Archived Items


Catforth Village Hall benefit from George Formby legacy, through the Pat Howson Trust


GEORGE Formby’s legacy, through fiancée Pat Howson, continues to benefit, with recent refurbishment works undertaken at Catforth Village Memorial Hall coming from a donation from the Pat Howson Trust.


“Major improvements to the infrastructure of Catforth Village Hall have been made possible by a very generous donation from the Pat Howson Trust,” said Sue Yates, from Catforth Village Hall.


Preston born religious education teacher Pat Howson, who lived in Penwortham, was engaged to Wigan born ukulele star Formby in February 1961. 


Formby died in March 1961 in St Joseph’s Hospital, Preston, following a heart attack. Formby left Pat Howson the equivalent of £2.25m in today’s money terms in his will. 


“This trust was set up by Pat Howson, sadly before George Formby and Pat could be married,” said Sue.


“Pat, who died in 1971, established the Charitable Trust to manage the Royalties from George’s films and songs - and it is from this Trust the donation has been given,” said Sue. 


Catforth, near Preston, Lancashire resident and former solicitor John G. Turner, who represented Pat Howson in the latter years of her life, is featured strongly in Preston born author Andrew Atkinson’s book: ‘Formby’s Lost Love’, that was published in November 2015. 


‘Formby’s Lost Love’ features official Assignment documentation relating to works by the late George Formby, bequeathed to Pat Howson, from which certain charities benefit.


“The Catforth Village Memorial Hall committee would like to thank the Trustees for helping them make the important improvements to ensure it is maintained in good condition for community use, for many years to come,” said Sue.


To order a copy of ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ further details can be obtained by emailing Andrew Atkinson at:


George Formby and Pat Howson - Catforth Village Memorial Hall received a donation from the Pat Howson Trust.






Investment in Catforth Village Memorial Hall




Residents of Catforth and the surrounding area driving past the Catforth Village Memorial Hall will have noticed scaffolding around the building for the last couple of months. The work to refurbish the rendering and external paintwork which was in a pretty poor state is now complete together with improvements to the surface at the car park entrance. These major improvements to the infrastructure of the Hall have been made possible by a very generous donation from the Pat Howson Trust. This trust was set up by Pat Howson who some of the older generations may remember was the fiancée of the late George Formby who died in 1961, sadly before he and Pat could be married.  Pat, who died in 1971, established the Charitable trust to manage the royalties from George’s films and songs and it is from this trust the donation has been given. For those who remember George Formby and his ‘cheeky humour’ we believe a book entitled ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ has been written by local author Andrew Atkinson and is due to be published in December this year. The Hall committee would like to thank the trustees for helping them make these important improvements to the Hall to ensure it is maintained in good condition for community use for many years to come.   




'We would just like to say many thanks for letting us hire the village hall on Saturday, it was an ideal venue  and we all enjoyed a super night.




The bar which we hired from Lytham Brewery was fantastic. Andrew did a super job and we would highly recommend him should you be looking for such a service in the future.'


Scarecrow Festival 2012

Photos of the scarecrow festival are appearing all over the web!!



It was amazing to see the enthusiasm, creativity and originality shown by all the participants  in the first Catforth Scarecrow festival.   There were over 55 scarecrows all to the theme of Kings & Queens (including Queen Elizabeth II, in different guises; one tea and cakes and another dressed to hunt, there was also King George, King Kong and Kings of Pop and Rock represented by Freddie Mercury and Elvis), and The Olympics (with many events covered, from triathalon to trampolining, karate, cycling, sailing and synchronised swimmers).  How wonderful to see our village out on the street chatting to neighbours and visitors - it really put a smile on people's faces - and slowed the traffic!


  The 2012 winners that were voted the favourite were: Winner - King/Queen - Mr & Mrs F McCarthy - Framar, Catforth Road, - Henry VIII


Winner - Olympics -Sayers-Martin Family - Weatherall Bank, Catforth Road - SynCROWnised Swimmers

  Speecial thanks to the Running Pump and Gusta Gusto for helping sell maps and encourage people to view and vote.  Thanks also to Mick and Simon the "official photographers" and to Julie Foster and Sue Yates, cheif organisers.  All monies raised will be donated to Catforth Village Hall for local projects, continuation of the hall and the community. 

  We look forward to next year's event where the village can once gain surprise and delight visitors..

From the INFOCUS magazine submitted by Melanie Emberey



Pictures on the LEP site


Photos of the Scarecrow festival can be viewed in the 'photo album'. These are low res pictures which you are welcome to download (though it might be nice to make a small donation to the Village Hall). If you would like a hi res version then please email with the number of the photo you would like. There will be a charge for this - details to be given soon, watch this space! (All monies raised to go to the Village Hall)



Catforth’s 1st Scarecrow Festival


Well what can we say….. !           What a fantastic start to our first Scarecrow Festival !         


Julie and Sue would like to thank everyone who has participated in this event - in whatever way – the enthusiasm, creativity and effort that was put in to make this event the runaway success it has been, would be nothing without the people of Catforth.


We would like to thank all the helpers at the Saturday Coffee Morning, especially Will Walker for his outstanding sales technique and “will”ingness (geddit?) to get stuck in and help everyone on the day. Thank you also to all those who provided the delicious cakes – if anyone would like recipes please contact us via the village hall website! Thank you to our official photographers who took some amazing pictures on the day – photos will be available to purchase on the website at


We look forward to next year’s event where we are sure that you all will surprise & delight us once again. Thank you once again Catforth! Julie & Sue




As you know, we are planning to give a prize to the scarecrow that’s voted best in each category, so please ensure that your unique number and scarecrow name is prominently displayed close by. If you would like to cast a vote for your own favourite, then voting slips and maps showing the locations of each scarecrow are available for £1 from The Running Pump and also Gusta Gusto.


Don't forget .. we would like to get a photograph of all the scarecrows together, if could you please bring your scarecrow to the Village Hall car park by 17:00 hrs on the afternoon of 9th June, then that would be great.


Once again, thank-you so much for your overwhelming support! 


Catforth Village Hall Committee


Catforth’s 1st Scarecrow Festival


While 2012 marks not only the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, there’s even more reason to celebrate during 2012 as this year marks the launch of Catforth’s first Scarecrow Festival


The aim of the Catforth’s first Scarecrow Festival is to provide a family friendly fun day out that is affordable and accessible to everyone in the village which, with your support, promises to be a fantastic community event that will bring together people from within the village and outside.s



In a nutshell, we are asking for people to build scarecrows which can then be displayed in their gardens, along the road or wherever they can be seen and enjoyed by all!


The Festival will take place during ‘Jubilee Week’ (the first week of June) and the theme of Catforth’s first Scarecrow Festival will be Olympic Sporting Events and Kings and Queens. A prize will be given to the best scarecrow in each category … so good luck !


Viewing will be free, but if you would like to enter the competition and be eligible for a prize, then you will need to complete an entry form (forms will be delivered shortly or click here Scarecrow Festival Entry Form for further details or ring Sue Yates on 07516215955). Entry forms should be completed and either left at the Village Hall or given to any of the Committee Members. A donation of £3:00 per entry will be required, which will enable maps and locations of each entry to be included on a printed programme.


All monies raised will be used to promote the use of the village hall and to support local community projects. So, have fun, support your local community, and make Catforth’s first scarecrow festival a great success.l


The 300 CLUB


July 2012

1st     Ticket 184    Pauline  Brooks

2nd    Ticket 257    Sue McCormack

3rd    Ticket 111    Malcolm Pooley


August 2012

1st    Ticket 275    Gillian Bradshaw

2nd    Ticket 26    C Ashworth

3rd    Ticket 18    Frank Sanderson


September 2012


1st    Ticket 171    James Singleton

2nd    Ticket 31    B Haslen

3rd    Ticket 158    Winifred Fox


The Winner of the 1st Prize Winners this time is Keith Jackson ticket  number 206 Congratulation to him on his £300 win!!!

Catforth 300 Club winners from May 2012 Draw


1st Prize - Ticket 59 - B Gardner £50.00 2nd Prize - Ticket 155 - F Fare £30.00 3rd Prize - Ticket 216 - Lewis Illingworth £20.00



Thinking of organising an event?? Then the email that we have received from Mike Cushing may be worth reading...


Hello, I wonder if this might be of interest?

I play guitar in a band that specialises in Sixties / Seventies music - all band members and support are "charity minded" to the extent that we are happy, willing and able to support charity events for very modest fees - quite probably at less cost than would be paid for “just a DJ”. We supply a 5 piece band, full stage and effects lighting, impressive PA system with supporting sound and light engineers. We also supply a disco for in between our sets or for when we’re too exhausted to carry on! Why would we do this for little financial reward? Well, we're all experienced musicians, we're all blessed with decent health, general happiness and comfortable lives - but we know that many aren't as lucky as we are and we want to give something back. We love playing music and it seemed a good way of using our talents! We do charge a modest fee - that is designed to do little more than cover costs and put a small amount back towards maintenance of equipment and, if the event organisers also feel able to invite us to join the buffet and offer us a couple of beers each, then we're very happy! Of course, we have a more “commercial” fee for none-charity events, but our particular focus is on supporting charities where and when we can.


You can see more on us at where you'll see some of the events we've supported recently. We don't take ourselves too seriously - we're happy to dress in appropriate clothes and encourage our audiences to do the fancy dress thing if they want to! So, we aim to create a real feel of the Sixties / Seventies period both in our music and in the general atmosphere we seek to create. We’d love to chat with you about


-        Supporting events to raise funds for your village hall  / encourage your local community to support the village hall

-        Any charity events you may have in mind and where a Sixties / Seventies band may be appropriate. We’ve found that Sixties / Seventies “theme nights” are very popular…

-        Where you may have potential bookings – charitable or otherwise -  where people booking your hall may be interested in having "more than just a DJ" and where a Sixties / Seventies band may be appropriate.


Thank you for reading the message, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you'd like more information! Of course, I’m more than happy to to discuss plans and to generally work with you to make sure any evenings we are involved in go according to plan!


Appreciate your time


Mike Cushing
07866 476639  


Click on the link to read the thankyou letter from the organisers of the Daffodil Show -this also has dates for next year..


The 300 club  1st prize 119 Rob Sudell

                    2nd prize 70 Martin Peart

                    3rd prize 276 Cynthia Eccleston

The February 300 club winners as follows
1st Prize                £50.00   Ticket Number 163          C Singleton
2nd Prize               £30.00   Ticket Number 60            B Gardner          
3rd Prize                £20.00   Ticket Number 73            A Yates
Congratulations to the winners


It was sad to hear that our lollipop lady of many years is sadly hanging up her 'lollipop'!! here is a little 'ode' penned by Anne Walne ...


Thank you and Goodbye!


I write this with much sadness today,

there is little we can do or say,

our lollipop lady Margueritte,

is going to retire and rest her feet !


She has stood this spot for 33 years,

kept us safe, without any fears.

Always reliable, never let us down,

Always a smile & never a frown.


She really has been an all weather girl,

some things must have made her hair curl,

she really kept everything under that hat!

Friendly, patient, diplomacy, tact.


What will we do when she isn’t there,

gracing that spot with style and flair.

We won’t know how to cross the road,

we'll have to read the highway code!


After this Friday, known as 27,

coat, hat & stick will go to heaven.

Our lollipop lady will be no more,

sadly missed, of that I'm sure.


So, if like me & you made use,

a token gesture, notes or loose,

of cash or change, a small donation,

not to save the world or help the nation.


Just to say;'' Thanks, good luck & we'll miss you''

More family time or a book with a brew.


Whatever you choose, we’ll still all be sad,

cos' you’re the best lollipop lady we've ever had!


Please give generously folks, thank you.


If you would like to offer a donation please contact Christine on- 07790634577


Lucky winners of the Catforth 300 Club Draw 

The December draw took place as follows:
1st Prize                206         £50.00   - K Jackson
2nd Prize               101         £30.00   - B Livesey
3rd Prize                207         £20.00   - A Roberts
The January draw took place as follows:
1st Prize                20           £50.00   - H Demaine
2nd Prize               235         £30.00   - R Hargreaves
3rd Prize                227         £20.00   - Helen Goodall

Question and answer..

My question is regarding the lack of baby changing facilities and I would like the committee to consider the possibility of making the disabled toilet into it a 'mother, toddler and disabled toilet'.


the baby changing table has arrived and has been fitted, in the disabled toilet, and also we now have a nappy bin & small children's steps and children's toilet seat for the little ones



Came across this when idly 'googling' scroll down to read 'memories of catforth' by Sallie Jones






 And here is one from earlier 


Footage from the archives...


Catforth in 1926




Volunteers needed!!


Volunteers are urgently needed to help set up and run a youth group at Catforth Village Hall. If you think you might be able to help, please contact Becki Benson





'Meet the Committee' a new section has been added to the site - find out about the people working hard on our behalf to keep the Village Hall going...



Below are some of the articles and items that have appeared on the News and Committee Section of our website.


The lucky winners of the 300 club for November 2011

1st Prize                - Ticket 27            W Hudson        = £50.00
2nd Prize               - Ticket 49            K Bailey           = £30.00
3rd Prize                - Ticket 45         A Davies             = £20.00


October Winners for the 300 Club
1st Prize                - Ticket 59            Bob Gardner      = £50.00
2nd Prize               - Ticket 80            Darren Morley  =£30.00
3rd Prize                - Ticket 193         Stanley Brady    =£20.00


We are please to announce the winners of the September '300 Club' draw

1st prize                £50.00                   Number 26         C Ashworth
2nd prize               £30.00                   Number 83         T Quinn
3rd prize                £20.00                   Number 160       J Singleton
Don't forget all 12  first prize winners go into a yearly draw to win £300.00. For details of how to get your tickets - you have to be 'in it to win it' - please see our archived section.


Catforth 300 Club

£10.00 per year for 12 monthly draws


First Prize: £50.00

Second Prize: £30.00

Third Prize : £20.00


In July 2012 all first prize winners go into a draw for £300


This prestigious lottery is for the benefit of Catforth Memorial Village Hall, all proceeds go BACK to the community via the village hall.


The village hall and surrounding land was initially gifted to the village in 1922 by a local farmer who tragically lost family members in World War 1 the original founders wished to provide the village with a central focus point for families and young people to get together, in a fun relaxed social environment to keep a community heart and spirit in Catforth.


We (the committee) both now and in the future want to continue that dream and improve on it for the generations now and in the future. Please support this worthy cause and buy a ticket or two. It is an amazing opportunity to help the village hall and perhaps visit the bank.... lets be honest it isn’t a EuroMillions win but to us it helps us (your local village hall) to keep going and improving our area and community.


For tickets contact Mike Brooks, Bill Catterall or Bob Sanderson


Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 15th March 2011 


This was very well attended.


Sadly we say goodbye to Christine Sanderson, Michael Clarke and Graham Duncan. They 'oversaw' the hall during a period when there was little (no??) support from the local community and leave it a time when their is a wealth of individuals ready to continue their work. They must be proud to leave this legacy, and through this website we would like publicly to thank them for all the effort they have put in on our behalf.


The new committee ...

Chairman- M. Walker; Secretary- S. Burton; Treasurer- L. Crawley.

Trustees-   M.Brooks, P.Brooks, W.Catterall, F.Fare, R. McLintock, R. Sanderson & K.Walker.

Co-opted- S.Becconsall, R.Benson, A.Craine, V.Lythgoe & C.Singleton.


Mike Walker expressed his vision for the village hall - that it would become the 'centre' of the village.. - and his committee - they would have a rolling 'living' plan which would continue with the development of the hall. He wanted to see good communications between the committee and the community, citing the website as one of the vehicles to help achieve this.


A copy of Christine's final report can be downloaded here


Download a copy of the constitution here.


Download a copy of the nomination form here.


Download the procurement policy here


This is a picture taken at the evening with Dr Ron Hill MBE at the hall on Friday 1st April.


We had a very interesting evening and a lovely hot pot supper courtesy of the Running Pump.

Ron told us of his training, running and global exploits. There was a great raffle which (unfortunately) I (Christine Singleton) didn't win but never mind....               

 (Report by Christine Singleton .. Host, Events Group & Com member, Bookings clerk)




Catforth Daffodil Society's Annual Show is to be held on Saturday 26th March

Thanks to the generosity of all our supporters over the last three years we are again able to proudly announce that ALL profits from this year’s Catforth Daffodil Show will be donated to the Northwest Air Ambulance.

With the continued support of those who have helped in the past, and any additional assistance from new sources, our 2011 show is set to be a success. If you could please help us, either by sponsoring a class (£5) or by providing a raffle prize and/or class special, this would be very much appreciated.

Please feel free to contact either of us if you are able to help -

Tom Alty, tel 01772 691216  email -
2 Bartle Hall Cottage, Lea Lane, Bartle, Preston. PR4 0HA
Andrew Clark , tel 01772 690226. email -
Godson House Farm, Catforth, Preston. PR4 0HE

Of course your additional support by way of entries and attendance on show day would be most encouraging and help to make this day memorable.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours sincerely,
Tom and Andrew




Fast Internet Access

The following is a copy of an email sent by Rupert Swarbrick about new fast internet access for rural communities. The contact was made through Rosie Green ...

Below are some brief points about a new service coming to Lancashire. The idea for the business has been hatched at the newly refurbished Old Station in Longridge. It is a community project run by Longridge Social Enterprise Co of which I am chairman (and unpaid CEO!). We wanted whizzy internet here and were quoted silly money by BT so we have adapted a system currently in use at Brockhall Village near Clitheroe and, once we have our gear on the mast on Longridge Fell, will roll out to anywhere in sight of the mast. Catforth is well in range!
Boundless Broadband is a new service that provides high speed internet into locations that currently are poorly provided for. Typically this is rural communities but we have found that even apparently well connected communities have areas on their periphery that receive slow connections.
What is the difference between Boundless and conventional broadband?
1.      Boundless doesn’t need a telephone line
2.      Boundless is much faster than conventional broadband in download and upload
3.      An engineer comes to set it up and test for you
What speed will I get?
We offer 5Meg, 10Meg, 20Meg and 50Meg services (high-speed download as well as upload)
How much does it cost?
Residential tariffs start at £17 per month plus £99 set up
Business tariffs start at £60 per month plus £199 set up


Interested then ....



Catforth 1/2 marathon

Anyone who ventured out on to Catforth Road on Sunday could not have missed the fact that we were hosting a 'big' event! For those who didn't know, it was the Catforth half marathon.

Well done to all those people who took part - it makes me feel tired just thinking about it! 

 I am sure training had taken a bit of a bash with the freezing temperatures and frozen ground we experienced at the end of 2010 so it was good to see so many people getting their 2011 season underway!

Mick Hall was the photographer for the event and has kindly allowed us to put these pictures on the website. These and other pictures can be found at


 A competitor on the Catforth half Marathon