Two George Formby ukuleles could fetch just under £20,000 at auction

Two ukuleles used by George Formby are set to go to auction and could sell for just under £20,000.

The instruments, including one which featured in the comedian’s first film Boots! Boots! in 1934, were part of a fan’s 60-year collection of the late entertainer’s memorabilia.

The other, a ukulele-banjo, which the previous owner George Johnson bought directly from the star’s wife, was used by Formby on stage.


The instrument used on stage has been given a guide price of £10,000-£12,000 while the film item has been estimated at £5,000-£7,000, despite being bought for only £8 in 1961.

Other vintage ukuleles and Formby memorabilia, including 78 records, videos, cassettes, magazines and sheet music, will also be sold at the auction next month.

Claire Howell, music memorabilia expert at Derbyshire-based auctioneers Hansons, said: “This collection is extraordinary.

“Mr Johnson must have been one of George Formby’s biggest fans, if not the biggest.

“To own two of his ukuleles and correspond with his wife shows he went the extra mile to celebrate his admiration for one of Britain’s biggest stars.


“The ukulele used on stage was sold to him by Beryl Formby in 1952 while the instrument used in the film Boots! Boots! was purchased for £8 in 1961 from a woman who bought it at the famous Beryldene auction at St Anne’s, near Blackpool, that same year.”

Mr Johnson left the George Formby treasures to his son, Mike, and daughter, Brenda Robson.

Mike said: “The collection’s been gathering dust under beds and on top of wardrobes.

“Looking at pictures of dad playing his Formby ukuleles and seeing how much pleasure it brought him, made us realise how much we’d love to see that happen again.”

The collection will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, on March 19.