GFS September 2001

THE 40TH

The 40th Anniversary celebrations of the George Formby Society passed off on the weekend of 15/16 September, 2001, and were probably the most successful meeting in the Society's history. The usual venue at The Winter Gardens was unavailable for the first time in the 10 years that the Society has been using this facility. There were some initial fears that the 40th convention would lose something because of the unavoidable venue change, but the Anniversary Celebration at the Savoy Hotel couldn't have been better.

THE SAVOY

It was fitting that the function was held in the Savoy, only a stone's throw from the original venue, the Imperial Hotel. The ballroom of the Savoy was the place to be for this weekend. It was full to capacity throughout the two-day weekend event with a record attendance. In fact, it was reported that the Society Shop virtually sold out of stock on Saturday afternoon! The weekend was enhanced by the attendance of George Formby's younger brother, Ted, and his lovely wife, Win. This couple have been great friends of the GFS over the last few years and are always welcome guests at any of our functions.

THE MAYOR OF BLACKPOOL

We were also proud to welcome Billy 'Uke' Scott, legendary music-hall and radio artist from the 40's, 50's and 60's. Although he is now enjoying a well earned retirement, he took to the stage to entertain at a special Sunday afternoon concert. The Mayor of Blackpool, Counsellor Sue Wright, honoured us with her presence at the concert. She is a great friend of the Society and was obviously moved by the welcome and the entertainment she received. She responded by inviting the entire gathering to a civic reception and by presenting our President, Dennis Taylor, with a document signed by George and Beryl Formby which had been presented to them when they turned on the Blackpool Illuminations in 1953. This document will be placed in the Society's archives. The talented performances at any of the Blackpool conventions are always rather special, and this weekend proved once again that the George Formby Society can really put on a show! From Saturday lunch- time until 11:30 pm on Sunday, the talent was non-stop. In between, the members were entertained by films on both Saturday and Sunday. I am pleased to note that both films had a virtual 'full house.'

SUNDAY MORNING

On the Sunday morning, the 40th Annual General Meeting took place. After the retiring committee left the stage, the new committee for the forthcoming year was announced. Every name was received with great applause, especially when Dennis Taylor mounted the stage to assume the Presidential title for the 10th successive year, a remarkable achievement. Three of the original founder members were in attendance and were also received with thunderous applause: John Walley, Ray Bernard and David Hamar. Later that day a fourth founder member, Dennis Roberts joined the party.

FRANCES WINS THE UKULELE RAFFLE

The now-annual ukulele raffle was won this year by one of the Society's most popular members, Frances Terry, a lovely lady who attends all the conventions. Her luck was greeted with great enthusiasm by everyone. When Frances sings her songs, she is always appropriately costumed and displays great imagination. She brings the house down with her colourful performances.

ELEANOR MISSES OUT!

One person who sadly couldn't be with us was Eleanor Knowles Dugan. A good friend and great worker for the George Formby Society, Eleanor lives in San Francisco and had intended making the journey to Blackpool solely to experience the 40th. Sadly, because of the outrage which occurred in the USA just a few hours before her flight was due to take off, Eleanor was unable to make the trip though she tried hard to find alternate flights that would land in the UK as late as Saturday evening. Having experienced the enormous warmth of fellowship at all our conventions, I didn't think it possible that a Society gathering could rise to an even higher level. However, this meeting was a magnificent example of everything that the Society stands for. A marvellous and memorable weekend for all concerned. Peter Pollard
GFS September 2001

THE 40TH

The 40th Anniversary celebrations of the George Formby Society passed off on the weekend of 15/16 September, 2001, and were probably the most successful meeting in the Society's history. The usual venue at The Winter Gardens was unavailable for the first time in the 10 years that the Society has been using this facility. There were some initial fears that the 40th convention would lose something because of the unavoidable venue change, but the Anniversary Celebration at the Savoy Hotel couldn't have been better.

THE SAVOY

It was fitting that the function was held in the Savoy, only a stone's throw from the original venue, the Imperial Hotel. The ballroom of the Savoy was the place to be for this weekend. It was full to capacity throughout the two-day weekend event with a record attendance. In fact, it was reported that the Society Shop virtually sold out of stock on Saturday afternoon! The weekend was enhanced by the attendance of George Formby's younger brother, Ted, and his lovely wife, Win. This couple have been great friends of the GFS over the last few years and are always welcome guests at any of our functions.

THE MAYOR OF BLACKPOOL

We were also proud to welcome Billy 'Uke' Scott, legendary music-hall and radio artist from the 40's, 50's and 60's. Although he is now enjoying a well earned retirement, he took to the stage to entertain at a special Sunday afternoon concert. The Mayor of Blackpool, Counsellor Sue Wright, honoured us with her presence at the concert. She is a great friend of the Society and was obviously moved by the welcome and the entertainment she received. She responded by inviting the entire gathering to a civic reception and by presenting our President, Dennis Taylor, with a document signed by George and Beryl Formby which had been presented to them when they turned on the Blackpool Illuminations in 1953. This document will be placed in the Society's archives. The talented performances at any of the Blackpool conventions are always rather special, and this weekend proved once again that the George Formby Society can really put on a show! From Saturday lunch-time until 11:30 pm on Sunday, the talent was non-stop. In between, the members were entertained by films on both Saturday and Sunday. I am pleased to note that both films had a virtual 'full house.'

SUNDAY MORNING

On the Sunday morning, the 40th Annual General Meeting took place. After the retiring committee left the stage, the new committee for the forthcoming year was announced. Every name was received with great applause, especially when Dennis Taylor mounted the stage to assume the Presidential title for the 10th successive year, a remarkable achievement. Three of the original founder members were in attendance and were also received with thunderous applause: John Walley, Ray Bernard and David Hamar. Later that day a fourth founder member, Dennis Roberts joined the party.

FRANCES WINS THE UKULELE RAFFLE

The now-annual ukulele raffle was won this year by one of the Society's most popular members, Frances Terry, a lovely lady who attends all the conventions. Her luck was greeted with great enthusiasm by everyone. When Frances sings her songs, she is always appropriately costumed and displays great imagination. She brings the house down with her colourful performances.

ELEANOR MISSES OUT!

One person who sadly couldn't be with us was Eleanor Knowles Dugan. A good friend and great worker for the George Formby Society, Eleanor lives in San Francisco and had intended making the journey to Blackpool solely to experience the 40th. Sadly, because of the outrage which occurred in the USA just a few hours before her flight was due to take off, Eleanor was unable to make the trip though she tried hard to find alternate flights that would land in the UK as late as Saturday evening. Having experienced the enormous warmth of fellowship at all our conventions, I didn't think it possible that a Society gathering could rise to an even higher level. However, this meeting was a magnificent example of everything that the Society stands for. A marvellous and memorable weekend for all concerned. Peter Pollard