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History Group Report June  2015

Ravenmeols Heritage Trails; The considerable amount of historical and other background research which has gone into this project is now coming to fruition. Three main trails have been identified and routes agreed with Sefton Coast and Countryside Service.  The design of interpretation panels, marking of the trails and sites of special interest, is being discussed . We now suggest that the official opening should take place in conjunction with Heritage Open Days on Saturday 12th of September. We will have background support from Sefton Coast and Countryside. In the meantime a illustrated pocket guide needs to be finalised.

Historic Environment Record. Our work on updating this has been much appreciated by the Formby Parish Council in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, now nearing completion.

Additional Conservation area; During discussions with the Parish Council the possibility of seeking recognition of some of Formby village as a conservation area has been warmly received. To process this would however involve a lot of further work. Nevertheless we can take inspiration from Birkdale where the civic society took a lead role several years ago. In the meantime we should also assist with a review of the state of our existing conservation area, as invited by the Sefton MBC  planning department a year or so ago.

World War I ‘Homefront’; Work on the Formby Times newspaper archive is proceeding smoothly carried out mainly by John Phillips and Tony Pawson together with digital archiving by Tony Bonney. As anticipated this exercise is opening up a long forgotten chapter in Formby’s past.

The Summer Program commenced on Thursday, 11 June with an ‘Asparagus Trail’ led by Andrew Brockbank. It is good that the research work originally started by the society has  now come to fruition. A booklet on the historical background of asparagus cultivation in Formby was prepared by us some time ago and now that the trailer has come into existence it would be good if this could be published. A quotation has been obtained and the National Trust are prepared to sell it at their caravan near the entrance to the reserve.

Prompted by the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo we are to visit our neighbouring area of that name in July, which now has a history of its own. To be led by one of its own local historians.

Reg Yorke,

Secretary FCS History Group.11.6.15