THE NEXT CONVENTION TAKES PLACE ON 18/19 NOVEMBER 2017
september 2017
Memories and presentations
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE This convention was special (they all are for some reason or other), but this one was particularly so both for myself and my wife Kathryn as we attended our last annual general meeting before stepping down from the committee table for the very last time. Having joined the committee in 1995, there have been many changes to the GFS and I am proud to have done whatever I could to help fellow committee members to help to run the Society for the benefit of one and all. One of those fellow committee members was of course Kathryn who joined the committee in 2001 and has completed a sixteen year term. We shall obviously miss attending the four quarterly meetings in Wigan but if I am totally honest, my hearing is now so bad that it was virtually a waste of time for me to go as I could hear very little of the day’s proceedings. Kathryn of course did not want to go on without me so we came very reluctantly to the decision to retire. The one sadness that we both have is that we are leaving three empty chairs and the committee will now be reduced from eleven members to eight. Whilst there was interest in filling the role of Vice President from existing committee members, unfortunately no member felt the need to submit their name to join up. NEAR TO CAPACITY AUDIENCE The weekend took off with a near to capacity attendance on Saturday morning within the Lancastrian Suite of The Imperial Hotel with members coming from all over the UK and also from Spain, the USA and Canada. Forgive me if I have missed any other countries. MC for the afternoon, Daz Barry opened the meeting with a rendition of “Fanlight Fanny” and was then followed by many other members both male and female, all wishing to give their best rendering of the many George Formby songs - and a few alternative choices as well. THE GFS SHOP Our shop was kept busy throughout the weekend with Kathryn, Dolwyn Shone and Pat Taylor looking after a stream of customers. This was supposed to be the last meeting at which the shop would be in attendance as it was intended to concentrate on internet sales only after this weekend. There has however been a rethink and we will now continue for as long as we are able, to be in Blackpool at each convention. The table for the GFS Raffle for 2018 was also kept busy with Dolwyn, Kathryn and Vivien Mawdsley sharing duties. STAGE LIGHTING One problem this weekend was that the people who erect the stage lighting arrived to install it on Friday afternoon, long before anyone from the committee could be there to direct them and they erected the lighting but did not test it, resulting in the people watching the concerts in the rear seats probably gaining a nice suntan from the warm radiation that was trained on them instead of on the performers on stage! This will be sorted out in November for sure as Gerry Mawdsley has already been in contact with the lighting company to express his displeasure. UNEXPECTED PRESENTATION On Saturday evening just before Gerry’s famed auction and Kitty Barrett’s long running raffle took place, a special presentation from the committee and members to myself and Kathryn took place when Gerry invited us to the stage and presented us with two lovely inscribed glasses, a nice bottle of gin and some lovely flowers to mark our retirement the following day from the committee. I can tell you that both Kathryn and myself had no idea that this would take place and we were both quite overwhelmed by this event and the warm applause from the audience. Gerry was assisted by his wife Vivien and our chairman Caroline Stewart and our sincere thanks go to the three of them, the rest of the committee and the membership for recognising the work we have done over the years. THE FIFTY SIXTH AGM On Sunday morning the AGM commenced promptly as 10:30 with a good attendance of approximately 150 members in the room. Once the doors were closed, secretary Vivien Mawdsley read the minutes of the 2016 meeting and reports were received from treasurer Andrew Gatherer and president Gerry Mawdsley who also at the end of his address, read out the names of all those members who had passed away over the last year and then requested a minute’s silence which was (as usual) respectfully held. The committee was then asked to stand down so that the new committee could be formed for 2017 - 2018 but before this happened, Gerry Mawdsley requested the whole room to give a standing ovation for Kathryn and myself as this would be the last moment of our committee lives. The whole room stood and gave us very warm applause and I can honestly say that both Kathryn and I had tears in our eyes. Of all the special moments that we have enjoyed within our Society, this must rank with the best of them. A vote was taken to elect a new vice-president and three candidates had been nominated for the position.  Andy Poppleton was the successful candidate. Congratulations go to Andy who has already made his mark with the GFS with his ukulele beginners classes at every convention and the fact that he single handedly kept the ailing Sheffield branch going for eighteen months before it transferred to a new venue under the name of The South Yorkshire branch. He also started and still runs the highly successful Castleford branch. Having held the title of vice-president myself for the last sixteen years, I would like to wish Andy all the best in his new role and know that whatever role Andy Poppleton holds, he will always do his best to ensure that the GFS remains healthy and successful. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR The weather in Blackpool was really nice with a lovely blue sky and nice warm sunshine throughout the weekend. Rarely are we ever troubled about the weather as we are all involved within the Imperial for most of the weekend but one breath of fresh air that breezed in to the room on Sunday afternoon to make his first appearance was 16-year old Courtney Razavi Rezvani who took to the stage for the very first time to sing “Swimmin With The Wimmin” and then “You Don’t Need A License For That”. Courtney definitely had no stage fright and entertained the GFS audience as if he had been doing it for years! Courtney managed two further appearances before the end of the day and loved the whole Formby experience. GFS founder member, John Walley who has obviously seen just about all that there is to see at a GFS convention, took the trouble to single Courtney out to praise him for his talent and confidence whilst on stage. This is one young man who I feel sure will be with us for a very long time. THE BEST TONIC At the close of the weekend late on Sunday night, the room was still buzzing almost on the stroke of midnight with friends expressing their enjoyment of a great weekend and all looking forward to doing it again in November when we are all back again for another huge dose of Formby medicine, the best tonic I can think of to cure all ailments!
september 2017
Memories and presentations
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE This convention was special (they all are for some reason or other), but this one was particularly so both for myself and my wife Kathryn as we attended our last annual general meeting before stepping down from the committee table for the very last time. Having joined the committee in 1995, there have been many changes to the GFS and I am proud to have done whatever I could to help fellow committee members to help to run the Society for the benefit of one and all. One of those fellow committee members was of course Kathryn who joined the committee in 2001 and has completed a sixteen year term. We shall obviously miss attending the four quarterly meetings in Wigan but if I am totally honest, my hearing is now so bad that it was virtually a waste of time for me to go as I could hear very little of the day’s proceedings. Kathryn of course did not want to go on without me so we came very reluctantly to the decision to retire. The one sadness that we both have is that we are leaving three empty chairs and the committee will now be reduced from eleven members to eight. Whilst there was interest in filling the role of Vice President from existing committee members, unfortunately no member felt the need to submit their name to join up. NEAR TO CAPACITY AUDIENCE The weekend took off with a near to capacity attendance on Saturday morning within the Lancastrian Suite of The Imperial Hotel with members coming from all over the UK and also from Spain, the USA and Canada. Forgive me if I have missed any other countries. MC for the afternoon, Daz Barry opened the meeting with a rendition of “Fanlight Fanny” and was then followed by many other members both male and female, all wishing to give their best rendering of the many George Formby songs - and a few alternative choices as well. THE GFS SHOP Our shop was kept busy throughout the weekend with Kathryn, Dolwyn Shone and Pat Taylor looking after a stream of customers. This was supposed to be the last meeting at which the shop would be in attendance as it was intended to concentrate on internet sales only after this weekend. There has however been a rethink and we will now continue for as long as we are able, to be in Blackpool at each convention. The table for the GFS Raffle for 2018 was also kept busy with Dolwyn, Kathryn and Vivien Mawdsley sharing duties. STAGE LIGHTING One problem this weekend was that the people who erect the stage lighting arrived to install it on Friday afternoon, long before anyone from the committee could be there to direct them and they erected the lighting but did not test it, resulting in the people watching the concerts in the rear seats probably gaining a nice suntan from the warm radiation that was trained on them instead of on the performers on stage! This will be sorted out in November for sure as Gerry Mawdsley has already been in contact with the lighting company to express his displeasure. UNEXPECTED PRESENTATION On Saturday evening just before Gerry’s famed auction and Kitty Barrett’s long running raffle took place, a special presentation from the committee and members to myself and Kathryn took place when Gerry invited us to the stage and presented us with two lovely inscribed glasses, a nice bottle of gin and some lovely flowers to mark our retirement the following day from the committee. I can tell you that both Kathryn and myself had no idea that this would take place and we were both quite overwhelmed by this event and the warm applause from the audience. Gerry was assisted by his wife Vivien and our chairman Caroline Stewart and our sincere thanks go to the three of them, the rest of the committee and the membership for recognising the work we have done over the years. THE FIFTY SIXTH AGM On Sunday morning the AGM commenced promptly as 10:30 with a good attendance of approximately 150 members in the room. Once the doors were closed, secretary Vivien Mawdsley read the minutes of the 2016 meeting and reports were received from treasurer Andrew Gatherer and president Gerry Mawdsley who also at the end of his address, read out the names of all those members who had passed away over the last year and then requested a minute’s silence which was (as usual) respectfully held. The committee was then asked to stand down so that the new committee could be formed for 2017 - 2018 but before this happened, Gerry Mawdsley requested the whole room to give a standing ovation for Kathryn and myself as this would be the last moment of our committee lives. The whole room stood and gave us very warm applause and I can honestly say that both Kathryn and I had tears in our eyes. Of all the special moments that we have enjoyed within our Society, this must rank with the best of them. A vote was taken to elect a new vice-president and three candidates had been nominated for the position.  Andy Poppleton was the successful candidate. Congratulations go to Andy who has already made his mark with the GFS with his ukulele beginners classes at every convention and the fact that he single handedly kept the ailing Sheffield branch going for eighteen months before it transferred to a new venue under the name of The South Yorkshire branch. He also started and still runs the highly successful Castleford branch. Having held the title of vice-president myself for the last sixteen years, I would like to wish Andy all the best in his new role and know that whatever role Andy Poppleton holds, he will always do his best to ensure that the GFS remains healthy and successful. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR The weather in Blackpool was really nice with a lovely blue sky and nice warm sunshine throughout the weekend. Rarely are we ever troubled about the weather as we are all involved within the Imperial for most of the weekend but one breath of fresh air that breezed in to the room on Sunday afternoon to make his first appearance was 16-year old Courtney Razavi Rezvani who took to the stage for the very first time to sing “Swimmin With The Wimmin” and then “You Don’t Need A License For That”. Courtney definitely had no stage fright and entertained the GFS audience as if he had been doing it for years! Courtney managed two further appearances before the end of the day and loved the whole Formby experience. GFS founder member, John Walley who has obviously seen just about all that there is to see at a GFS convention, took the trouble to single Courtney out to praise him for his talent and confidence whilst on stage. This is one young man who I feel sure will be with us for a very long time. THE BEST TONIC At the close of the weekend late on Sunday night, the room was still buzzing almost on the stroke of midnight with friends expressing their enjoyment of a great weekend and all looking forward to doing it again in November when we are all back again for another huge dose of Formby medicine, the best tonic I can think of to cure all ailments!
THE NEXT CONVENTION TAKES PLACE ON 18/19 NOVEMBER 2017