshire, Caroline still works to spread the word of Formby to all who will listen. With members like Caroline, this Society’s future is assured. RIDING ON A BLACKPOOL TRAM Once again members were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Blackpool promenade when on Sunday they travelled for one hour on the Blackpool tram network. Unfortunately the George Formby tram is undergoing maintenance work but a similar open-top tram was available and all enjoyed the experience. The tram is proving to be a popular exercise and I feel sure that this will be repeated in the near future. SOMEBODY’S WEDDING DAY The final event I wish to note, actually occurred on Friday afternoon when Cathy Darlington and Kevin Staniland committed themselves to each other with a quiet marriage ceremony within The Imperial Hotel. This has to be the best kept secret within the GFS for the last few months as only the happy couple and their friends (and witnesses) Debbie and Dennis Lee and Kathryn and Peter Pollard were in on the secret. This lovely couple are finally as one and two nicer people you could not wish to meet. Not wishing to create any fuss, they quietly got on with the ceremony and then a happy celebration occurred in the Imperial bar. On behalf of all their many friends, I wish them all the very best for the future, it was a pleasure and a privilege to play a small part in this romantic Friday afternoon. NOTABLE ABSENTEES The rest of the weekend was made up of various GFS members entertaining in the usual way but notable absentees were Jon and Pam Baddeley and Alex and Kitty Barrett. Both these couples rarely miss the Blackpool conventions but Jon and Pam and Alex and Kitty were unable to make the trip for unavoidable reasons and we wish them all the best and hope that they are with us in September. The Lancastrian Suite is a large room but was quite full for most of the weekend, many new faces suggests that the membership of the Society is on the increase. Both films were well attended and the whole weekend was full of activities and memories. Andy Poppleton ran two Beginners Classes and Daz Barry organised a “Up and Comers” event. Many people worked hard throughout the weekend to ensure that it all worked well, the shop ladies, the sound people and the concert organisers all work behind the scenes and are all volunteers. Attending a Blackpool convention can be a tiring exercise in many ways, but it is always a pleasure to be there. Something always turns up to make the weekend special, the June weekend was full of special events and memories and was a real pleasure to be there, those who were there will surely agree and those who missed it, make sure you get to the September meeting. Peter Pollard  
He truly put his heart and soul into his hobby
He only missed one meeting in 38 years
JUNE 2017
Farewell to Alan Southworth
A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE I come away from every GFS convention with memories (mostly happy ones) and have been doing so since joining in 1991. In that time I have found many new friends and over that time the GFS has become (after my loved ones), the biggest part of my life. Sunday afternoon for me was one the most memorable of all the conventions that I have attended. The GFS paid a wonderful tribute to the brilliant Alan Southworth. Selected players performed in front of Alan’s wife Hilda and her family. The songs they sang were all selected by Hilda and the players who performed them were the best that the GFS could call on and all gave outstanding performances. The best performance was from Jill Richardson, Alan’s daughter. Jill came on to the stage at the end of the concert and although unfamiliar with all that her dad had been so comfortable with, she spoke with love and sincerity about her father. You could have heard a pin drop within the Lancastrian Suite. It is never easy to get on that stage in front of a large audience with cameras flashing all over the place, but Jill did her dad proud. The players all knew Alan of course and Gerry Mawdsley, John Walley and Dennis Lee all shared nice memories of one of the most iconic members in GFS history. All in all, a very special concert for a very special man who has left us so many memories, not only of his wonderful playing skills and his knowledge of Formby, but also his constant support  of the GFS and its members, his input in The Vellum (which goes right back to the day he started in 1971) and his total love and dedication to all things Formby. MITCHELL MONARCHS Another nice memory for me was a stage full of players singing Chinese Laundry Blues and Leaning On A Lamp Post on instruments all made by Dennis Mitchell. What made this event far more significant was that Dennis Mitchell was in attendance as a totally unsuspecting member of the audience. Dennis was delighted that his work was celebrated in this way. He made forty instruments over a period of years and Caroline Stewart managed to get eleven of those lucky owners on stage to serenade the creator of the Mitchell Monarch. This very nice idea was the brain child of GFS President Gerry Mawdsley and was organised by Caroline, they both deserve our thanks for the work on this project, it is nice moments like these that take a convention to a higher level. CAROLINE STEWART The aforementioned Caroline Stewart was in the limelight again when she presented a cheque for £2108.25 to Andy Clarke of Prostate Cancer UK. These vital funds were realised when Caroline staged her Goathland George Formby Day recently in the memory of Alan Kershaw. Caroline has only been a member of the GFS since 2011 but has embraced the Society in the most dedicated fashion and has worked so hard on many tasks since she entered into GFS life. Even in her remote but beautiful part of North Yorkshire, Caroline still works to spread the word of Formby to all who will listen. With members like Caroline, this Society’s future is assured. RIDING ON A BLACKPOOL TRAM Once again members were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Blackpool promenade when on Sunday they travelled for one hour on the Blackpool tram network. Unfortunately the George Formby tram is undergoing maintenance work but a similar open-top tram was available and all enjoyed the experience. The tram is proving to be a popular exercise and I feel sure that this will be repeated in the near future. SOMEBODY’S WEDDING DAY The final event I wish to note, actually occurred on Friday afternoon when Cathy Darlington and Kevin Staniland committed themselves to each other with a quiet marriage ceremony within The Imperial Hotel. This has to be the best kept secret within the GFS for the last few months as only the happy couple and their friends (and witnesses) Debbie and Dennis Lee and Kathryn and Peter Pollard were in on the secret. This lovely couple are finally as one and two nicer people you could not wish to meet. Not wishing to create any fuss, they quietly got on with the ceremony and then a happy celebration occurred in the Imperial bar. On behalf of all their many friends, I wish them all the very best for the future, it was a pleasure and a privilege to play a small part in this romantic Friday afternoon. NOTABLE ABSENTEES The rest of the weekend was made up of various GFS members entertaining in the usual way but notable absentees were Jon and Pam Baddeley and Alex and Kitty Barrett. Both these couples rarely miss the Blackpool conventions but Jon and Pam and Alex and Kitty were unable to make the trip for unavoidable reasons and we wish them all the best and hope that they are with us in September. The Lancastrian Suite is a large room but was quite full for most of the weekend, many new faces suggests that the membership of the Society is on the increase. Both films were well attended and the whole weekend was full of activities and memories. Andy Poppleton ran two Beginners Classes and Daz Barry organised a “Up and Comers” event. Many people worked hard throughout the weekend to ensure that it all worked well, the shop ladies, the sound people and the concert organisers all work behind the scenes and are all volunteers. Attending a Blackpool convention can be a tiring exercise in many ways, but it is always a pleasure to be there. Something always turns up to make the weekend special, the June weekend was full of special events and memories and was a real pleasure to be there, those who were there will surely agree and those who missed it, make sure you get to the September meeting. Peter Pollard  
He only missed one meeting in 38 years
He truly put his heart and soul into his hobby