George Formby Tribute by  Alan Yates

My Connections with George!

If you have read about 'Me - My Story' you will know of

the very early stages of how I started on the

George Formby path.


Do you believe in Fate or Destiny ?

As a general rule I would have personally said no, but

when I look back on my life and think about the things that have happened by pure chance that

actually connects me directly to George, I can't help but wonder if such a thing does exist!

The Start of my journey.

As I said in my 'Me - My Story' page, my journey on the path to George Formby all started when I joined the George Formby society when I was 3 years old!

The start of my destiny.

The GFS was also where I met my wife Alyson as a toddler, the start of my destiny or fate! We grew up together, went our own ways in our teens but not for long. Best friends in our 20's, to dating, to marriage! - Now my Beryl as I call her!

A = George Formby

B = My Great Uncle Joe!

My Family.

My Grandad met George in Fleetwood but my Great Uncle Joe met George Formby at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood when he went to see his show.

After the show my Uncle Joe asked George for his autograph whilst pulling a photograph of himself out of his wallet and giving it to George.

George looked at the photograph, then at my uncle and before signing the picture

George said to him... "Eee it's like looking in the mirror"!

So I could of very nearly looked like George too, had I of had my Great Uncle Joe's genes!

George's Family.

Over the years I have had the honour of meeting a number of George's Family,

to which to this day I still have pleasure of being in contact with a few of them.

The picture is me with George's nephew - Jeffery Formby.

George's Leading Ladies.

Over the years I have also met a number of George's leading ladies from his films.

I have been lucky enough where they have all taken the time to chat with me and

tell me their stories of George! 

George's Film - Bell Bottom George.

Bell Bottom George was filmed in my birth town - Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Alyson & I had the pleasure a few years back now of meeting someone who was on the film set. The gentleman and his wife welcomed us into their home and spent many an hour talking to us about the making of the film as well as George & Beryl.

Artefacts once belonging to George.

At different times of my life I have come across different items that have once belonged to George. I have been fortunate to play many of the banjo ukuleles that he once owned. Pictured is me playing one of George's Gibson's. I have held his O.B.E and his silver disc

in my hands that I mention on my 'George Formby O.B.E' page. 

I have seen George's Chinese Door from his house (which is for sale, advertised on our website at Alan Yates Music) on Main's Lane. Alyson & I was the archivists for the George Formby Society for a few years which gave us the opportunity to see and hold more items that once belonged to George & Beryl.

George's Kimono

When I was younger I had the opportunity to wear George's Kimono & Hat from his film - South American George!

George's Norton

I had the opportunity to sit on George's motorbike. I was very young so I couldn't ride it.

Unfortunately the pictures taken of me on it, never turned out, 

George's Shuttleworth Snap.

Me pictured with George's Shuttleworth Snap out of his film - No Limit!

Now this was one opportunity that didn't happen by chance, 

I purposely travelled just to get a look at George's TT race bike.

George's Bentley.

The other thing I have a passion for is vintage cars. There is just something about them, the way they were built, the style and design and it goes without saying that old vintage car smell - I love it. I got chatting with the owner of George's Bentley, who said "get inside",

an opportunity I was not going to miss! Sadly I did miss out on a photo opportunity of the car as it became surrounded by a sea of people.

My 1st Big Gig!

I was 13 years old, I had done many a gig before now but this was my 1st big gig on a big stage to over 200 people. The ironic thing for me was my 1st big gig actually took place on the same stage that George Formby once stood and entertained the audience, one of the audience members being my Great Uncle Joe I mention above, at the Marine Hall!

George Formby Plaque Unveiling.

I had the great privilege of being asked to unveil a plaque for George Formby, what an honour! The plaque unveiling took part one afternoon in the summer, then in the evening I performed my George Formby tribute act by telling his story and playing his songs!

I played a George Formby song for the Queen!

When you think the honours, privileges and the blessings you encounter could not get any better then you receive a telephone call to play for the Queen but that's another story!

Read all about it on my 'Performing for the Queen' page!

Most of the above has been by pure chance!

I believe I have been luckily enough to have been in the right place at the right time,

but is it just a coincidence or is it a case of destiny or fate?