Reproduced from the Lancashire Evening Post - December 4th 1999
Those who are not on the ‘Net’ might imagine that it’s full of gobbledygook, the latest fads and gadgets and lots of the very latest pop music. And they would be quite right.
There are many websites about new and exciting things – but there are plenty more about people and things that have stood the test of time.
Two Lancashire greats are now represented on the World Wide Web: Gracie Fields and George Formby.
A website dedicated to “Our Gracie” is the latest project from Fields fan Peter Hudson from Halifax. Peter met Gracie in 1973 in a chance encounter on the Isle of Capri and he remains one of her greatest fans. His personal collection of Gracie memorabilia includes more than 15,000 photographs, musical scores, letters and general items relating to his idol. He has also contributed to a permanent tribute to her life at the London Palladium. For the last seven years he has had many touring exhibitions about her life throughout the North of England and has published a book of photographs of Gracie. The site is a shrine to the Rochdale singer and actress who took the world by storm with a series of spirited songs and comic movies. Here you can read all about her life and work, and see many of Peter’s photographs.
It’s just Champion!

Meanwhile Wigan’s singing film star, George Formby, has not one but two web sites dedicated to him.

The best is the home site for the George Formby Society, which staged its annual convention at the Blackpool Winter Gardens last month.
Formed 38 years ago, the society is dedicated to keeping alive the memory and the music of George.
In its well laid out and richly illustrated pages you can find a biography of the man himself, reviews and pictures from all George’s films, a list of all his records, profiles of his leading ladies and goodies for sale, including a George Formby tankard for

Another site dedicated to the ukulele man is the George Formby Internet Information Service, run by George’s nephew, Jeff Formby, who lives in Milton Keynes. Jeff claims that his site is the only one to be constantly updated, but the information here is more sketchy that that at the GFS's site, and that one is updated too!

Many other performers of yesteryear can be found on the Net, from Music Hall greats to stars of radio and screen. And if your favourite is not already out there, you could always run your own tribute site!