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, 31st January | 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

  • Art Group Exhibition
    From 15 - 24 Mar
    Westhoughton Library (upstairs) *FREE*
    Public exhibition of artwork from Westhoughton Art Group as local artists show off their work. Range of styles & high quality work. This will be followed by an new exhibition 'Art by Elise' running into April
  • Friends of Eatock Lodge AGM
    Tues 20 Mar (7pm-8pm)
    Rosehill Tavern (BL5 2JQ)
    Public mtg of Friends group involved in events/activities at nature reserve. Updates on activities and plans for 2018.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    WH Market: Thurs 22 Mar (12-1pm)
    John Holt: Tues 27 Mar (9:30-11:00am)
    Information about
  • Rotary Christmas Float
    Rotary Club of Westhoughton very grateful for public support and donations in the run up to Christmas. £7,431 was raised for local charities and groups to be distributed in April.
  • Friends of Westhoughton Station
    Meeting Sundays from 10am, volunteer group undertake clean-up and ambient improvement work at Westhoughton Station benefiting local commuters. Excellent progress. All welcome.
    . 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.
  • Westhoughton Poetry Group
    Thurs 22 Feb (from 2pm)
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 28 Feb (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.
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