lancashire life
Magazine article shines spotlight on our Society
The GFS are featured in the prestigious magazine Lancashire Life in their September 2001 issue. The June Convention is the subject of the article and reflects the Society and its ongoing works in a very good light. As well as the report, there are numerous photographs of George Formby and the members of the GFS. The reporter is David Pilkington and the Photographer is Bill Wilkinson The article follows:
His music still lives on in the hearts of hundreds of fanatical fans who meet regularly to commemorate one of Lancashire's greatest icons. George Formby who died in 1961 was more than a mere celebrity. Along with Gracie Fields and L. S. Lowry he was one of the defining county figures of the 20th century. And to this day members of the George Formby Society meet regularly as a tribute to his life and his music. The society celebrates its 40th anniversary this year but its format is still the same. Young and old bring along their ukuleles to jam along to George's old hits and talk about his music. The hundreds of fans meet four times a year at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Formby was a huge star in his day. When he died in 1961, 150,000 people lined the two mile funeral route along the Fylde coast to pay their respects - the largest turn out there has ever been for a British show business personality. The public loved him and many still do. The society was formed shortly after his death and has 1,000 members from all around the world.
President, Dennis Taylor said: 'Formby was an international entertainer. Anybody below the age of 40 will have no memory of him but children get into his music through their grandparents and three of our members were on Blue Peter with their ukuleles. They absolutely love him.' A few weeks after Formby died an advertisement was placed in the Stage magazine asking for anybody interested in forming an organisation to commemorate the memory of George Formby to contact a fan called George Wilson. The first meeting took place at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool in 1961 and there were 56 members. Dennis and his wife enjoy every aspect of the society. `We love the society and we love the people in it. We are like a big family. The future is quite bright.' The society's 40th anniversary celebrations took place at the Savoy Hotel in Blackpool on August 15th16th.