Ooh mother, George Formby’s home is for sale

The former home of George Formby, one of Britain’s most famous post war comedians, has come on the market in Fairhaven, Lytham St Annes for £895,000.

The comedian, singer and ukulele player lived in the seafront house for eight years from 1953 until his death in 1961 – and in a nice historical twist bought it off Irish tenor Joseph Locke for £6,000.

George Formby and Beryl board a flight to the US in 1949.

Originally named Cintra and built in 1932 from red Accrington brick, Formby renamed it Beryldene after his formidable wife (and business manager) Beryl. He described his time with her as ‘hell’ but despite this their tenure at the property was recognised in August this year by the George Formby Society, which unveiled a blue plaque on one of the entrance pillars (pictured, below).

The detached house, at 199 Inner Promenade just outside the centre of Lytham St Annes, is not the only property to have been given the Beryldene moniker by the couple. The first was a house they bought outside Blackpool in 1937; the second a farmhouse near Garstang in 1945; the third in Knutsford, Cheshire in 1947; then a house in Fylde in 1948 before the couple settled in their final home, the property currently for sale, in 1953.

Formby also bought a holiday home in the Norfolk Broads in the early 1950s and for a short time owned a large house in Ireland.

Since he died the last Beryldene has been extended into the attic, had a conservatory added at the back and has been refurbished by the vendors, a retired judge and his wife, who bought the house in 1988. They have preserved its art deco stained glass within the UPV windows and much of its interior remains Formby-era too including a walnut panelled hallway.

The property became a celebrity in itself in 1961 after Formby’s death. His executors held a three day auction of all Formby’s belongings – including most famously his underpants – under canvass in the property’s back garden and some 1,000 items were sold including his Bentley, musical instruments and even – if this picture (above) is to believed – dog. The house was also auctioned and fetched £9,000.

For more details, contact County Estate Agents.

September 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM 1 comment

Chris Moyles: has the new Herod lost a king’s ransom?

As Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles (pictured below) broadcasts his last for the BBC today and prepares to instead tread the boards for a living in the latest production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar he may marvel at how far he, once just a cassock-wearing Leeds schoolboy with a gift for the gab, has come.

While he lives in a £2 million house in fashionable Highgate, North London with George Michael for a neighbour and drives Audi and Mercedes supercars, his beginnings were more humble.

In 2009 Moyles visited his former childhood home in Temple Moor, Leeds, for TV programme Who Do You Think You Are and while touring the unfurnished property, marveled at its cramped kitchen.

But what the programme didn’t explain is why the house stood empty and un-sold even though his parents had long moved out; the semi (pictured below), named ‘Verona’ after his mother, had been empty for over two years.

His parents, Chris and Harriet Veronica (or Vera) had moved home in 2007 five miles north to the substantially more affluent suburban village of Shadwell near Leeds Golf Club and recently appeared with Moyles, his then girlfriend Sophie Waite and brother Kieron on Celebrity Family Fortunes.

And the family lived up to the TV show’s name. Chris and Vera, who are both retired, were by then living in a £430,000 four-bedroom detached house without a mortgage, suggesting that their then £1m-a-year salaried son gave them a helping hand up the property ladder.

But the Moyles family held on to their original family home to their financial detriment – the three bedroom house appears to have stood empty for two years, was then listed for sale at £169,950 in October 2011 but didn’t find a buyer until May this year despite a £10,000 price drop to £159,000. It finally sold for £150,000.

September 14, 2012 at 8:59 AM Leave a comment

Andy Murray: his mother’s less successful match?

While Andy Murray celebrates his first grand slam win, the first by a male British tennis player for 76 years, his mother Judy may be having a little less success back home.

Her five-bedroom executive home (pictured, below) in Dunblane, East Lothian, which she bought in 2007 for £650,000, has been on the market since July this year at £595,000 which is £55,000 less than she paid for it at the top of the market just before the credit crunch struck.

The 52-year-old (pictured, below) is a professional tennis coach, captain of the Great Britain Fed Cup team (the female counterpart to the Davis Cup) and is also an energetic charity fundraiser. She has been living at her Dunblane home with former badminton ace Phil Reid since the late noughties following her divorce from Andy’s father Will in 2005.

But, despite the area being one of the most desirable in Dunblane, she may have struggled to find a buyer. This is partly because, local agents say, she’s been asking the same price for her home as larger, seven-bedroom properties on the estate – which have been selling recently.

Her house lies in a maze of some 200 high-end houses and villas built in 2004 by developer Cala Homes on a site called Laighills, a former sand and gravel quarry to the north of Dunblane town centre.

And it’s her second in the town, the first being the family home where Andy Murray was raised and attended Dunblane High School. The town, which stayed up almost to a man to watch the US Open final last night, is in the grip of Murray mania and painted one of its post boxes gold recently following Andy’s medal win at the Olympics.

September 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment

Purple, not fifty shades of grey in the bedroom

You might think grey is the new blue at the moment as author EL James’s racy novels take the world by storm and ‘fifty shades of’ enters the sexual lexicon.

But research by online retailer Littlewoods.com has revealed that in reality (rather than fantasy) purple is the leading turn on for couples when in their bedrooms, if interior decoration is anything to go by.

In a saucy piece of research the company asked 2,000 adults how many times they had sex a week and the dominant colour in their bedroom. Those enjoying the most regular love making have purple bedrooms (3.49 times a week on average) followed by red (3.18), sky blue (3.14), pink (3.02) and black (2.99).

And to hammer the point home, so to speak, interior design Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen has chipped in to point out that he’s “for years been telling British homeowners  that a beige bedroom makes for a beige sex life”.

But do British homeowners really go for purple in a big way? Here are six of the best purple bedrooms for sale at the moment.  If they take your fancy and a viewing follows, do tell them where you saw it for sale – you know, that purple property website.

1. Three bedroom semi in Glasgow, £160,000

2. Four bedroom house in Wolverhampton, £227,000

3. Four bedroom house in Preston, £199.950

4. Four bedroom bungalow, Isle of Lewis, £175,000

5. One bedroom flat in Leicester, £124,995

6. Three bedroom flat, Sydenham Hil, London, £179,950

September 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM Leave a comment

Zoopla launches its biggest marketing campaign yet

This weekend we are launching our biggest ever advertising campaign with a brand new multi-million pound national TV, radio and print campaign. This follows the recent launch of our multi-year sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion football club, currently in an impressive fourth place in the Premier League after the first two weeks of the season!

The new TV and radio ads will be seen and heard throughout prime-time on a broad range of national TV channels and radio stations, with print ads running across various national newspapers. The campaign, dubbed ‘Talking Houses’ features three animated houses in three different adverts discussing the property market and the benefits of Zoopla.

Giving life to the houses are the voices of well-known British actors Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Harry Potter), Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) and can you recognise the third voice…with property market expert Phil Spencer’s voice at the end of each ad.

We hope you like them. Let us know what you think in the comments box below or find us here:

Zoopla on Facebook

Zoopla on Twitter

Zoopla on Google+

August 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM 2 comments

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