Many thanks to Dickon White Managing Director of Haydock Park who agreed to name the above race at the meeting on Tuesday 13th September 2011 as part of the George Formby Society's “Golden Jubilee” Celebrations, Neil Forshaw reports:
George Formby had local connections, and was born on the 26th of May in Wigan some six miles away from Haydock Park. He made his stage debut on 21st of March 1921 at Earlestown Hippodrome only two miles away. He died on the 6th of March 1961 and is buried in the family grave at Warrington five miles from Haydock Park. The grave of his mentor for his first film made in 1914 when he was still an apprentice – the great jockey Steve Donoghue – is some 20 lengths away.
|Members of the GFS provided entertainment with George’s songs throughout the afternoon between races. A display about George’s father's stage career, George’s racing career, his stage debut and early stage career was on show in the County entrance hall.|
|The ladies of the GFS decided that Field Of Dream was the Best Turned Out “Nice Again” and his lad received £50. The George Formby Society “Golden Jubilee” race was won by the favourite Firebeam ridden by Eddie Ahern trained by William Haggas.|
|The presentations were made by Gerry and Vivien Mawdsley, President and Secretary of the GFS; the owners received a large lead crystal trophy, the trainer and jockey received a specially commissioned mug, a Gold GF face tie and a stick of “George Formby” Blackpool rock.|
|Eddie kindly posed with my uke after the race and all the jockeys in the race wore the GFS lamppost badge.|
|Our “Golden Jubilee” celebrations continued the following weekend at the Imperial Hotel Blackpool with a 1940s dress theme. (Pictured on the left is George's niece Geraldine.)|
There was a 'Spiv' wandering round selling watches, petrol coupons and ladies' nylons with a free fitting service. On the Saturday evening John Wally, a founder member of the GFS, switched on the Illuminations from in front of the Imperial Hotel.
All pictures courtesy of Colin Moore.