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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Saturday, 6th July, 2019)


Peter Thornley from Southend playing his Ukulele on Wigan Pier.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 2,624

Comment by: Veronica on 6th July 2019 at 07:27

They come for miles just to be in the birthplace of George. They probably think he was never away from the pier. It's a nice view looking that way down the canal.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th July 2019 at 08:50

He reminds me of the celebrity Greg Wallace - presenter of Master Chef.

Comment by: Gary on 6th July 2019 at 09:21

Ah, the George Formby Society and the Blackpool Bash.
Peter Kay's grandma reckoned she had "one uh them George Formby grills."

Comment by: Poet on 6th July 2019 at 11:08

I remember a George Formby impersonator who simply could not get out of character even hours after his turn had ended. At the bar it was all Ooh l feel right daft and O someb'dy save me. After what seemed like hours he left the room shouting Gangway, Gangway..
I thought of an episode of Colditz when one inmate ,seeking to be invalided back home,faked insanity and actually became totally mad in the process
People beware.

Comment by: Anne on 6th July 2019 at 11:59

Nice one.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th July 2019 at 13:28

And there are soooo many impersonators of George! Do we really appreciate him?I know my dad couldn't stand him!

Comment by: DaveO on 6th July 2019 at 13:56

Has he come all that way on his bike?

Comment by: DerekB on 6th July 2019 at 15:46

I agree with your dad, Veronica. I couldn't stand him and never found him remotely funny and an embarrassment to the town and the north in general. And to think that George Formby and Gracie Fields (another embarrassment to the north) were the highest earning stars of the thirties.

Comment by: Ken R on 6th July 2019 at 17:54

Nice photo Mick, but is this a Ukulele or a Mini Guitar? George Formby had a Ukulele and the body was round. Sorry, I know I am a pain in the a---, but I like to know these thinks.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th July 2019 at 21:33

I suppose joining ENSA 'enhanced' their popularity by doing their bit to entertain the troops Derek! ( and earning good wages while they were at it.)

Comment by: Gary on 7th July 2019 at 09:12

Ken R - Formby played the banjo ukulele which was round, like the banjo, but the sound was broader in range.
His style of play was predominantly down strokes.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th July 2019 at 10:25

Our School music teacher said that Gracie Fields was no singer.

Comment by: Veronica on 7th July 2019 at 11:18

Maureen if Gracie had stopped ' mucking about' she may have been a better singer! I don't suppose there are any records of her singing 'straight' she played her 'grim up north' in comedy voice too much and her high notes were screeched. I often wondered what it would be like to hear her sing properly. It was as if she was still singing above the machinery in't mill. But she earned some wealth, for her life in Capri...

Comment by: DerekB on 7th July 2019 at 13:19

Maureen/Veronica - my grandmother always used to say about Gracie Fields singing voice - "she sounds like a cinder under a door"

Comment by: Maureen on 7th July 2019 at 13:56

Has anybody heard George Formby senior sing..he was terrible,and was earning £350 a week..the equivalent of £14,000 .I'll 3wcbmnever understand why.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th July 2019 at 15:46

I agree Veronica ,we all have a bit of fun with our dialect,but when it comes to accents there's nothing worse than somebody sounding gormless..that really puts us in a bad light...and let's face it,we're far from gormless. lol.

Comment by: Gary on 7th July 2019 at 16:47

The force behind George Formby was, of course, Beryl - she and her sister were clog dancers and they were performing in Barnsley when she met George and decided she might make something of him.
She came from Accrington.
George's 2WW films proved popular, particularly in the USSR. Stalin awarded him with the Order of the Red Banner. A bit like Benny Hill, his visual humour appealed in eastern Europe.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th July 2019 at 20:02

Gary she was indeed the driving force behind him,I read that during a tour of South Africa when apartheid was rife,one of the officials banned them from playing to the black people but Beryl told him to **** off you horrible little man..and a little girl came to her with a box of chocolates..I couldn't believe how soon he got married to a young woman after Beryl died.
One thing I can say is George really knew how to play that Ukelele..I don't think he's ever been bettered.

Comment by: Gary on 7th July 2019 at 21:21

Maureen - Pat Dowson, a schoolteacher. He died in 1961 leaving everything to her. The will was disputed by the Formby family and led to an unholy sell off of his possessions from the house in Lytham St Annes. Sad end.

Comment by: Broady on 7th July 2019 at 21:54

Maureen, On the Hawaiian Islands Ukulele playing is almost a religion and I would think there are lots better than George Formby there. I have watched some great renditions.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th July 2019 at 22:23

Gary,Frank Skinner is a great fan of George Formby and we watched a good programme on him..really interesting,towards the end of the programme it shows the effects of Georges going for sale and the house itself. as you say..a very sad end.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th July 2019 at 08:00

Broadly,I dare say there are better players in Hawaii,but I've never had the good fortune to visit the islands..mores the pity...but someday,you never know.ha ha.

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