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History Group Report - November 2013

By Reg Yorke - Secretary FCS History Group.

Work on Ravenmeols Heritage Trails continues. Access to Albert and Alexandra Road seemed to be threatened by the appearance of a large number of signs threatening that cars parked in that area will be “towed away by tractor”. I guessed that these signs were put up on the authority of Mike McComb and wrote to him to clarify the position. But to my delight I received an email by return saying  “please feel free to use the necessary route anytime you or any of the society members need to”.

Perhaps in view of this we should make suitable society windscreen stickers available to our members, particularly in view of the creation of the heritage trails during the next year?

We have listed the things we want the Heritage Trails and accompanying guides to highlight but are very receptive to further suggestions. The routes of the trails have been roughly delineated but at least one slightly longer trail will include parts of the foreshore. Funding for the proposed Ravenmeols Heritage website  has now been formally agreed.  Work on this is to be completed by November 2014.

Proof-reading the booklet on the coastal ‘prehistoric footprints’, has been somewhat delayed but we hope to have the publication available next spring.

Re-cataloguing the Sibley ‘originals’  kindly undertaken by Colin Cook has now been completed and their condition noted.  Having inspected the collection Stephen Whittle, Atkinson Museum & Gallery Manager states he would be very happy to add them to the Atkinson collection as he recognises they are a valuable regional archive.  Sefton have a collection of 3,500 artworks from right across the borough but have relatively little material relating to Formby. They now have a climate controlled art store where the material could be kept and made accessible to visiting researchers.  Works from the collection would be incorporated in their temporary exhibition programme and could also feature in the new museum development opening in October 2014.

 He was pleased to see that the collection is already well documented and the existing catalogue would be the basis of a more detailed catalogue or database that they would produce.

In the light of the very considerably improved facilities at the Atkinson Library and Gallery, and this very positive offer I would suggest we now let them go. Having known Muriel Sibley personally I feel that she would be delighted to know that her work is finally being recognised, preserved and made publicly available in this way.

Finally Mr Whittle tells me that a special display is being put together for the centenary of the outbreak of WW1. He is anxious to record recollections and have sight of any contemporary material relating to the impact of the war here in Sefton.  

R.A.Y. 1.11.13