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LANCASHIRE Toreador George Formby’s final days with fiancee Pat Howson are to be revealed in a book by Alicante based author Andrew Atkinson. Formby – named bull-fighting hero Don Pedro in the song Lancashire Toreador – died 53 years ago, leaving £2.24m in his Will.

"It’s ironic that 45 years after passing Formby’s Georgian Mansion House in Lea, Preston, on my weekly fishing outings, that I’m penning this book," said Andrew. Andrew, 57, lives in both Los Montesinos, Alicante, and Penwortham, Preston – where Formby suffered a heart attack while dining at the Howson family home in 1961. "The story is right on my door-step!," said Preston born Lancastrian Andrew.

Ukelele legend Formby died, aged 56, in March 1961 – three months after his wife Beryl’s death. "Eight days into their engagement George Formby and Pat Howson dined by candle light.

However Formby complained of stomach pains – and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Preston. "During Pat’s visit on March 6 1961, she spoke to George, while sat at his bedside, about their forthcoming wedding plans," said Andrew.

Hours later George Formby died – of a massive heart attack. Their wedding day was set for March 1961 – and a honeymoon cruise to the West Indies was booked: "Pat’s dad Fred Howson was a personal friend of Formby, whom he sold cars to. "Fred would never have imagined that his daughter was set to marry him," said Andrew. In his Will George Formby left Pat Howson £135,000 – value £2.24m today

– that was contested by his mother Eliza, and two sisters. Formby’s mum had labelled Pat a ‘floosie’ – a woman of no morals and a prostitute tag. Pat Howson died of cancer, aged 46, in 1971.

The Lancashire Toreador (1937)

I’ve been to Spain but never again, I couldn’t go there twice ‘Cos my name’s John Willie but they said it sounded silly And they wouldn’t call me that at any price. They soon made me change my name and a real proper Spaniard


Don Pedro, the big bull-fighting hero, The Lancashire Toreador. They cheer me and when the bull gets near me To show how far a brave man can go with the bull I danced the Tango. Then when I hung on his tail my pants he tried to gore. I went dashing round the ring with him giving chase, Three times he tossed me in the air, I looked a disgrace. They shouted, ‘Look at all that skin and bone round the place, It’s The Lancashire Toreador.’

Don Pedro, the big bull-fighting hero, The Lancashire Toreador.

I met-a charming senor-eta She said, ‘To love you I can never’, then kissed me good-bye for ever. That night, as she retired, she locked her bedroom door. She started to undress and timidly she looked round, Said, ‘Thank God, I am rid of him for he’s homeward bound’, But when she pulled the bed clothes down now guess what she found? Why The Lancashire Toreador.

Don Pedro, the big bull-fighting hero, The Lancashire Toreador. I scare ’em, no mercy ever spare ’em. In the dead of night I ramble, Spanish castle walls I scramble. I saw a shadow above a girl in her boudoir. I climbed up her balcony, it started to sway. She shouted, ‘Murder! there’s a bandit, spare my life, pray’. But when my castanets I rattled she said, ‘Hooray! It’s The Lancashire Toreador’

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book email the author Andrew Atkinson for further details at: lancashiremedia@talktalk.net

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45079/

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