George Formby death location, Preston

 

Here I am at the derelict St Joseph’s building where George Formby died aged 56. It’s just off the main shopping precinct in the centre of Preston. As I passed a busy pub with people sat outside a lone man glanced at my camera. He looked like a spare willy at a wedding so I stopped and said I was going to take some photos of the deserted orphanage just down on the right as George Formby has died there. “No way!” he said truly surprised, “Never. Well I never knew that.” I supposed a lot of Preston folk never knew one of Britain’s most successful highly-paid and well-loved legends died here.

 

In summary George’s dominating wife had died on Christmas Day in 1960 (having made him a star.) On Valentine’s Day in 1961 he announced he was to marry Pat Howson who was a deeply religious school teacher twenty years his junior. The wedding was set for March and a Georgian manor house had been purchased in advance. March brought a church service though it was a funeral service. Days after they announced their engagement George and Pat were having a candle-lit meal at her home when he experienced stomach pains. He was brought here to this hospital where a heart attack was diagnosed. On his first day Pat visited him four times and over the next few days he was recovering enough for him to be allowed out of bed for a while. A couple of weeks later on Monday 6th March 1961 Pat was at George's bedside and they were holding hands and chatting happily about the forthcoming wedding. She’d been there for about half an hour when George suffered a sudden heart attack. Though doctors tried to save him he was death within minutes.

 

When I reached the derelict building music was blaring out of one of the smashed windows. It stopped when I started taking a few photos. From 1877 this was St Joseph’s Orphanage where 971 children were cared for. It took in Roman Catholic girls in Preston, up to 60 youngsters at a time and was run by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy. It closed in 1954 and became a hospital (through the First and Second World Wars injured soldiers had been treated here.) In 1982 the hospital closed when the last nuns left nursing but in 1982 it opened again as private care home. It closed probably for the last time in 2003.

 

People have explored the inside and some links are here...

 

https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/hospitals-and-asylums/31842-mount-street-hospital-st-josephs-orphanage-preston-2014-march-2015-a.html#.W7uL43tKh1s

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-miksYLMFM0

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCWHwcOAXd8

 

George was buried in Warrington cemetery and the link is here...

 

http://johnhalley.uk/BP%20-%20George%20Formby.htm

 

The derelict building is down here on the right…

 

Walking down Mount Street. The building is further down on the right…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for st joseph's hospital mount street preston

 

Image result for st joseph's hospital mount street preston

 

George and Pat…

Image result for pat howson

 

 

A terrific documentary about George is here…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLFPLwP0f_A