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History Group Report - March 2013

By Reg Yorke March 2013

We continue to gather interesting information for the Ravenmeols project, now in its last year. During the last few weeks we have received accounts and photographs from a brother and sister  now living in Canada who both spent very happy childhood holidays at Stella Maris under the auspices of a Salford philanthropic organisation. One of their memories is of (happily) waving to HMS Thetis as it passed Formby Point on its tragic fatal diving trials off Anglesey on 1st June 1939.

Stuart Evans the well known expert on the Arts and Crafts movement has been in touch and is coming to re-visit the ‘listed’ Sandhills Cottage and fill us in on its renowned  Architect , A.H. Mackmurdo.

We have been informed informally that an application for funding of a ‘stand-alone interpretive web-site for the Ravenmeols Heritage Trails would probably be successful. Noel and I have given a lot of thought to this and prepared a draft application.

I have also discussed in some detail our approach to on-site interpretation with Andrew Brockbank who is organising a parallel Asparagus Heritage Trail on the N.T. Property, Victoria Road. He is using a fair amount of historical information originally published by ourselves. Not surprisingly there are close similarities of both sites but if anything I now feel that Ravenmeols has just as much interest, even if its Asparagus cultivation is a thing of the past. Nevertheless the advice that the N.T. are buying in could provide some useful ideas for us working with a much smaller budget and without similar professional  ‘interpretive’ help.

We are planning events for the Festival of British Archaeology in July and Heritage Open Day in September. I have now given a number of PowerPoint presentations on Ravenmeols Heritage and ‘Formby-by-the-Sea’ to a number of very different groups including the History Group of the Liverpool Athenaeum Club and the general reaction has been quite rewarding, even at this early stage.

Finally the programme of History Group Meetings for the rest of this year is now organised and will appear in the Newsletter and on the website. This will include a field-trip to the Lunt Meadows Stone-age archaeological excavation led by Ron Cowell.