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Formby Village

VillageSign1 ‘I’m going to the village’ is a phrase that trips off the tongue of most if not all Formby residents. Sefton MBC road signs point the visitor towards the ‘village’. Yet Formby is a considerable coastal dormitory town with at least 9500 dwellings and a population to match.

Why then do we persist in calling the centre of our town a village?

Recently I was standing in Chapel Lane waiting for my wife when I noticed the ‘village’ sign attached to the upper wall of the Roy Castle charity shop. Here for the first time I found some evidence of why we all persist in this practice.



Next time you visit the shops in Chapel Lane, look out for the sign. Meanwhile if anyone has more to explain this tradition, let me know.

Here's a better picture of the sign, I wonder how long it's been there, who put it on the wall and why so high?

Click on each image for a closer view.

Formby Coaches Fire

Merseyside Fire Brigade attended a fire that broke out in the offices of Formby Coaches on Altcar Road early on Sunday morning. According to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue alert service at the time,

Crews from Formby, Southport, Crosby and Netherton are currently dealing with a fire in Altcar Road, Formby. The fire involves 6 portacabins and a number of vehicles in a courtyard.
(Source: Merseyside Fire and Rescue service)

Some idea as to the scale of the fire and the damage is illustrated below.

Later reports indicated that four fire engines attended the scene, for more details follow this link to The Formby Times.

Formby and RAF Woodvale

RAFWoodvale Sefton MBC is due to honour RAF Woodvale at a special meeting of the Council tonight. It might come as a suprise to some, but Woodvale Airfield is actually a part of Formby.  It occupies a very significant area of Formby because the northern Parish Boundary encloses it. This is one of the reasons why the Parish Sign is situated on the by-pass so close to the start of built-up Ainsdale.

At the meeting tonight Sefton District Councillors are being asked to support a motion that begins:

Freedom of Entry to the Borough - RAF Woodvale

The conferring of the title of Honorary Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour a Council can bestow on an individual. “Freedom of Entry” to the Borough is the equivalent honour the Council can grant to a service unit which has rendered conspicuous service and is closely associated with the Borough.

The motion then goes on to explain the reasoning and the particular sections of the relevant law involved.

RAF Woodvale is bound to be pleased and honoured, but to will also please local residents of Formby who have a very longstanding connection with the base and all that it has done and what it has stood for over the many years of it's existence.

RAF crest source: RAF Woodvale

Formby and Domesday

I've just come across a very interesting web site that features details of the Domesday entries for Formby and district.

There are three entries: one each for Formby, (Raven) Meols and Ince (Blundell).


The details for Formby are listed below.

  • Hundred: West Derby
  • County: Cheshire
  • Total tax paid: 4 geld
  • Head of Manor: West Derby
  • Value: Taxable value 4 geld. Value to lord in 1066 £0.5.
  • Lord in 1066: thanes, three
  • Overlord in 1066: King Edward
  • Lord in 1086: Roger of Poitou
  • Tenant in chief: Roger of Poitou

If you visit the site there are more details for each of the words in bold. You can also compare the entries for other settlements now part of modern Sefton.

Formby Parish Council Election Results

Harington Ward
Michael Coles Conservative Party No contest
Denise Dutton Conservative Party No contest
Geoff Gaskin Conservative Party No contest
Mavis Hearn Conservative Party No contest
Ralph Osborne Conservative Party No contest
Barry Powrie Conservative Party No contest
Tony Price Conservative Party No contest
Hugh Smyth Conservative Party No contest
Ravenmeols Ward
Norma Griffiths Conservative Party 1543 12% Elected
Harry Bliss Conservative Party 1490 12% Elected
Roland Cawley Conservative Party 1393 11% Elected
Alan Brookfield Conservative Party 1380 11% Elected
Joan Talbot Conservative Party 1292 10% Elected
Mike Ward Conservative Party 1279 10% Elected
Paul Mousley Dean Conservative Party 1107 9% Elected
David Walker Liberal Democrats 1034 8% Not elected
Dru Haydon Liberal Democrats 1012 8% Not elected
Stuart Morgan Sime Independent 877 7% Not elected

Voting Summary
Details Number
Seats 7
Total votes 12407
Electorate 8353
Ballot Papers Issued 12980
Number of ballot papers rejected 573
Turnout 21%

Share of the Votes (%)
Norma Griffiths 12% Elected
Harry Bliss 12% Elected
Roland Cawley 11% Elected
Alan Brookfield 11% Elected
Joan Talbot 10% Elected
Mike Ward 10% Elected
Paul Mousley Dean 9% Elected
David Walker 8% Not elected
Dru Haydon 8% Not elected
Stuart Morgan Sime 7% Not elected

Source Sefton MBC web site 11/05/2011

573 Ballot Papers Rejected in Formby Parish Council Election!

Voting An astonishing 573 ballot papers were rejected following last Thursday's Parish Council election in Formby.

Elsewhere in Sefton the number of ballot papers rejected in contested elections ranged from 84 to 17. These are nowhere near the amazing figure for the Formby Parish Council Ravenmeols Ward. I have never known such an outcome before.

I can only think of two possible reasons for these figures, they were either errors made by voters or they were a deliberate comment on the election and the candidates.

I have written to the returning officer to seek an explanation. There were  'Twitter' comments from onlookers that some voters appeared to have used the 'preferences' method, i.e. using numbers to indicate their choices. But in my experience so long as the voters’ intentions are clear then the vote is accepted.

On the other hand, if these were deliberately spoilt votes then this number clearly suggests considerable unease on the part of a very significant number of voters.

Most residents in Formby in my experience deeply regret that the elections have become 'Party 'political. I agree with them, at Parish Council level there is no place for 'party politics' and this was one of my reasons for retirement. Frankly I got fed up with long unproductive meetings in which my suggestions were rejected because they were 'not local Conservative Party Policy'.

If these rejected ballot papers are evidence of public anger, then my message to the local Conservatives is clear. Make the community the heart of your actions, stop holding silly secret meetings with each other and involve the public.

Retired but not Out!

The elections for Formby Parish Council were held yesterday and the results will shortly be published once the count is completed.

I will soon write again about the results and my involvement and experiences with the Parish Council over the past 8 years.

Despite my retirement as a Councillor, I will be continuing to try to make an active contribution to the life of Formby.

There is 'more to come', watch this space!