Latest News – 2022
25th Jan 2022
Interesting news and history of the Royal Hotel on Liverpool Road – please click here
Our first involvement this year follows on from the raising of the Blue Plaque to Percy French at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Brereton at 26 College Avenue (on the corner of Wicks Lane and close by the railway footbridge).
Monday 24th January 2022 starting at 12 Noon
The centenary of Percy French’s death was the 24th January 2020 but the expected opportunity for an Anniversary Memorial with an associated short concert of him was postponed because of the pandemic. Two years on and possibly spurred on by the raising of the Blue Plaque, members of the Percy French Society in Ireland have asked the Vicar of St. Luke’s, the Reverend Dr. Matt Davis, plus the Formby Civic Society, Formby Parish Council and the Irish Consulate to work together to plan proceedings.
The Memorial was held at the graveside of Percy French in St. Luke’s Churchyard
Refreshments were provided, courtesy of the Consulate.
Please click here for an article of Percy French’s links with Formby
Jan 20th 2022 – 2 new fascinating additions to the Formby archives – please click here to view
Programme of Talks – Spring 2022
Talks take place at Ravenmeols Community Centre and begin at 7.30 p.m.
Members are encouraged to invite friends and family to join them for our Talks. Visitors are always very welcome.
We ask for a small voluntary donation of £2 for each visitor
The programme for the first half of the year is as follows.
Thursday 3 February – ‘The Liverpool Fruit and Produce Trade’
Rob Jones will speak to us on the Liverpool Fruit and produce Trade and we will place his article on this topic on our updated website afterwards. I know that Rob is updating his information for the Talk and has asked if there was anyone in the Society (or Formby) with detailed knowledge of potato growing in our small patch. If you have any such knowledge, please let me know. email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 3 March – ‘Researching Family History for TV
Kate Hurst (Chair of the Ormskirk and District Family History Group) History Association to describe her experience of providing research support for, particularly BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘ Kate is a very experienced family history researcher and I am sure it will be an interesting evening.
Thursday 7 April – ‘Bishop’s Court School, Formby – its origins and life for pupils in the 1920s’
John Phillips will give a Talk on the origins of one of the well-known schools from Formby’s past – Bishop’s Court. For this we have available a set of letters written by a pupil to his parents around the years 1928 – 1932 and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
All Talks begin at 7.30 pm.
We hope to see you plus any friends and family you may wish to bring on these dates.
Thursday 5 May A.G.M.
In spring we will publish a set of activities that will include local walks and talks in the form of our traditional ‘Summer Programme’.
Newsletters to Members
We produce two full-colour 16-page Newsletters to Members each year, plus a shorter ‘Christmas Edition’ which will never be on the website as it is a ‘perk’ of membership. They contain reports by Dr. Phil Smith, original research on local history in Formby and latest information on Society affairs.
The Christmas edition 2021 is dedicated to Percy French, following the raising of the Blue Plaque to him, and his cousin John Brooke Richardson, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church for many years and in whose house he passed away in 1920.
You can catch up with previous editions of the Newsletters here
If you are interested in joining us and becoming a member please contact us at: email@example.com
The membership cost has been held at £10 per individual or £15 per couple and the cost of our full-colour printed Newsletters is included within that.
January 2022 – Wildlife Notes
Dr Phil Smith’s Wildlife Notes are added monthly and the notes for DECEMBER 2021 are now live, please click here to view
Local History Walks
We have devised 4 Local History Walks within Formby that can be downloaded and printed out.
We carried out some of these walks with Society members in summer 2021 and enjoyed ourselves finding any ‘glitches’ in the text and providing further information for future updates. Our idea is for anyone interested in going on any of the walks to print the routes and information about them directly from this website.
To access these Walks, please click here
“The History of Human Influence on the Sefton Coast”
Dr. Phil Smith has provided an updated and fascinating (44 page) report
supported with a wide variety of fascinating images for our Civic Society pages.
To view please click here (pdf opens in a new tab) or it can be found on our ‘Wildlife Notes’ page click here
The Village that was Formby” by Joan A. Rimmer, a member of the Formby Civic Society
This very popular and informative coffee table book – which comprises Joan’s three history books ‘My Formby’, ‘Formby Remembered’ and ‘Formby Today’ – was originally published in 2007. After several years out of print it has recently been re-published in a limited edition. Its ongoing success has proved its value to any reader of any age whether long-standing resident or newcomer alike and is available from Derbyshire’s on Chapel Lane in Formby Village for the price of £18.99. All money goes raised goes to charity. This would make a perfect present for any Formby residents.
In the photo is the award-winning Joan Rimmer, a member of the Formby Civic Society, with her new edition of “The Village That Was Formby
“A Community in Wartime – Formby 1914-1918” – John Phillips and Tony Pawson. Copies of this Formby Civic Society book are still available at Derbyshire’s on Chapel Lane at a cost of £5 each
To view an excerpt of the book please click here (opens in a new window)
Local History Resources
Our resources are often used by local students and are available to all bona fide researchers, but particularly our members. Offers of practical help in our work with research and archive management are very welcome. We get quite a number of enquiries on local history via e-mail from all over the world and try to assist with these when information is available.
Please click here or on the local history navigation tab at the top of the page for articles, online resources ceramic models and others. The Society would welcome any additional images of old Formby. Arrangements can be made to collect these, make digital copies and return them with a CD/DVD. Please contact the Society (see below).
To donate resources, access any of the resources, purchase any of the images, please contact Tony Bonney via email – click here or phone Phone: 01704 872862
Our Collection of Photographs and Images of Formby
We have an excellent archive of digital images of our community from the early days of photography to the present. This collection of photographs is held on Flickr. It is available to view at our site by clicking here. We invite you to delve through the collection and enjoy walking through our village at different times in its history. If there is any image you would like for a small charge to purchase an image in digital format, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Using these assets, Society members have carried out research on the history of many local subjects such as:
● The Formby Lifeboat Station (the first in the world, as demonstrated by Reg and Barbara Yorke in their book),
● Asparagus cultivation, having played a major role in developing the ‘Asparagus Trail’ with the National Trust
● The Home Front in Formby 1914-1918
● Walks down Chapel Lane, in conjunction with the Formby Business and Community Partnership
● Early flying at Freshfield (1910 -12), and
● ‘Sand-winning’ in Formby during the first half of the 20th Century
● The Devil’s Hole, with its fascinating wealth of flora and fauna
● The Lost Seaside Resort of Formby-by-the-Sea
Other than helping to develop the Asparagus Trail, we have worked in partnership with Sefton Council to produce two walks along the Ravenmeols shoreline for local people and visitors alike:
We are also available to give Talks and Presentations on topics of local history for local community groups, as well as Talks and Walks for children in our local schools. In addition we have arranged and presented occasional historical exhibitions or displays such as early flying from Freshfield beach (then officially designated an aerodrome!), 1910 – 1912. We have conducted historical and environmental, research and published several local history books, including:
● “A Community in Wartime: Formby 1914-1918” by John Phillips and Tony Pawson (2011)
● ‘Formby, Then and Now’, by Reg and Barbara Yorke, 2012
● “Viking Village” by Edith Kelly, 1973
Duke Street Library holds the unique ‘Formby Tapestry’, created by founder member, Lilian Rushton. This provides a visual record of Formby’s history from the Vikings to the 20th Century. Our collections also include a unique collection of ceramic models of old local cottages here and in full here.
We work with people of all ages across the community and are always open to fresh ideas and imaginative projects in order to preserve our culture and our heritage whilst also recording it both digitally and in print forms for the benefit of our community members in the future.
We continue to seek ways of making local people more aware of the information we hold and ways of developing our bank of information in text to add to and support these images.