New book marks anniversary of ukulele star George Formby’s fiancee Pat Howson

Posted on - 22nd November, 2015 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Nostalgia, Penwortham, People, Preston City Centre, Preston Locations

Book Cover Front


A new book published by Lancashire Media, ‘Formby’s Lost Love – The untold story’, written by Andrew Atkinson is released to commemorate the anniversary of Pat Howson’s death.

Ukulele┬álegend George Formby’s fiancee, Penwortham, Preston born girl Pat Howson, died 44 years ago this day┬á(November 22, 1971). Religious Education teacher Pat, who attended Balshaws Grammar School, Leyland, and later served in the WRENS during WWII, died from ovarian cancer, aged 46. Pat, who resided on Liverpool Road, Penwortham, when she was engaged to Formby, on February 14, 1961, had known the star, famed for his songs, namely: ‘My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock’ and ‘Leaning On A Lampost’, since childhood. Her father, Fred Howson, general manager at Preston based Loxhams cars, and mother Katy, were personal friends of George Formby and his wife Beryl.

Following the death of Beryl in December 1960, Formby, 56, was engaged to Pat, but following their engagement he had a fatal heart attack at St Joseph’s Hospital, Preston, in March 1961. Pat Howson died in a Nursing Home, in Ansdell, Lytham, and after a funeral service at St Wilfrids Church, Chapel Street, Preston, was buried at Preston Cemetery. “Pat Howson’s engagement to legend Formby changed her life – forever – right up to her death,” said Andrew Atkinson, author of ‘Formby’s Lost Love’, a Biography of Pat Howson’s life.

To order a Limited Edition signed copy of ‘Formby’s Lost Love’,

please email:

Are you a fan of George Formby? Did you know about his fiancee’s life? Let us know in the comments below.

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