Strum like George Formby! North East Formby Soc workshops!

Strum like George!

George Formby Technique workshops with the North East Branch of the George Formby Society

7:00 – 8:30 pm every Tuesday except for the 2nd Tuesday of the Month.

Brinkburn Community Association
South Shields Community School
Mcanany Avenue
South Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE34 0PJ

Contact Colin Bourdiec:


South Shields George Formby Soc – 1st Meeting Monday July 11th 7:30 South Shields Top Club!

Two generations of George Formby fans start their own George Formby Society Branch in South Shields.

It is the 50th anniversary of his death and the formation of the official George Formby Society.

Both James Bassett aged 7 who is one of the youngest members of the George Formby Society and renowned George Formby impersonator and ukulele teacher Colin Bourdiec have the support of the official George Formby Society to start this branch where the large repertoire of George’s songs will be sung, played and remembered here in the North East.

We anticipate Formby fans coming to the region from far and wide to support this venture.

The first meeting of this new George Formby Society, which will perpetuate the legacy that is George Formby, will be held at the Top Club in South Shields on Monday the 11th July 2011 commencing at 7.30pm and will be held on the second Monday of the month.

All ukulele players and Formby fans are invited.

Colin Bourdiec
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Inspirational videos for uke-beginners! John Simmance, 82, shows his progress and gives tips as he learns to play the George Formby strum on banjolele over 4 months – and sing at the same time!

Please note: If you want to contact John Simmance or leave a comment on his videos, you need to visit John’s channel on YouTube:

First Efforts at Learning the George Formby Banjolele Strum – after 3 weeks practice

John Simmance played the banjolele his father gave him in 1947, always wanted to learn the Formby style of playing, but didn’t know how! Now, thanks to the Internet, and several excellent players who have made instructional videos, he knows HOW! So now, at nearly 82, after many years of being out of practice, he bought a Gold Tone banjolele and now he is practicing until his fingers are sore! After three weeks, he is beginning to get the basic Formby “Split Stroke” and struggles with the “Triple”.

But to encourage other old men to try something new, and to show that an old CAN learn new tricks – or at least begin to – he offers this video!

Next Efforts at Learning the George Formby strums – after 6 weeks practice

This is a continuation of my video “My First Efforts at Learning the George Formby strums” showing the progress I made in three more weeks of practice on my banjolele! Old men! Don’t stop trying to do something new!

My Final George Formby strum efforts! – after 9 weeks practice

This is the third and last video recording my efforts at learning the difficult George Formby strumming techniques on the banjolele! The first was made after I had been practicing for three weeks, the second followed after six weeks, and this last one covers my progress after a total of nine weeks.
The message behind them all is directed at old ment like me: the fairy tale that old dogs can’t learn new tricks is just NOT TRUE! So: old men, if you wan’t to try something new, don’t listen to the opposition of others (or your own doubts) and just DO IT! You’ll be glad you tried.

My banjolele progress after four months practice!

A short record of my progress learning the George Formby strumming techniques on the banjolele, four months after I started.