REMEMBERING FORMBY’S LOVE: THE SECRETS FROM NEW ZEALAND

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George Formby in Lebanon in 1942 (c)

George Formby: The War Years 1939-45 by ANDREW ATKINSON

George Formby’s fiancée Pat Howson’s great-nephew Elijah is delighted to read the life and times of her – in New Zealand – in the Biography ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ of the Preston born religious education teacher.

Pat, who was engaged to ukulele legend, Wigan born Formby on February 14, 1961, had a brother James, who emigrated from England to New Zealand.

James’ son Martin Howson, Pat’s nephew, contacted Los Montesinos, Alicante, author Andrew Atkinson following the publication of the book ‘Formby’s Lost Love’, revealing an insight of his days with her and Pat’s mother and father, Kathleen and Fred Howson, on their visits to New Zealand.

Formby became a close friend of the Howsons – having purchased many of his Rolls Royce and Bentley cars from Fred, general manager of Loxhams, based in Preston, Lancashire, and frequented their Penwortham, Preston home during the 1940s-60s.

Unpublished photographs of Fred have been found, along with memories of Preston born Martin, 70, remembering when the Howson family visited New Zealand.

Benjamin Howson, Elijah Howson and Martin Howson, with the book 'Formby's Lost Love' in New Zealand.
Benjamin Howson, Elijah Howson and Martin Howson, with the book ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ in New Zealand.

“I was born in Deepdale, Preston, and visited England last year. Unfortunately I could not remember where the house in Penwortham was, where nanny Kathleen, granddad Fred and Pat lived,” said Martin.

Formby, who toured New Zealand in 1947, who had known Pat as a young child, turned to her after the death of his wife Beryl in Lytham, in December, 1960.

Andrew is to publish Remembering Formby’s Love: The secrets from New Zealand, compiled with George Formby: The War Years 1939-45, in December.

The book features Gerry Watkins, Formby’s chauffeur and official photographer, with previously unpublished photographs of The Airmen of 208 Squadron (Army Corporation) welcoming George Formby and his wife Beryl at Zahle in the Lebanon in 1942; along with unpublished photos, including one of Fred Howson and his niece Hilary.

To pre-order a copy of Remembering Formby’s Love: The secrets from New Zealand, compiled with George Formby: The War Years 1939-45 (£10 plus £2 P&P) email author Andrew Atkinson for further details on: lancashiremedia@talktalk.net

 

 

 

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