June 2022

JUNE 2022

The fourth convention since the easing of the pandemic lock-down took place on the weekend of 25/26 June at the usual venue, The Imperial Hotel within the largest room, The Lancastrian Suite.

MEETING FRIENDS

One of the pleasures of attending the conventions is being able to greet friends from far-away places who you would not see in the course of your normal day. This was made more difficult this weekend because of the railway strike but one lady of senior years was with us for the first time since we resumed the meetings in September 2021. Jean Hubble, a member for over twenty years who would rarely miss a convention in "normal times", made the long journey from Suffolk to Blackpool. Jean, a lady of senior years, is exactly what the Society needs from its membership, determined to be in Blackpool to enjoy the weekend no matter what the cost. Johnny Key and Ray Reynolds travelled from London and again, would not be deterred by the rail strike. Also making the same long journey for their first time since the end of lockdown was Gladys Geoghegan, organiser of the London branch and partner Eric. It is always a nice surprise to see another very active senior member in Reg Goldsmith. 96-year-old Reg is still giving great performances from the stage and is still very active as branch organiser of the Essex branch. These good people together with so many other friends made over many years, were able once again, to enjoy the music and camaraderie that is always very evident in The George Formby Society.

ANDY OPENS THE MEETING

As usual, there is always plenty of entertainment on the stage from members of all levels of advancement. In other rooms instruments are for sale and there is tuition on how to play and how to present yourself when performing. GFS President Andy Poppleton opened the meeting on Saturday afternoon and Yorkshire's Daz Barry was first on stage to get the entertainment going. The band is always ready for any song that might come up and is always professional in all they do and certainly add that professionalism to the weekend's enjoyment.

SATURDAY EVENING

Saturday evening came and produced the best session of the whole weekend, created by Lewis Clifton and presented by his close friend Stuart Lowther. They managed to produce a top-class Platinum Jubilee Celebration Show, ably supported by the playing members. George Formby performed at two Royal Variety Command Performances and also visited the Royals to entertain privately. There is, however, only one known photograph of George with a member of The Royal Family and little is written about his association with them. Lewis Clifton still managed to come up with a whole evening of comments for his best pal Stuart Lowther to inform and entertain the audience with before introducing each performer. These two young men know exactly how to entertain the members and they both produced one of the more memorable Saturday evenings. They also encouraged members and performers to dress in "Royal Albert Hall" style and happily, many supported this idea. Maybe we should all take note and for Saturday evenings in the future, perhaps adopt this dress code as the norm? The fact that the members made the effort, certainly added to the entertainment value of the evening. Lowther and Clifton are what the GFS is all about these days and as they are both still in their early twenties, they can go on for years and years!

DENNIS LEE

Dennis Lee became the third member to be granted honorary membership status during Andy Poppleton's time as President. I have covered this well- deserved award on this page but would just like to express sincere congratulations to Dennis who has, throughout his GFS life, worked tirelessly in so many ways for the Society and its members.

GREAT PERFORMANCES

I never return home from a convention without some special memories of what happened over the weekend or perhaps what might have happened on stage. This weekend was no exception with brilliant performances from the aforementioned Lewis Clifton and Stuart Lowther, and the always very entertaining Pat and Geoff Silcock who can light up any room and lift the enjoyment level no matter what they play. The lovely Francesca and Catalina Davies are both great exponents of Formby material and also expert banjo-uke players. On Sunday afternoon they entranced the audience with their truly beautiful rendition of “In Apple Blossom Time” it was spellbinding and received resounding applause from the very appreciative members.

MANY MEMBERS ARRANGE THE MEETING

Whilst the committee will arrange the hire of the room for the conventions, they could not manage without help from volunteer members who are happy to be involved at various stages over the weekend. Daz Barry, Frances Lister, Stuart Lowther, Cathy Staniland and John Walley all took on the role of MC and Johnny Key was in charge of making sure the microphones were in the right place throughout the weekend. Also Cathy and Kevin Staniland expertly controlled the sound until Sunday evening when Steve and Su Langford took over. The cinema projector failed on Saturday but Stuart Boston was able to show from his streaming equipment, a colour version of Feather Your Nest. On Sunday, President Andy Poppleton and Stuart Boston travelled into Blackpool and bought a new projector. Unfortunately, it would not work with the hard drive that contains the films but thankfully I had a memory stick with me that was acceptable to the projector so Sunday's film was available to view. The GFS Shop was in its usual location, managed by Steve & Su Langford and assisted by Kathryn Pollard and Dolwyn Shone. I also wish to include here, Gill Walley who goes to great expense and effort to ensure that the members photographs are available at each convention for a small donation to the GFS and also for inclusion in our magazine.

THE BEEB SHOW UP

The BBC were in attendance on Sunday evening and will have recorded some of that concert. Knowing what the media are like, I doubt that it will be much but it is scheduled to be broadcast on Saturday 9th July at 11:45 am when "Tom Service visits Blackpool to find out about its rich musical heritage, including Wurlitzer organs, big bands, dance music and its thriving jazz scene. He also looks at music education and classical music provision in the area." I just hope that it will show the GFS in a good light!

THE NEXT MEETING

The financial recession is starting to affect people's spending habits. This weekend we had many empty seats although it improved on both Saturday and Sunday nights. We must hope that September will attract an increased attendance because it will be the most important meeting of the year with the AGM and committee elections.
TRUE HARMONY FROM THE LOVELY FRANCESCA AND CATALINA DAVIES
A WELL EARNED HONORARY MEMBERSHIP FOR DENNIS LEE
SATURDAY NIGHT’S ORGANISERS - LEWIS CLIFTON & STUART LOWTHER
EVERGREEN REG GOLDSMITH ON STAGE AT THE WEEKEND

JUNE 2022

The fourth convention since the easing of the pandemic lock-down took place on the weekend of 25/26 June at the usual venue, The Imperial Hotel within the largest room, The Lancastrian Suite.

MEETING FRIENDS

One of the pleasures of attending the conventions is being able to greet friends from far-away places who you would not see in the course of your normal day. This was made more difficult this weekend because of the railway strike but one lady of senior years was with us for the first time since we resumed the meetings in September 2021. Jean Hubble, a member for over twenty years who would rarely miss a convention in "normal times", made the long journey from Suffolk to Blackpool. Jean, a lady of senior years, is exactly what the Society needs from its membership, determined to be in Blackpool to enjoy the weekend no matter what the cost. Johnny Key and Ray Reynolds travelled from London and again, would not be deterred by the rail strike. Also making the same long journey for their first time since the end of lockdown was Gladys Geoghegan, organiser of the London branch and partner Eric. It is always a nice surprise to see another very active senior member in Reg Goldsmith. 96-year-old Reg is still giving great performances from the stage and is still very active as branch organiser of the Essex branch. These good people together with so many other friends made over many years, were able once again, to enjoy the music and camaraderie that is always very evident in The George Formby Society.

ANDY OPENS THE MEETING

As usual, there is always plenty of entertainment on the stage from members of all levels of advancement. In other rooms instruments are for sale and there is tuition on how to play and how to present yourself when performing. GFS President Andy Poppleton opened the meeting on Saturday afternoon and Yorkshire's Daz Barry was first on stage to get the entertainment going. The band is always ready for any song that might come up and is always professional in all they do and certainly add that professionalism to the weekend's enjoyment.

SATURDAY EVENING

Saturday evening came and produced the best session of the whole weekend, created by Lewis Clifton and presented by his close friend Stuart Lowther. They managed to produce a top-class Platinum Jubilee Celebration Show, ably supported by the playing members. George Formby performed at two Royal Variety Command Performances and also visited the Royals to entertain privately. There is, however, only one known photograph of George with a member of The Royal Family and little is written about his association with them. Lewis Clifton still managed to come up with a whole evening of comments for his best pal Stuart Lowther to inform and entertain the audience with before introducing each performer. These two young men know exactly how to entertain the members and they both produced one of the more memorable Saturday evenings. They also encouraged members and performers to dress in "Royal Albert Hall" style and happily, many supported this idea. Maybe we should all take note and for Saturday evenings in the future, perhaps adopt this dress code as the norm? The fact that the members made the effort, certainly added to the entertainment value of the evening. Lowther and Clifton are what the GFS is all about these days and as they are both still in their early twenties, they can go on for years and years!

DENNIS LEE

Dennis Lee became the third member to be granted honorary membership status during Andy Poppleton's time as President. I have covered this well-deserved award on this page but would just like to express sincere congratulations to Dennis who has, throughout his GFS life, worked tirelessly in so many ways for the Society and its members.

GREAT PERFORMANCES

I never return home from a convention without some special memories of what happened over the weekend or perhaps what might have happened on stage. This weekend was no exception with brilliant performances from the aforementioned Lewis Clifton and Stuart Lowther, and the always very entertaining Pat and Geoff Silcock who can light up any room and lift the enjoyment level no matter what they play. The lovely Francesca and Catalina Davies are both great exponents of Formby material and also expert banjo-uke players. On Sunday afternoon they entranced the audience with their truly beautiful rendition of “In Apple Blossom Time” it was spellbinding and received resounding applause from the very appreciative members.

MANY MEMBERS ARRANGE THE MEETING

Whilst the committee will arrange the hire of the room for the conventions, they could not manage without help from volunteer members who are happy to be involved at various stages over the weekend. Daz Barry, Frances Lister, Stuart Lowther, Cathy Staniland and John Walley all took on the role of MC and Johnny Key was in charge of making sure the microphones were in the right place throughout the weekend. Also Cathy and Kevin Staniland expertly controlled the sound until Sunday evening when Steve and Su Langford took over. The cinema projector failed on Saturday but Stuart Boston was able to show from his streaming equipment, a colour version of Feather Your Nest. On Sunday, President Andy Poppleton and Stuart Boston travelled into Blackpool and bought a new projector. Unfortunately, it would not work with the hard drive that contains the films but thankfully I had a memory stick with me that was acceptable to the projector so Sunday's film was available to view. The GFS Shop was in its usual location, managed by Steve & Su Langford and assisted by Kathryn Pollard and Dolwyn Shone. I also wish to include here, Gill Walley who goes to great expense and effort to ensure that the members photographs are available at each convention for a small donation to the GFS and also for inclusion in our magazine.

THE BEEB SHOW UP

The BBC were in attendance on Sunday evening and will have recorded some of that concert. Knowing what the media are like, I doubt that it will be much but it is scheduled to be broadcast on Saturday 9th July at 11:45 am when "Tom Service visits Blackpool to find out about its rich musical heritage, including Wurlitzer organs, big bands, dance music and its thriving jazz scene. He also looks at music education and classical music provision in the area." I just hope that it will show the GFS in a good light!

THE NEXT MEETING

The financial recession is starting to affect people's spending habits. This weekend we had many empty seats although it improved on both Saturday and Sunday nights. We must hope that September will attract an increased attendance because it will be the most important meeting of the year with the AGM and committee elections.
june 2022
EVERGREEN REG GOLDSMITH ON STAGE AT THE WEEKEND
SATURDAY NIGHT’S ORGANISERS - LEWIS CLIFTON & STUART LOWTHER
A WELL EARNED HONORARY MEMBERSHIP FOR DENNIS LEE
TRUE HARMONY FROM THE LOVELY FRANCESCA AND CATALINA DAVIES