It was glorious weather at Blackpool - warm and dry with a mill-pond
sea. But the warmth of the greetings between members outshone the sun
as they met for The September Convention.
This was as usual, a swinging event with a reasonable gathering of people.
Some traveled from Canada, Sweden and Holland to be with us in the refurbished
In the past, we have had sound problems in this huge, high-ceilinged room
but the owners have fitted an all-round-the-room mic system and the result
was a perfect balance between band and performer.
There was fresh paint and decoration to be seen so it looks like there
is a future for the Winter Gardens which is good news for the GFS.
The 41st Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday 15 September. The meeting
was short - consisting only of the reading of last year's minutes, the
treasurers report and the re-election of the same committee members. The
two vacant positions were not filled which was especially disappointing.
The highlight of the weekend was the presentation of a certificate to
our new Patron of the Society - George's brother Ted who attended the
meeting with his wife Win and their close friend Bill Pennington.
The concerts were a delightful mix of first-time efforts, solid entertainment
and sheer brilliance. They were compered this time by Jon Baddeley, Neville
Roe, Alan Chenery and John Walley. They were perfectly organised by Dennis
Mitchell who is retiring from this job after the next convention. He will
be a hard act to follow.
It was nice to see Cliff Royle and Geoff Shone from the N Wales Branch,
and Jonas Svensson and Janet Grootnoonk from Sweden. Janet sang Dark Town
Strutter's Ball and Take Your Pick.
Mike Kitts was back in The Dickie Speake Big Band and Chris Weightman
stood in for a session on bass guitar to enable our busy editor Tony Thornton
to get his interviews and pictures.
Another high spot was the raffle draw for the Mitchell Monarch Uke that
was won by Linda Davies from Leicester.
It is interesting to note that, of the four Grand Draw raffles we have
organised, lady members have won three!
Financially, the uke draw was a big success and raised £900 for
the society funds. Not to be overshadowed by this, Kitty Barrett raised
£90 with her ever reliable raffle.