Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

George Formby Society

Westhoughton Meet-ups

George Formby Society perform at Westhoughton Yarn Bombing Festival 2016The Westhoughton Branch of the George Formby Society meets at the Mercury Hotel on the last Wednesday of the month from 7:30pm. (No meeting in December.)

Part of a national group formed in 1961 after his death, members celebrate the life, music and film career of Wigan's most famous son and 'Ukulele Man' - George Formby. These regular social gatherings are for players and those who enjoy the music of 'The Cheeky Chappy'. The Westhoughton branch meetings commence with a 'thrash', where members play their ukuleles together, then individuals and sometimes duos in turns play some of George Formby's most famous and not-so-famous songs; occasionally songs other than those by George Formby are performed.

The group will break for a short interval, and then the programme continues until about 10:30pm, ending with another 'thrash'. It is fun and social, and a way of getting into the ukulele or banjo and getting tips or learning new songs.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 29th November | 7:30pm
Mercury Bolton Hotel, 540 Manchester Road, Westhoughton BL5 3JP

The players regularly meet and practice a programme of songs, which are then played at various gigs and events - such as the W.A.C.O. It's-a-Knockout events and the 2016 Westhoughton Yarn Bombing Festival.

George Formby Society - Group Photo 2017

The local branch is part of the National George Formby Society, and many members attend the conventions which are held at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool four times a year (in March, June, September and November). These popular events have attracted some famous names over the years, fans of George Formby such as George Harrison, Eric Clapton and more recently Frank Skinner.

George Formby - Leaning On A Lamp Post


George Formby

George Formby - The Ukulele ManBorn George Hoy Booth, George Formby achieved fame as a singer-songwriter and performer of cheeky often saucy songs, a comedian and star of many films during the 1930s and 1940s featuring the put-upon George who would win in the end, and could charm us all with his ukulele repertoire.

His famous songs included 'When I'm Cleaning Windows', 'Leaning on a Lamp Post' and 'With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock'… and his films included the perennial Isle of Man T.T. favourite 'No Limit' (1936), Turned Out Nice Again (1941) and Bell-Bottom George (1944)…

Following in the footsteps of his father, George took to the Music Hall stage, later transforming his act when he began to play his trademark ukulele, becoming the UK's highest-paid entertainer. He captured the national mood as a cheeky northern chappie, lifting spirits in tough times, and especially so during World War II when he was a troop entertainer.

George Formby statue celebrating film 'No Limit' Douglas, Isle of ManHis style would influence actors such as Charlie Drake and Norman Wisdom; and his Music Hall legacy would permeate later music - the Beatles were among his fans.

George died in 1961 (aged 56); his music and sense of fun live on with fans around the world, happy to pick up a ukulele and perform his songs. The ukulele is often the first stringed instrument children learn at school. Since his death George Formby has been the subject of five biographies, two television specials and two works of public sculpture. More (Wiki).


Getting in Touch

All are welcome to join this friendly musical group, whether playing or learning to play ukulele, or to simply enjoy the music. The group are happy to hear from the local community, and are happy to perform at events and parties.

The main contacts are:
Garry Hampson (Group Leader) - 01942 209485
Dennis Lee (Concert Organiser) - 01942 386709 | email.

Facebook: Westhoughton George Formby Branch Westhoughton George Formby Branch

Joe Brown - I'll See You In My Dreams
Concert For George (2003)

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Community Events

  • St John's Wingates Christmas Fayre
    Sat 18 Nov (11-3)
    Early Bird Christmas Fair; entertainment from Travellin' Strings. Raffle, Tombola, Stalls, Face-painting, Prize draw, Children's Games… Refreshments. Free entry.
  • Barking Berry's Christmas Dog Show
    Lands Farm, Daisy Hill (BL5 2DU)
    Sat 25 Nov (11-3)
    Scarlett's fundraising (now >£32k) for animal charities continues with indoor pre-Christmas event. Stalls - festive goods for dogs/owners, info; Santa Paws visits! £1 entry/tin of dog food (kids free).
  • Friends of Westhoughton Station
    Now meet every Sunday from 10am
    Volunteer group cleaning up and improving Westhoughton Station for local commuters. Excellent progress. All welcome.
    More...
    . Finalists 'Community Rail Awards' 2015. Town Council 'Certificate of Achievement'. Recent clean-up
  • Hope Community Centre
    Central Drive
    Updated programme. Group activities and events; available for hire for community groups - also parties. 'Grub tub' available for Foodbank donations - 9:30am to 3pm on Mondays.
  • WOW! Women of Westhoughton
    Thursdays from 7:30pm
    Hope Centre (Central Drive) BL5 3DS
    Est. 2013, women's group for shared interests, talks, outings & social networking. Updated programme.
    More...
  • Wingates Band - Concert & News
    Our local brass band, now ranked 20th in the world, did a well-supported 'Best of British' concert at St. Bart's (Sat 21 Oct), and return to Westhoughton in November. Struggling financially and taking stock, band is grateful for recent support; including a WCN Fundraiser. More info and Supporters Club details here
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 29 Nov (from 7:30pm)
    Mercury Bolton, Manchester Road (BL5 3JP)
    Free. Fans of George Formby and the ukulele gather to talk, play and be entertained. Last Wed every month.
  • Westhoughton Poetry Group
    Thurs 30 Nov (from 2pm)
    Bolton Library (for NPD)
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    Info.
    WH Market: Thurs
    John Holt Centre: Tues
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