LITTLE sticks of Blackpool rock were handed out as the life of a comic legend was finally marked.
George Formby’s place in St Annes’ history was cemented yesterday after dozens gathered to watch a blue plaque unveiled on his seaside home.
The renowned entertainer lived his final days at the unassuming Inner Promenade house – and now Lytham St Annes Civic Society has assured no-one will forget his time in the town.
The sound of ukeleles filled the garage of the seafront house – now owned by Peter Fairclough – as Mayor of Fylde Coun Heather Speak was joined by councillors, civic society members and George Formby enthusiasts to celebrate the landmark day.
Gerry Mawdsley, president of the George Formby Society, said: “We’ve been waiting for this plaque for a lot of years, we always wanted Blackpool to do something tangible for George Formby as he lived here and performed here a lot.
“We always wanted something like a plaque or a statue and in June this year we got a tram named after George and it’s like the ball’s started rolling.
“Maybe we might get a statue in Blackpool one day or we may be driving down George Formby Avenue.”
The plaque was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Fylde, Coun Heather Speak, alongside the mayoress Jen Robinson and Mayor of St Annes Coun Angela Jacques.
And Coun Speak, who performed a song with her very own ukelele, said: “I’m very pleased to see a plaque and it’s lovely to see so many people here and all the George Formby enthusiasts with their ukeleles.
“It’s nice something has been done because we should remember him, he was part of this community and he obviously loved living in St Annes.”
The star lived in the house for eight years, and named it Beryldene after his beloved wife and manager Beryl.
He died 51 years ago, aged 56, after announcing his plans to put the house on the market.
Formby had also lived in Little Singleton, Barton and Barnacre before settling on Inner Promenade.
Alderman Alf Jealous remembers the star living in the house and said: “He used to walk past our house every day with his little dog on a lead.
“I think it’s a good thing to have put the plaque up. It’s part of St Annes’ history. He was really a great star.”
The civic society has now erected several plaques across Lytham and St Annes – including on St Annes’ Carnegie Library and Lytham Assembly Rooms.
Chairman Marion Coupe said: “We are delighted to be doing this. George Formby was one of the main stars of the 20th century and he lived in St Annes so we are very proud of that fact.”