The year before the momentous 50th anniversary of the George Formby Society in 2010, two friends got together to work
on a project that would hopefully draw the curtain on the first fifty years in the hope that their efforts would allow mem-
bers to gain valuable knowledge of the history and development of the Society from its birth in 1961 right up to the end of
GFS members Peter Pollard and Peter Lee decided to digitize a complete collec-tion of The Vellum magazine including all the extra issues and supplements that have been produced to celebrate anniversaries in the 50-year history.This of course would not be an easy task. A few very long-standing members will probably own a complete set but obviously they are very few in number – consider the fact that in August 2012 there are only four surviving founder members and it is not guaranteed that they will own a complete set.It was also realized when examining some of the earliest issues that because of the way that they had been printed; the text on the page was fading and in years to come would become unreadable. So it was surely time to attempt to assemble a complete digitized collection that could be made available to the GFS archives and anyone else who might wish to own it.
Updated to 2019
The project has been updated three times since its creation and the latest update contains every magazine until the end of 2019. Two hundred and forty one issues dating back to issue no.1 are now in the collection. The Vellum actually failed to produce an issue between 1964 and part of 1965 but thankfully founder member John Walley recognized the need to have some sort of communication and single-handedly produced five newsletters to cover this period in time, the newsletters are all included in the compilation.Every page of every issue went through various computer pro-cesses before they were judged to be presentable. One nice fea-ture is that each issue is capable of being word searched although it must be stressed that in the early years the search is not as reliable as the issues produced over the last 35 years.The whole project was started in January 2010 and it was not thought that it could be completed before the end of this year – but once work was started, both Peter’s worked constantly to get the job done within eight months.
The GFS archives
The DVD collection is to be donated to the GFS archives but if members wish to own the collection, it will be made available in the GFS shop. The collection will be available only in our Shop, both on the Internet and in Blackpool at the GFS conventions at £25.It must be emphasized that the DVD disc can only be accessed via a PC computer; it will not play in a conventional television DVD player. You must have access to a computer to view the collection and that computer must have a PDF reader installed on the sys-tem, probably the most universal is Adobe Reader – and this is free software and is easily downloaded – in fact the majority of computers will already have this software installed. But just in case there is anyone who does not have a internet connection, a version of Foxit Pro PDF reader is available to install from the disc and is an excellent alternative choice.
A fantastic history
The complete work on DVD is a fantastic history lesson on the life of The George Formby Society, George and Beryl Formby and of course, the Vellum editors and members themselves. Without their efforts over the last fifty six years this compilation would not exist.For anyone with the remotest interest in this wonderful Society, there is so much to learn about, just reading this marvellous magazine is something that consumes hours of my time. Whilst both Peter Lee and myself started this project with the intention of archiving the magazines to protect them from age and to make sure that the Society had a copy, I really wanted this so badly for myself and I never tire of wondering back in time within the world of The George Formby SocietyPeter PollardMay 2019•Windows PC only - This DVD cannot play on a video DVD player•Searchable contents•Drop-down window on each magazine details its contents•Contents of each magazine are linked to appropriate page/s•Magazines can be printed•Every written word from the entire 58 years•A complete collection to the end of 2019