Heritage honour for Formby home

George Formby with his Rolls Royce cars at his home on Inner Promenade , St Annes in 1960'Dated 15/07/1960.'published EG 12/02/1975.
George Formby with his Rolls Royce cars at his home on Inner Promenade , St Annes in 1960'Dated 15/07/1960.'published EG 12/02/1975.

Comic star George Formby lived his final days in his St Annes house and now his place as one of the town’s most famous former residents is set to be recognised.

A prized blue plaque will be installed on the Inner Promenade home - which is currently up for sale - by the Lytham St Annes Civic Society to mark Formby’s life.

It will be one of only a handful erected in the town to mark people rather than historic buildings, and Civic Society chairman Marion Coupe said: “We are delighted to commemorate such a famous person who lived in St Annes.

“We have a series of blue plaques around the town and this is one we have had in the pipeline for quite a while.

“It will be the first time George Formby has been commemorated in the town.

“There is nothing else to do with him you could really stick a blue plaque on and we think his life should be marked, and we hope people will enjoy looking at it.”

Mrs Coupe said the current owners of the home were “very keen” for the plaque to be put in place.

The house, which Formby named Beryldene after his wife and manager Beryl, was his final Fylde coast home before his death 51 years ago, aged 56.

The entertainer had also lived in Little Singleton, Barton and Barnacre before settling on Inner Promenade.

Famous for playing his banjulele, Formby spent seven summer seasons wowing crowds in Blackpool and lived in the St Annes house for eight years after buying it from Irish singer Josef Locke.

Mrs Coupe added: “There are not all that many plaques in Lytham and St Annes to mark famous people.

“English Heritage blue plaques are very often put to people but the only ones we have put up are for painter Richard Ansdell on the lodge at Starr Hills, one of the inventors of the contact lens Frank Dickinson on Boots opticians in St Annes Square, and for Sir John Alcock - who made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic - at Heyhouses School.”

The civic society has to secure funding for every blue plaque erects, and has also marked the historic significance of the Lytham Assembly Rooms, Ansdell’s tramway passenger shelter, and St Annes’ Carnegie Library, among others.

It is hoped St Annes Parish Rooms will be the next place to be honoured.

Formby’s plaque is due to be installed this week, and ukelele players will mark its official unveiling by the Mayor of Fylde Coun Heather Speak and St Annes mayor Coun Angela Jacques on Friday, August 17.