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Formby Edible Gardens Project

The Formby Edible gardens Project is described more fully elsewhere on this blog. For those of you who want to know more then follow the link to the explanatory page. If you are interested we are actively looking for people to join us.

As I promised yesterday to several people who tweeted the question "How did you make the raised beds?' This is the answer. At the moment the plan is for 4 of these raised beds on the small plot reserved for this project at Formby Swimming Pool grounds.

In the case of this prototype the wood was supplied by local timber merchants, Total Timber. They were very helpful and obliging in the design and order phase. The handiwork is mine alone.


Raised Beds Prototype Assembled
Prototype Raised Beds

I won't go into the reasons here for using raised beds other than the size of the space and the needs of users are paramount. This prototype consists of 2 adjoining beds each 1.2m square (Approx 4 feet). We're intending to try out a form of The Square Foot Garden, follow the link for more information. We're also  using the RHS 10' x10' model, as featured in Carol Klein's Book, 'Grow your own'.

Altogether there are 16 planks cut to 1.2metres in length and 2 planks cut to 1.247metres. The last two are on the end of the lower bed. Each plank has an added short element for attaching each plank together.

Plank Attachment Element
For Joining Each Plank


In the case of 12 ordinary planks, the jointing element is placed 47mm from an end. When that was attached I drilled 2 additional ready screwed holes to ease the process of assembly in the garden. In the case of the 4 1.2 metre planks for the smaller bed, the jointing element was screwed at the end of the plank. Again I added 2 ready drilled screw holes for on-site assembly.


Prototype Raised Bed Assembly
Jointing Element and Ready Drilled Assembly Holes


Finally the joining elements for the 2 lower bed end planks were added, also at 47mm from the end and then the prototype was loosely asembled as shown in the first photograph.

If you want to be involved or you already grow your own we would like to know, please contact me using the comment box below or the email link on the right-hand side of the page.

There is also another version of these instructions. This is an audio recording to accompany an animated sequence in which I describe the construction and assembly of the raised beds described above. It's a bit of an experiment of mine but I'd be keen to here your comments. Click Here.

Formby - Southport: Essential Engineering Work

Northern Line: Essential Engineering Work

On Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January 2012 essential maintenance work will be taking place between Formby and Southport.

A rail replacement bus will be in operation between these stations. Birkdale passengers will also find additional work being carried out the station, which will result in limited access to the level crossing

(Source: http://www.merseyrail.org/engineering.html)

'Cash On Delivery' by Michael Cooney

Formby Little Theatre are staging a series of performance of 'Cash On Delivery' by Michael Cooney. 
January 2012: 17th to 21st and 24th to 28th  

Eric has pocketed thousands of pounds through fraudulent DSS claims. When Norman (the lodger) opens the door to a DSS Inspector, deceptive mayhem follows. Meanwhile Linda (his wife) consults Dr Chapman regarding the discovery of her husband's lingerie (all part of his swindling activities)!

The Little Theatre is currently looking for people who would be interested in learning the technical side of theatre. Full training will be given.

Formby Little Theatre is on the footpath that runs between Rosemary Lane (round the bend past Holy Trinity Church and on the right) and Lonsdale Road (next to the school playing field). There is a signpost at each end of the footpath.

The address of the theatre is Formby Little Theatre, 123, Lonsdale Road, Formby, Liverpool, L37 3HF


Formby Parish Council Seeks New Clerk

The Parish Council have announced the clerk has resigned from the post after seven years service, during which the role of the Council has grown significantly.

The Parish Council has represented the community for eight years, and is one of ten parish councils in Sefton. It is a very active Council and has been the driving force in local projects and improvements, and in particular has done a great deal to improve the appearance of the Village Centre. It has an annual precept of £43000.

The Council wishes to appoint an organised and enthusiastic person to fill the post of Parish Clerk and RFO. Applicants must be able to show that they have experience in administration, finance and audit procedures. They must be able to relate to our residents and official organisations with diplomacy and professional confidence.

The successful candidate would be expected to assist in the process of Formby Parish Council becoming a quality approved Council.

• Hours of work will initially be 8 hours per week to be spread between occasional evening meetings and, ideally, daily attendance at our office in Formby Library. Salary will reflect the experience of the successful candidate and the significance of the role.

• It will be subject to satisfactory references.

The Job Description, Person Specification and the Application Form are available on the Parish Council website and can be download.

Applications should be sent to

The Chairman Formby Parish Council, The Library Duke Street FORMBY L37 4AN

The closing date for applications is the 13 February 2012. Interviews will take place before the end of February at which time applicants will be asked to make a short presentation to the interviewing panel, of their career to date and their knowledge of local matters.


Sefton MBC Stands By In Case of Bad Weather

Sefton MBC have just published this about the drop in the temperature and the action they are taking:

Much colder temperatures forecast for tonight and over the weekend. Officers monitoring the weather conditions with gritting very likely.


Sefton Snow Ploughs in Formby Depot


It's good to know that they are standing by, ready to take action when and if needed.

Here's a view of the snow ploughs and gritters on standy-by in their Formby depot.

It makes a reassuring sight given the huge impact bad weather had last year across the whole of Sefton.


Formby Police Station General Enquiry Office Closed

Formby Police station general enquiry office closed on Monday 9 January. Formby residents and visitors will not be able to make general enquiries at Formby Police station. The stations will be staffed but will  focus on operational work.

Inspector Jim Atherton explains:

All Police Stations will remain open but we are reducing the number of General Enquiry Offices because of the need to maintain other essential services to protect your community.

This means from Monday, the 9th of January, if you want to call in to a General Enquiry Office, you can go to Southport Police Station, which is open all week, 24-hours a day, or Marsh Lane Police Station, from 8am - 10pm, Monday to Saturday.

You can visit your local police station by pre-arranged appointment with your Neighbourhood Policing Team. All stations have a phone box outside, which can be used to contact the police in an emergency.

There are a number of ways to contact Merseyside Police, which includes local surgeries in libraries and shops. If you have a non-emergency incident to report or want to speak to your local neighbourhood policing team, you can call '101'. You can also report minor crime online.

In the past some residents have complained that the telephone outside the station 'was not working'. Please let me know if that happens to you.


Formby First Supports Localism

FormbyFC January
My first story this new year starts with a football match at the Formby FC home ground. I'm not going to describe the game you'll be able to read about it on the Football Clubs website.

I've followed the adventures of the club recently through ups and downs and match postponements, but this was the first time I've attended a game in real life. Previously I enjoyed matches vicariously following streams of Tweets by assorted officials and supporters. The match reports and the Tweets made me enthusiastic to see it for real.

Despite the glowering sky and strong wind it was great. A concessionary £3 entry, I'm an OAP. A cup of coffee and bacon barm at half-time £2 and a full thick match programme £1 were great value for money. It reminded me of those French Town Sports Clubs, which double as campsites and where I had camped with my family while touring in the 1980's. The French value their local facilities, they attract visitors, they serve local communities proudly. Formby Football Club deserves local support in the same way.

A small group of obviously committed supporters and officials are working their socks off, to provide a rich local experience and resource for their local community. At some point within the next 5 years, they will move from their present location further along the bypass. Am I wrong in suggesting this is an ideal opportunity to get behind the club and grow it into an equivalent of the French Sporting Club model?.

Now is the ideal opportunity for sporting enthusiasts, local enterprises and Civic bodies like the Parish Council to 'dream the dream'. If smaller French communities can do it, so can Formby.