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Halloween Is Almost Upon Us

Halloween is almost upon us, time to prepare to 'batten down the hatches', turn off the lights and pretend you're not in - mischief night is coming!


This ominous old character has been seen hanging around in the village. No doubt more will be walking around Formby in 'celebration'.

Wikipedia describes Halloween thus:

Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of its original title "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

I enjoyed it when my children were little, but I worry about the commercialisation of the event. Too many ready made goods and disguises have become 'must have' purchases on the part of children.

Am I wrong in believing it was more fun making and carving the items yourself? Or am I becoming Grumpy!

Anyway, for those of you out there in the dark, please respect those neighbours, who now find it a little over the top.


Formby Christmas Lights 2012

The Formby Christmas lights will be switched on
Thursday 29th November at 7pm

(The Celebrity has not been announced yet)

There will be fairground attractions from 5pm onwards.

The stage will be run by The Merseycats with a 'Rock 'n' Roll Christmas' theme.

There will be carol singing by a local school choir too.

There will be a barbeque, crepes, roasted chestnuts, toffee apples, mulled wine, and a balloon artist! 

Autumn season of mists and mellow fruitfulness?

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness by John Keats 


Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

The photograph of a tree just outside my house is a perfect evocation of John Keats' poem 'To Autumn, 1820'

The fruits still cling to the tree, but this time last year they had all gone. For two to three days the tree branches had bent and shook under the weight of a flock of Starlings. Where they left fruit untouched then a nearby flock of Crows brought their weight and hunger to the feast.

I waited in expectation early in the year for the Starlings to arrive. Last year they surged in clouds from rooftop to rooftop on our estate. This year its different. The Starlings never came. Perhaps they anticipated the extraordinary weather we've experienced this year.

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology describes this year as 'exceptional'.

Across most of the UK, 2010-12 has been remarkable in climatic terms – characterised by exceptional departures from typical seasonal rainfall patterns.

In one year Formby has experienced drought, a later than usual cold snap characterised by late frosts an early short but intense warm period and remarkable rainfalls.

It remains to be seen whether the Starlings return next year or that its all a sign of forthcoming prolonged lifelong climate change.

Autumn in poetry is often associated with sadness. Summer possibilities are gone, the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally.

This year we may have more reason than usual to be melancholy.


Celebrate Formby: Put It On The Map

Logo_highstreetIn my previous posting I explained how this blog uses a software tool to collect and publish Events, Reports and Offers. The software has just been updated and to celebrate bloggers around the country are invited to 'Celebrate The Highstreet'. Please join in and put Formby on the Map.

The Formby First Noticeboard (formby.n0tice.com) is joining in with a new campaign that's started and aims to highlight the changing face of the high street across the UK.

What do you most love about Formby town centre and what would you like to change?

To make sure Formby is featured on what will become the UK’s largest live photographic infographic, you can join in.

All you have to do is Take a picture of one thing you want to #Celebrate and one thing you want to #Change and add the hashtag #myhighstreet.

You can then upload your pictures and comments to n0tice by posting them to Twitter or Instagram with either #Celebrate or #Change and  #myhighstreet.

You can then see what other people are n0ticing around you at, here's my first effort at: highstreet.n0tice.com


Formby First Uses an Enhanced On-line Noticeboard

This blog publishes information about local Events, Selected  Local Reports and local Offers  in partnership with the Guardian Media group.

To view the variety of information published recently and illustrated on the Map below, visit Formby.n0tice.com. Or follow the 'Events, Local Reports, Offers' links on the navigation bar above.

All the details published on this local n0tice board are also simultaneously published on The Northerner Blog.


Using this service ensures a very wide circulation of all the information and has significantly increased the readership.

I hope you like it, let me know.


A Busy Week: Bank Robbery, Library Closure and New Shop

It’s been an eventful week here in Formby. The Bank Robbery and the doubt about the future of the Library have caused great apprehension. Both events will resonate for some time yet. 

Local Formby ‘tweeps’ early on Thursday morning were the first to publicise the Santander Bank raid. By the time shoppers were in the village, the perpetrators had fled, the Police given chase and the crime scene taped off.


The effects still linger, the Bank remains closed, a hastily scrawled note explains it to frustrated and confused customers. While curious passers-by take time to glance at the scene. According to the notice they hope to reopen on Saturday.

The conversations about the Formby Library are likely to continue. They could become significant over time. Formby Library is busy, the monthly footfall is over 10,000+. It houses a significant book collection, a Peoples Network site, a popular and well used children’s collection, a meeting room and the Formby Parish Council Offices.

But built in the sixties, it’s starting to show signs of wear and tear and it’s a 'carbon footprint'  nightmare. It also occupies a significant amount of land. Perhaps the time is right to start a debate about moving the Library closer to the heart of the village. There’s a very interesting precedence in Maghull.

Finally the shopping experience in the village is about to receive a significant jolt. On Monday 15 October a new branch of Morrison’s will open in the former M&S store.


It will undoubtedly add fuel to the continuing debate about the need to ‘Shop Local’. It’s labelled as ‘M Local’ but there’s a real debate to be had about how much local money spent in ‘National Chains’ improves a local economy.

Formby Parish Council Meeting

Formby Parish Council meets on Tuesday evening 2 October at 7pm in Formby Library.

There are quite a number of items of interest on the agenda of this meeting. The General Purpose Committee makes a number of recommendations including grants towards the costs of the Christmas tree and the Christmas Lights.

Other items include the Village Improvement Scheme, a report about Rights of Way and improvements to the Rosemary Lane to Lonsdale Road footpath.

The minutes of the previous meeting are available on the Parish Council website:   formbyparishcouncil.org.uk


Proposed 20mph Zone in the Piercefield Road Area, Formby

As a resident in Formby since 1972 I can testify to the growth in car ownership, the increase in the size of vehicles and an increase in the speed of vehicles on our residential roads. I urge all the residents to support this proposal. I've calculated that from where I live the time to get to Southport Road is minimal, a matter of a few seconds, even a worst case scenario suggests that the amount of time is less than a couple of minutes.

Slowing down will probably save lives, reduce noise and save fuel. It's also a chance to spot your neighbour and wave - that's got to be good, surely?

Sefton Council is seeking the views of local residents on the proposed introduction of a 20mph zone in the Piercefield Road Area.


The zones will have large 20mph signs at each entry point to the zone. Lamp posts will display smaller signs at regular intervals within the area. No road humps will be installed in the zone.

Formby Area Committee will decide whether to approve the scheme at its meeting on Thursday 10 January 2013 following the consultation which ends Friday 26 October.

Letters with details of the scheme including a plan and questionnaire are being sent to residents. It’s also possible to complete the details online at Traffic Scheme Consultation.