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December 2017

Emergency Closure of Long Lane

Sefton Council has issued an emergency notice of closure of Long Lane, a popular footpath from Gores Lane to Freshfield Road.


Proposed Temporary Emergency Road Closure Long Lane, Formby
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, Section 14, as amended by the Road Traffic
(Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991.
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Head of Locality Services Commissioned is empowered to authorise a Temporary Emergency Road Closure Order for any period up to 21 days duration.
1.2 In order to install a retention system at the southern bank of Dobbs Gutter and to maintain safety for operatives and road users, it will be necessary to close Long Lane, Formby
1.3 Work will commence on 15th January 2018 and is due to be completed by 23rd February2018


To see the full order use the following link to download the document.


Village trees for the axe this month

Sefton Council has announced when they're going to fell the large Chestnut trees in Formby Village centre and trim others.

Village Trees 2aVital tree works are to begin later this month along Chapel Lane, Formby.

The street tree management, which begins on Monday January 29, is expected to take around one week to complete.

Chapel Lane will be temporarily closed to vehicles while the works take place each day. The road will reopen to traffic during the evenings.

The works will also allow for the planting of seven new trees before the end of March 2018, with replacement trees expected to be a mix of species including non-fruiting horse chestnut.

A study of the Chapel Lane trees by Sefton’s Parks and Greenspaces team have found that five existing trees are in need of pruning works, while five horse chestnut trees were found to have severely declined in recent years.

They must be removed before they pose a significant health and safety risk.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said:

“The condition of the five large horse chestnut trees has declined significantly over the past few years and sadly they will not recover.

“We have decided to remove them before they pose a more significant risk to the public

“It is always regrettable when we have to remove trees, especially such large, prominent trees that have been part of the landscape for many years.

“Sefton Council, along with ward and parish councillors, have secured funding to replace the trees.

“Seven new trees will be planted before the end of March 2018.

“We apologise in advance for any disturbance and inconvenience while the works are taking place.”

What do you think of this decision?

And if the trees have got to go, do you have suggestions about further enhancements in the village landscape?

Select the comment link below, or email or use the Chat link in the righthand column.



Formby: Spot the differences 1888 - 2018

I was browsing an old map of Formby recently and the longer I looked at it the more I noticed significant differences between now and then. (Click on the Map to view in more detail).

Formby Station Composite

The map was surveyed and published between 1888 and 1893. It's just a fragment from a map of the whole of Lancashire. This particular image is a composite made with three screenshots, carefully arranged to ensure that the joins are as invisible as possible 

Nonetheless, there are some interesting features, I wonder whether you'll notice more than me.

You can either comment using the text box at the bottom of the story or try the 'Blog Chat' link in the righthand column, I've set up a 'WhatsApp group' as an experiment.

Tell me what you find and any other observation you want to add.

I hope you enjoy this puzzle to start the week.

It's the eve of St Hilary's Day

Posted Friday 12 January 11.00 am

Traditionally, tomorrow, St Hilary's day is known as the coldest day of the year.

Frost Close Up

The feast day has gained the reputation of being the coldest day of the year due to past cold events starting on or around this date.

One of the most severe winters in history began around 13 January in 1205, when the Thames in London froze over, and ale and wine turned to solid ice and were sold by weight.

"So began a frost which continued till the two and twentieth day of March, so that the ground could not be tilled; whereof it came to pass that, in summer following a quarter of wheat was sold for a mark of silver in many places of England, which for the more part in the days of King Henry the Second was sold for twelve pence; a quarter of beans or peas for half a mark; a quarter of oats for thirty pence, that were wont to be sold for fourpence....." —Stowe's Chronicle

The worst cold spells in Britain occurred between 1550 and 1750. The climate during this time was known as the Little Ice Age when winters were so cold that the Thames froze over each year. It was not uncommon for the freeze to last over three months, as in the case of the winters of 1683 - 1684 and 1715 - 1716.

During this period the River Thames became the location of the 'Frost Fairs'. The first recorded Frost Fair was held on the frozen river Thames in London in 1608. It had tents, sideshows, food stalls and even included ice bowling!

Interestingly enough, one of my bowling colleagues told me of winters in Formby, many years ago, when he and other young lads could ice-skate across the moss on frozen drainage ditches.

Nowadays, we rarely seem to need gloves, but I can still recall winters in the past when despite gloves, my fingers would ache with the cold. No matter how thick the gloves or how deeply you tried to bury your hands in coat pockets or blow warm air into clenched hands the cold won the battle.

How about you, do you have any memories of cold January days here in Formby?

In the meantime, it look's as if St Hilary is losing her touch this, is the latest forecast from the Met Office

A breezy and cloudy start to the night, with perhaps the odd spot of drizzle in places. A milder night than recently with everywhere remaining frost free. Minimum Temperature 3 °C.

A cloudy day with some brisk winds along the coast and over hills. Patchy light rain through the morning and afternoon will turn more persistent in places during the evening. Maximum Temperature 8 °C.