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 Cornerstone Church 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, 28th February | 7:30pm
Cornerstone Church **New Venue**
Wigan Road, Westhoughton, Bolton BL5 3QD

Thinking of learning to play?
Blackpool Music School has some free online ukulele lessons on YouTube

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.

By Royal Appointment: In April 2018, the group was honoured when members of the Westhoughton branch were amongst the players at Her Majesty The Queen's 92nd Birthday Party, performing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall an ensemble rendition of 'When I'm Cleaning Windows' led by Frank Skinner, who had recorded an introduction piece at a recent Blackpool conference and gathering. The Queen was a big George Formby fan as a girl, and it was fitting to see the Ukulele Man celebrated at this event. A great moment for this local group.


George Formby - The Ukulele ManGeorge Formby

Born 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 Lamppost', 'Auntie Maggie's Remedy', 'With My Little Ukelele In My Hand' 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)…

George Formby - Leaning On A Lamppost

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' in 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 Harrison was known to carry ukuleles about with him for friends to play - ukuleles played by Paul McCartney and Joe Brown featuring in his 'Concert for George' tribute show in 2002.

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

Back to top

Participating Groups

Local Amenities

Photos & Videos

Music

Useful Links

Community Events

  • Panto: 'Rapunzel' - Bethel Crowd
    Fri 23, Sat 24* Feb (7:15pm)
    Peace Community Theatre, Rishton Lane, Bolton BL3 2BN
    Always good fun! The Bethel Crowd travel to Bolton to perform their latest Panto. *Extra matinee show Saturday 24 Feb at 2:15pm. Tickets £7.50
  • Daisy Hill Station Improvements
    March to December 2024
    As part of 'Access for All' improvements station will see changes to ticket hall and installation of a lift and toilet, as well as car park changes. £4m project. Some disruption but services continue. Details of Friends of Daisy Hill stage page -
  • History Group
    Monthly meetings - 3rd Thurs (10:30am)
    Westhoughton Library
    After a busy 2023 including the Wingates Band Story exhibition celebrating the brass bands 150th anniversary (Q323), schedule resumes with speakers and special events for this popular heritage group. Next mtg 21/3 st March - Speaker Ruth Duckworth: My Life in Cricket (Part 2)
  • Rotary Christmas Float 2023
    During December Rotary Club of Westhoughton were out and about visiting local estates and will at Sainsbury's ahead of Christmas. As well as Santa and his Rotary Elves bringing Christmas cheer to young and old, it is an important fundraiser; this year £6,249 was raised to be shared out with local community organisations. £5,640 raised and shared in 2022 - Presentation evening 20/4/23; 19 organisations receiving cheques.
  • Hub at Westhoughton
    The Hub at Westhoughton on Central Drive is home to a range of groups and activities serving the community. Information Leaflet.
  • Westhoughton Library
    Library now open for books, general reading and computer access. With current refurbishment complete, community activities on both ground and upper floor have resumed. Info | Community Plans.
  • Robert Shaw / Book of Quint
    Special event with Ryan Dacko, author of 'The Book of Quint' took place at Wetherspoon's 1st July, celebrating Westhoughton-born Robert Shaw and introducing the backstory of the shark hunter from Jaws. It was a great success with people coming far and wide, leading to Amberley publishing deal.
  • WOW! Women of Westhoughton
    Thursdays from 7:00pm
    John Holt Centre (BL5 2NR)
    Est. 2013, women's group for shared interests, talks, outings & social networking. New meeting venue. Updated programme.
  • Daisy Hill FC Fixtures (Home)
    League Division 1 North
    New Sirs (BL5 2EB)
    Cutters season in full flow. New management, new signings and clubhouse improvements. Support your local team. KO Sat 3pm or Mon 7:45pm. £5 adults / £3 concession / £2 U18s / U12s free w/ adult.
  • Lockdown information (Covid-19)
    For 16 months life and community was disrupted by measures to deal with the pandemic. It has been a long and impactful period, thankfully things are opening up again there is a return to normal. Watch for updates as community re-engages here and on
    Westhoughton.net Facebook Page.
  • Town Centre Masterplan
    Proposals for investment in Town Centre (Market Street focus) were consulted upon in 2019-20 with a Steering Group meeting to discuss plans for £4m investment and significant changes to Market Street, Central Park, Carnegie Hall and Town Hall.
  • Hope Community Centre
    The Central Drive church and community space is currently closed pending refurbishment discussions with Bolton Council. Hope Church services take place in the Hub.
Westhoughton Community Network @wcn_ on Twitter Westhoughton Community Network Facebook Page | westhoughton.net