June 2006

Another very pleasurable weekend in Blackpool attending the June convention and greeting friends old and new. One of the delights of sitting at the reception desk is that I get to meet many more people than I might normally and it is always nice chatting with like-minded souls.

Even though the weather was lovely outside, we had good attendances on both days and when I looked in at the cinema on Saturday evening there was an almost capacity audience enjoying “Get Cracking”. The quality of the DVD was really good, far better I suspect than the DVD discs that are on sale it seems all over Blackpool. Apparently you can purchase almost every Formby film from various outlets but all, I must emphasize are pirate discs with very questionable contents.

These reports are in a way not easy to compose because actually one convention is very like another but that is what we Formby fans like so why change it. The performers were all brilliant, I really enjoyed them all and the ones I really got enthusiastic about were Paul Kenny for is brilliant playing style, Martin Selman for sheer all-round entertainment, and a newcomer to the Blackpool stage, Jane Partington who played the wooden ukulele and sang two of Gracie Fields most famous songs and nearly raised the roof! I honestly thought that she might pop a couple of light bulbs with the range of her voice. Obviously she will very soon become one of the conventions favourites. There were of course many great performers but I thought that these three deserve a mention. The whole show is carefully put together by concert organiser Alan Chenery who works very hard and is never off his feet throughout Saturday and Sunday arranging the show and making sure everything functions just as it should do. The fact that Alan is hardly noticed confirms just what a magnificent job he does.

Loads of ukuleles for sale in the next room and some nice photographs of GF presented for display by Neil Forshaw who deserved a medal for sitting with me for the entire weekend helping me to cope with member’s subscriptions – thanks Neil.

A few brave friends managed to turn up in spite of suffering from very poor health problems and to them I applaud the most because they took the time and very great trouble to travel many miles to be with us, it just proves once again what a special place the Winter Gardens can be when special people attend a convention. They know who they are without me naming them but – well done lads and lasses, smashing to see you.

We now look forward to the big event in September when we celebrate the 45th anniversary convention.

Peter Pollard



Formby ladies enjoy a morning coffeeGlyn Mitchell, Neil Forshaw, Joe Brown and Dennis Mitchell (no relation)Ukulele ladies in ecstasy!Jane Partington - A brilliant Gracie FieldsMembers of the famous GFS 'thrash'John Taylor enjoys the evening.Founder member John WalleyMembers of the famous GFS 'thrash'Another "full house"Dale Norman drums & Chris Weightman plays bass.Emily Warren