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In connection with the heritage trails a formal application for funding for the proposed Ravenmeols heritage website has now been submitted, following encouraging discussion with Will Moody and Fiona Sunners, and a positive response is expected. We are working on publication of the booklet on the coastal ‘prehistoric footprints’ already prepared by former member Gordon Roberts, but it will be some time before it can be finally published.

Our audit of the Sibley ‘originals’ kindly being undertaken by Colin Cook is progressing well. It has been suggested however that the watercolours should be rescanned as the images at present displayed on the web do not do justice to the originals; further consideration needs to be given to their final ‘resting place’ in the light of the very considerably improved facilities at the Atkinson Library and Gallery, now nearing completion and the willingness already expressed by Sefton to accept on-going responsibility for them.  Finally the planned Heritage Open Day event was cancelled in good time due to lack of bookings but this was perhaps fortunate in view of the weather that day!

History Group Report - September 2013

By Reg Yorke - Secretary  FCS History Group.

As a ‘warm-up’ for the proposed Ravenmeols Heritage Trails a well attended coastal guided Walk from Lifeboat Road car park to Ravenmeols and back was organised for the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership on Saturday 13/4/13.

A further significant contribution to the information base we have built up on Ravenmeols was provided by a visit by the architectural historian Stuart Evans on Monday 6th May, when we were together able to visit Sandhills Cottage and discuss its famous 19th century architect, W. H. Macmurdo with the present owners.  Stuart has agreed to return to Formby to speak to the Society on ‘The Arts and Crafts movement,  Liverpool and the North West' next February. History Group meetings are now arranged for the next 12 months.

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On 15 May we enjoyed a very interesting visit to Lunt Meadows current Neolithic settlement excavation guided by Ron Cowell, curator of prehistoric archaeology, National museums, Liverpool This is a unique site and provide interesting new perspectives on life in the Alt Valley in the Neolithic period.

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With the assistance of Jack Gore we were able to organise a very interesting ‘guided visit’ to the  Ravenmeols  ‘Cold-War’ Nuclear bunker for the Festival of British Archaeology on Sunday 28th July, accompanied by several members of the former wartime crew . At the invitation of the Landscape Partnership I gave a talk on the history of the Formby Lifeboat-station at St Luke's meeting room on 23rd May. Our publication on this is now out of print. Logically the next step would be to republish it as an e-book, particularly now that it is now recognised as having been the ‘World's first’, not just ‘Britain's first’. The BBC are interested in including something about it in a future programme.

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