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History Group Report AGM -  May 2015

Publications: 500 of Gordon Roberts well written and illustrated Prehistoric Footsteps booklets were printed originally and being sold out quickly, an additional 500 copies have now been re-printed and are now available from local bookshops, the National Trust and ourselves). Members are asked to publicise this. In addition we have several hundred remaindered copies of ‘Sand & Sea, Sefton’s Coastal Heritage’. Originally priced at £14 but now available through the Society at £4.00 per copy.

Copies of both these publications are available from our stall at the door this evening. We will be grateful if members could assist with publicising the availability of both of these. Please contact me direct or go to local bookshops if you need copies after this evening.

Ravenmeols Project - We are entering the final phase of this four-year project. We have collected a great deal of information from its Viking origins to the present day. We now have to decide the best way of presenting the information. The idea of a website has now been dropped but a booklet and a number of trail guides will be produced.

Blue-plaque, Freshfield House installation. This plaque to commemorate Thomas Fresh has now been installed on the frontage of Freshfield House. The history of the house and its onetime resident, Thomas Fresh was originally researched by the late Neville Carrick and myself and subsequently by Norman Parkinson of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health The Blue Plaque was funded by the CIEH. Both Civic Society and CIEH members joined together on Friday 31st October to present the plaque for installation to the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jackson and affixing to the property where it may now now be seen, the first in Formby.

WW1 ‘Home Front’ project - there are now 6 volunteers working on this but most of the research is being done by John Phillips and Tony Pawson with digital backup from Tony Bonney.  We are grateful to Crosby Library who are being very supportive and agreed ongoing use of their new microfilm reader. Work continues on a weekly basis. The research based on contemporary copies of the Formby Times is now up to 1917.

Assets of Community Value; a preliminary listing of possible Formby assets of community value, got off the ground with a visit from Sarah James of Civic Voice, a few weeks ago, and we are delighted that she is able to be with us this evening to share her expertise and tell us what other societies are doing. We have already prepared a preliminary list and now need to submit this.

Formby Historic Environment Record; this has involved drawing up a list of buildings and structures of heritage value that could be worth preserving, over and above the conventionally Listed Buildings. I am grateful to Tony Bonney for having now photographed most of these

Talks given; talks on subjects of local historical interest have included  ‘Sefton’s Vanished Coast Guard Service’  by Mike Roberts,'The Importance of the River Alt in prehistory' by Ron Cowell and ‘The National Trust Asparagus Trail’ by Andrew Brockbank and will continue during the autumn with talks on ‘Lord Leverhulme’, ‘World War I, the Formby Home Front’ by John Phillips and ‘Old Formby’ by myself.


Reg Yorke,

Secretary FCS History Group.