LOCAL HISTORY SECTION
Visit to Formby Tide Poles
Organised by the Formby Civic Society and the Sefton Coast Partnership History and Archaeology Task group as a contribution to National Archaeology Week, an unusual walk was enjoyed by 30 people in fine weather on Sunday morning 22nd July 2007.
Led by Dr Reg Yorke (FCS) and Professor Philip Woodworth of the Proudman Oceanographic Observatory, Livepool University, the group walked over the sand dunes and into the inter-
The group were reminded about William Hutchison, Liverpool’s Dockmaster in 1759 who was a pioneer in the recognition of the importance of accurate prediction of the height and strength of the tide, in the port. His records not only being the first known for Liverpool but in fact the first truly systematic measurements in the UK. Measurements started in 1764 ). This was the beginning of the famous series of annual Tide Tables for Liverpool Bay, which have continued to the present day.
These tidal observations were later extended to include outlying positions on the river and estuary by Captain Denham Liverpool’s first Marine Surveyor who had a very clear understanding of the importance of the scientific study of the hydrography of the river and its estuary.
We do not know when tide-
Even after Lifeboat Cottage was abandoned 15 minute readings continued to be taken during day-
The two surviving poles are in the inter-
According to recent information from Michael W. Bankes a Formby resident and formerly hydrographic draughtsman for the MDHB, the meticulously kept readings were telephoned daily (as soon after 4 pm as possible), from Formby to the Marine Surveyor and Water Bailiffs Dept. The written sheets of measurements being sent in at the end of each week. Their purpose was to provide continuous ‘real time’ measurements of sea-