March 2017
A Joyous Affair

Eagerly anticipated first meeting

The first convention of the new year is always eagerly anticipated. With such a long time between November and March and it being that dark, gloomy time of year when we are desperate to get together for another Blackpool weekend.   This Spring convention was a joyous affair but as is life, it was tinged with sadness as we lost our dear friend Trevor Alder just two days before. We missed the presence of Honorary member Alan Southworth and his wife Hilda. Alan isn’t too well at the minute and this was only the second convention he’s missed since becoming a member. Best wishes to him and also to Pat Taylor who is still recovering from the effects of her car crash last year. Get well soon Pat.

Many new faces

Despite being quiet early on, the Lancastrian suite steadily filled up and many new faces were spotted. We love to see new members so we started off the day by getting all our Blackpool first timers up to the stage for a photograph to welcome them to the Society. The afternoon went well with lots of players, old and new. It was great to see Alf and Jean Harper join us from London. Alf needs oxygen so we reserved seats near the front so he could set up his medical equipment. I know that they thoroughly enjoyed their weekend and it was one of the highlights of mine to see them. But only one of the highlights!

A special birthday

Saturday was also a very special birthday for Kathryn Pollard though Kathryn being Kathryn, she worked just as hard as she normally does, running the shop with the help of her loyal assistants. She was surprised to receive so many cards and gifts from friends who just happened to find out it was her birthday. Wonder who told them…? 

Sean Moyses

Another highlight was the appearance of Sean Moyses and his plectrum banjo. He first of all entertained us with a great version of TT Races then produced a beautiful vintage banjo, formerly owned by Eddie Peabody, and wowed the audience so much they demanded an encore. He duly performed Tiger Rag and even our maestro Matthew Richards had to work hard to keep up – but of course he did! Well done to every single one of our band members. To perform with a band behind you is a real privilege. The auction and raffle was the usual chaotic, fun filled affair. Gerry managed to auction an extremely rare LP and then produced not one, but two more copies and flogged them both as well. Goodness knows how he gets away with it! The raffle raises much needed funds for the Society and Kitty and her team deserve a big thank you as do all of our members who donate prizes and buy tickets. The infamous GFS Long Suffering Husbands Support Group decided to mark International Women’s Day by creating the Long Suffering Wives Support Group and making Jeanette Austin the Chairman, Secretary and President! Our hard working photographer Gill Walley made discreet enquiries regarding membership but it is rumoured that John found out and put his foot down!

Formby memorabilia on show

Sunday saw a real surprise when Mr Whitehead brought along a few items from the Alan Randall collection. The collection includes many items owned by George and Beryl and he brought along three gems for us to look at; a gold engraved cigarette case presented to The Formbys during their tour of Canada, George’s O.B.E. medal and George’s Dallas E, the first one ever made. Mr Whitehead very kindly allowed members to look at and handle these gems and the excitement in the room was palpable! John Croft also brought along one of George’s Gibson UB2 ukuleles so it was definitely a treat for us Formby purists.

Sunday evening

The Sunday evening concert is always a fun affair with a great mixture of music and there were some great performances by our London members Ray, Johnny and Gladys (with a rare appearance on stage from Mike O’Dwyer). It was a cracking start to the year and thanks to all our volunteers of whom there are too many to mention, but you all know who you are and your contribution is greatly appreciated. Roll on June. Caroline Stewart - GFS Chairman
The George Formby Fan Club Alf Harper is one of a rare breed! He was actually a member of the first George Formby Fan Club which ran in the the late 30’s and closed around 1946. Alf tells me that to mark the closing of the club, George Formby performed for the members at the London Palladium in a free concert.
A Joyous Affair

Eagerly anticipated first meeting

The first convention of the new year is always eagerly anticipated. With such a long time between November and March and it being that dark, gloomy time of year when we are desperate to get together for another Blackpool weekend. This Spring convention was a joyous affair but as is life, it was tinged with sadness as we lost our dear friend Trevor Alder just two days before. We missed the presence of Honorary member Alan Southworth and his wife Hilda. Alan isn’t too well at the minute and this was only the second convention he’s missed since becoming a member. Best wishes to him and also to Pat Taylor who is still recovering from the effects of her car crash last year. Get well soon Pat.

Many new faces

Despite being quiet early on, the Lancastrian suite steadily filled up and many new faces were spotted. We love to see new members so we started off the day by getting all our Blackpool first timers up to the stage for a photograph to welcome them to the Society. The afternoon went well with lots of players, old and new. It was great to see Alf and Jean Harper join us from London. Alf needs oxygen so we reserved seats near the front so he could set up his medical equipment. I know that they thoroughly enjoyed their weekend and it was one of the highlights of mine to see them. But only one of the highlights!

A special birthday

Saturday was also a very special birthday for Kathryn Pollard though Kathryn being Kathryn, she worked just as hard as she normally does, running the shop with the help of her loyal assistants. She was surprised to receive so many cards and gifts from friends who just happened to find out it was her birthday. Wonder who told them…? 

Sean Moyses

Another highlight was the appearance of Sean Moyses and his plectrum banjo. He first of all entertained us with a great version of TT Races then produced a beautiful vintage banjo, formerly owned by Eddie Peabody, and wowed the audience so much they demanded an encore. He duly performed Tiger Rag and even our maestro Matthew Richards had to work hard to keep up – but of course he did! Well done to every single one of our band members. To perform with a band behind you is a real privilege. The auction and raffle was the usual chaotic, fun filled affair. Gerry managed to auction an extremely rare LP and then produced not one, but two more copies and flogged them both as well. Goodness knows how he gets away with it! The raffle raises much needed funds for the Society and Kitty and her team deserve a big thank you as do all of our members who donate prizes and buy tickets. The infamous GFS Long Suffering Husbands Support Group decided to mark International Women’s Day by creating the Long Suffering Wives Support Group and making Jeanette Austin the Chairman, Secretary and President! Our hard working photographer Gill Walley made discreet enquiries regarding membership but it is rumoured that John found out and put his foot down!

Formby memorabilia on show

Sunday saw a real surprise when Mr Whitehead brought along a few items from the Alan Randall collection. The collection includes many items owned by George and Beryl and he brought along three gems for us to look at; a gold engraved cigarette case presented to The Formbys during their tour of Canada, George’s O.B.E. medal and George’s Dallas E, the first one ever made. Mr Whitehead very kindly allowed members to look at and handle these gems and the excitement in the room was palpable! John Croft also brought along one of George’s Gibson UB2 ukuleles so it was definitely a treat for us Formby purists.

Sunday evening

The Sunday evening concert is always a fun affair with a great mixture of music and there were some great performances by our London members Ray, Johnny and Gladys (with a rare appearance on stage from Mike O’Dwyer). It was a cracking start to the year and thanks to all our volunteers of whom there are too many to mention, but you all know who you are and your contribution is greatly appreciated. Roll on June. Caroline Stewart - GFS Chairman
The George Formby Fan Club Alf Harper is one of a rare breed! He was actually a member of the first George Formby Fan Club which ran in the the late 30’s and closed around 1946. Alf tells me that to mark the closing of the club, George Formby performed for the members at the London Palladium in a free concert.
March 2017