grosmont george formby day
2013: Small venue, big on friendship
The venue Grosmont Crossing Club is quite small. In fact it’s tiny but we managed to squeeze in everyone and their ukes and it was fantastic to see some of the Eskuleles, most of whom have only being playing a matter of weeks, chatting with the GFS members and being given the obligatory Split Stroke tutorial. As you would imagine, a little place like Grosmont attracts a few characters and the star of the day was Jimmy. Well known locally as a guitarist, MC with an eye for the ladies he came in barefoot as usual, clutching two old banjo ukes that had perhaps seen better days but like most of us, just needed a bit of TLC! He was desperate to learn to play like Formby and went away clutching a piece of paper with DDUDD written on it. The Afternoon concert The afternoon concert kicked off at 3:15pm with a thrash much to the delight of those new to Formby. It was a very steep learning curve for me having never been an MC before but I was ably assisted and advised by Peter Pollard and Ian Walker. We had wonderful performances from those two and from Lawrie Tawn whose Yorkshireman song went down a treat. Andy Poppleton was as reliable as ever as a straight man for Lionel who completely stole the show and all our hearts. Paul Culkin wowed us all with his comical compositions, beautiful playing and that lovely voice that would give Bud Flanagan a run for his money.
More performances In between the Formby exponents we had performances from yours truly, Jimmy No Shoes (see above), Michael Maynard a former member of the GFS, Simon Brown (SDUE and GFS). The Eskuleles brought a contingent of about a dozen. They meet every week about 10 miles from Grosmont and have only been playing together for a couple of months. A few weeks ago I contacted them about the Formby Day and offered to go along and see them. I took my UB2 and UB3 and talked to them about George, about the banjo uke and about our beloved Society. The upshot of my visit was that they decided to learn Lamppost and come along to Grosmont. What they hadn’t banked on was getting ‘top billing’ on the posters which pushed them into their first ever public performance but they coped admirably opening and closing the afternoon show. Miles and Dave of the Eskuleles also did great solo spots giving the afternoon a wonderful mixture of styles and music. The Evening After a break to stretch the legs and have some sustenance we had another show in the evening. This time there were a few bemused volunteers from the NYMR stood at the bar watching. There were more duets and the Formby boys did us proud. We wound up the evening concert around 9:30pm as several people were traveling back to West Yorkshire. Those who stayed over were rewarded with a trip to one of the best kept secrets in North Yorkshire on the Sunday afternoon. We took the train from Grosmont to Goathland (unfortunately hauled by diesel as most of the steam locos were under repair) and then walked down the old rail trail to the pub at Beck Hole. The afternoon passed very pleasantly drinking
real ale and taking turns to pass round a uke and sing a song much to the delight of the other drinkers. All in all it was a wonderful weekend. Thanks to everyone who came along to support the event. We hope to do it again in the autumn…..weather permitting! Caroline Robson My personal thoughts It was a really nice weekend, just about 80 miles from home brought us to Gosmont for our first ever visit - been to Whitby many times but never to this lovely little place not 10 miles from the more famous neighbour. We had decided to stay the night and had booked in to The Geal Gallery which is not only a art gallery/shop, but is also a cafe and of course and b&b. It is right next door to the Crossing Club so we put our cases down and were playing ukuleles within minutes of our arrival! Our accommodation was first class, really nice and if you are visiting this area, I can only say that we couldn't fault either the accommodation or the hospitality. Enjoyable event The event itself was very enjoyable, the room is very small so is limited to who can attend but the mix of players was really good and everybody got on very well together. Because we stayed overnight, we had the chance to view the Goths in Whitby's Gothic Weekend and then to sample the beer in Caroline's favourite pub in Beck Hole. Also a ride on a train (unfortunately not steam - but maybe next time) and we had a lovely walk from the pub back to Grosmont before leaving for home. All in all, we had a great time and will certainly be back for future events. Peter Pollard
Grosmont Grosmont is a small village near Whitby in North Yorkshire. It has one pub, a private members club, the oldest independent Co-Operative in Britain, a railway station and is home to the Motive Power Department (engine sheds) of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Other than a few B&B’s, some nice tea rooms and a big hill whichever way you drive, that is just about all there is in Grosmont. Back in January a few hardy ukulele players struggled through deep snow into the village for the first ever George Formby day. Most people sensibly stayed at home as Britain ground to a halt due to the severe weather. Despite the low numbers we had a great day so undeterred, we decided to have another go in April when we hoped the weather would have improved. There was no snow but the temperatures were still pretty low.  That wasn’t enough to stop ukulele players from across all parts of Yorkshire and the North East congregating in Grosmont Crossing Club. It was billed as a George Formby day but players from various ukulele clubs came along too. There were representatives from our very own George Formby Society, The Stockton to Darlington Ukulele Express (SDUE), The Hartlepool Ukulele Group (HUGS) and the newly formed local group, The Eskuleles as well as a few ‘independents’!
Goathland 2016 Goathland 2016 Grosmont 2014 Grosmont 2014
Grosmont Grosmont is a small village near Whitby in North Yorkshire. It has one pub, a private members club, the oldest independent Co-Operative in Britain, a railway station and is home to the Motive Power Department (engine sheds) of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Other than a few B&B’s, some nice tea rooms and a big hill whichever way you drive, that is just about all there is in Grosmont. Back in January a few hardy ukulele players struggled through deep snow into the village for the first ever George Formby day. Most people sensibly stayed at home as Britain ground to a halt due to the severe weather. Despite the low numbers we had a great day so undeterred, we decided to have another go in April when we hoped the weather would have improved. There was no snow but the temperatures were still pretty low.  That wasn’t enough to stop ukulele players from across all parts of Yorkshire and the North East congregating in Grosmont Crossing Club. It was billed as a George Formby day but players from various ukulele clubs came along too. There were representatives from our very own George Formby Society, The Stockton to Darlington Ukulele Express  (SDUE), The Hartlepool Ukulele Group (HUGS) and the newly formed local group, The Eskuleles as well as a few ‘independents’! The venue Grosmont Crossing Club is quite small. In fact it’s tiny but we managed to squeeze in everyone and their ukes and it was fantastic to see some of the Eskuleles, most of whom have only being playing a matter of weeks, chatting with the GFS members and being given the obligatory Split Stroke tutorial. As you would imagine, a little place like Grosmont attracts a few characters and the star of the day was Jimmy. Well known locally as a guitarist, MC with an eye for the ladies he came in barefoot as usual, clutching two old banjo ukes that had perhaps seen better days but like most of us, just needed a bit of TLC! He was desperate to learn to play like Formby and went away clutching a piece of paper with DDUDD written on it. The Afternoon concert The afternoon concert kicked off at 3:15pm with a thrash much to the delight of those new to Formby. It was a very steep learning curve for me having never been an MC before but I was ably assisted and advised by Peter Pollard and Ian Walker. We had wonderful performances from those two and from Lawrie Tawn whose Yorkshireman song went down a treat. Andy Poppleton was as reliable as ever as a straight man for Lionel who completely stole the show and all our hearts. Paul Culkin wowed us all with his comical compositions, beautiful playing and that lovely voice that would give Bud Flanagan a run for his money. More performances In between the Formby exponents we had performances from yours truly, Jimmy No Shoes (see above), Michael Maynard a former member of the GFS, Simon Brown (SDUE and GFS). The Eskuleles brought a contingent of about a dozen. They meet every week about 10 miles from Grosmont and have only been playing together for a couple of months. A few weeks ago I contacted them about the Formby Day and offered to go along and see them. I took my UB2 and UB3 and talked to them about George, about the banjo uke and about our beloved Society. The upshot of my visit was that they decided to learn Lamppost and come along to Grosmont. What they hadn’t banked on was getting ‘top billing’ on the posters which pushed them into their first ever public performance but they coped admirably opening and closing the afternoon show. Miles and Dave of the Eskuleles also did great solo spots giving the afternoon a wonderful mixture of styles and music. The Evening After a break to stretch the legs and have some sustenance we had another show in the evening. This time there were a few bemused volunteers from the NYMR stood at the bar watching. There were more duets and the Formby boys did us proud. We wound up the evening concert around 9:30pm as several people were traveling back to West Yorkshire. Those who stayed over were rewarded with a trip to one of the best kept secrets in North Yorkshire on the Sunday afternoon. We took the train from Grosmont to Goathland (unfortunately hauled by diesel as most of the steam locos were under repair) and then walked down the old rail trail to the pub at Beck Hole. The afternoon passed very pleasantly drinking real ale and taking turns to pass round a uke and sing a song much to the delight of the other drinkers. All in all it was a wonderful weekend. Thanks to everyone who came along to support the event. We hope to do it again in the autumn…..weather permitting! Caroline Robson My personal thoughts It was a really nice weekend, just about 80 miles from home brought us to Gosmont for our first ever visit - been to Whitby many times but never to this lovely little place not 10 miles from the more famous neighbour. We had decided to stay the night and had booked in to The Geal Gallery which is not only a art gallery/shop, but is also a cafe and of course and b&b. It is right next door to the Crossing Club so we put our cases down and were playing ukuleles within minutes of our arrival! Our accommodation was first class, really nice and if you are visiting this area, I can only say that we couldn't fault either the accommodation or the hospitality. Enjoyable event The event itself was very enjoyable, the room is very small so is limited to who can attend but the mix of players was really good and everybody got on very well together. Because we stayed overnight, we had the chance to view the Goths in Whitby's Gothic Weekend and then to sample the beer in Caroline's favourite pub in Beck Hole. Also a ride on a train (unfortunately not steam - but maybe next time) and we had a lovely walk from the pub back to Grosmont before leaving for home. All in all, we had a great time and will certainly be back for future events. Peter Pollard
grosmont 2013 Formby day
Goathland 2016 Goathland 2016 Grosmont 2014 Grosmont 2014