September 2002

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 Spanish Hall.

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.


The Society Shop
Sam Heaney
Tony Thornton, Eve Stewart & John Walley
Ray Bernard & Bernard Young
Norman Faulkener
The Spanish Hall