Is Formby being overwhelmed by visitors?

The hot weather this weekend has resulted in the usual traffic congestion and full car parks.

Traffic jam

Once more residents lives have been disrupted by overwhelming visitor numbers. They come from all over the region, many travelling long distances in the hope of enjoying a 'day out' at the sea. They are confronted by congested roads, traffic jams and long queues for parking.

Continue reading "Is Formby being overwhelmed by visitors?" »


Today and Tomorrow

This weekend looks like it's ideal for a visit to the seaside.

Beach Combing

The Wildlife Trusts - Irish Sea. Our vision is for seas that are productive with thriving wildlife.

There are eight local Wildlife Trusts that surround the Irish Sea.

Together, we are the largest voluntary organisation dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places, across the UK and Isle of Man, in the countryside, in cities and at sea.

But let's leave as you found it, as you'd like to find it. Don't leave any traces of your visit, tread softly on our common land and shore. Think of your children, your grandchildren and their children. We've only got one planet.

 

Enjoy the weekend.

 


Be prepared if you're unwell over the bank holiday

With the second bank holiday in May fast approaching, local health professionals are reminding people to examine their options should they or their family members become unwell over the long weekend.

Examine your options Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday, so it is wise for people to think about repeat prescriptions they will need before the long weekend begins.

Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: 

“We remind people to examine their options all year round but it is even more important over the bank holiday weekends when GP practices are closed.

“We want to make sure that people have a good weekend and that they use the right service should they need it. We don’t want patients to become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.

Another thing we don’t want to happen is for people to run out of their medication but it is also important that they don’t over order to avoid unnecessary waste."

Dr John Caine, a GP in Parbold and chair at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: 

“We are reminding people about the services on offer to them such as advice on the NHS choices website and by calling NHS 111 which will be invaluable this weekend.

“Your pharmacist can also give you useful advice on how to deal with common bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu so that you can take precautions and have a nice long weekend.”


The local NHS CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

Feeling Unwell? - Examine Your Options

Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacy Services

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds and ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet over the holiday period.

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website: www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit: Your health and services

For Southport and Formby pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday please visit: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-over-the-bank-holidays/

For West Lancashire pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday, please visit www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/west-lancashire-pharmacy-bank-holiday-opening-times/

 


Woodlands primary school anniversary

CALLING all former Woodlands Primary pupils – can you help celebrate the Formby school’s 50th anniversary this summer?

Woodwards school 50th AnniversaryThe school is looking for your memories as a pupil, teacher or parent since it opened its doors on Woodlands Road, Formby, in 1967.

They are staging an exhibition for the pupils of today to see how their school looked back in the 1960s and how it has changed down the years.

So any photos, old uniforms and stories from your time — or your children’s time — at the school would be more than welcome.

The golden jubilee exhibition will feature at the school’s summer fair on Saturday 1 July from 1pm where all former pupils and teachers can take a trip down memory lane.

Get in touch with the school office at Woodlands in Formby if you have anything to contribute or our Facebook page - Search FOWSA - Friends of Woodlands School Association.

 


Are you celebrating Nurses Day?

Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Both Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals are celebrating the day and are inviting all nurses to join them for the event.

Nurses day


St George's Day, William Shakespeare, Sun and Sundials

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He died on 23 April 1616.

William Shakespeare is quintessentially English who is also universally known. As is the case with St George, the Patron Saint of England, who's memory we celebrate annually. 

Shakespeare wrote:

SunDial BaseCarve out dials, quaintly, point by point
Thereby to set the minutes, how they run,
How many make the Hour full, complete,
How many hours bring about the Day.
        King Henry VI. Pt. III. Act II. Sc. 5.

In the last few days we've been blessed by glorious uninterrupted sunny weather and I was looking for an appropriate short story to link these events and Formby together.

This incomplete sundial is in the grounds of St Peter's Church in Freshfield.

It's one of a number of historic items and places registered on the Historic British Listed Buildings list, which is an online database of buildings and structures that are listed as being of special architectural and historic interest.

The details recorded on the list describe it as follows:

FORMBY GREEN LANE (east side)
2/39 Sundial approx. 5.5 m. south of Church of St. Peter G.V. II

Sundial. Probably C18. Stone. Tuscan column with square abacus on cyma moulding. Metal plate; gnomon missing.

(Source: http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/)

And the Gnomon that's missing well that's the part that normally casts a shadow on the dial showing an approximation of the time, they look like this image below, which explains the way they work.

Sundial Gnomon
ASundial Columns a resident of Formby since 1972 I've lost count of the number of times I've passed this column when walking into Formby Village from my house.

I've never noticed it before, which I suppose just illustrates how often I walk or cycle around with my eyes closed to the details of our rich environment.

This is the stone column to look out for.

There's also a very interesting building opposite St Peter's Church, which is not recorded on the British Historic Buildings list.

I think this is a surprising omission. It's an old building and looking at old maps suggests it was a 'Public House'.

Two places serving the 'Spirit' side by side.

 

 


Happy Easter and Bank Holiday Monday

The name "Easter" (and the German name for it: Ostern) comes from Eostre, the ancient name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring.

The name used in some other European countries is derived from the name of the Hebrew festival called the Passover (French: Pâques, Italian: Pasqua, Spanish: Pascua).

The date of Easter changes each year, it's celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox which this year is today 16 April (note that Easter is celebrated on different dates by the Eastern Orthodox churches)

Egg rolling at The White House

Egg rolling at the White House
There are many traditions associated with Easter, for instance, exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a traditional custom in many countries.
 
In the UK before they were replaced by chocolate Easter eggs real eggs were used, in most cases, chicken eggs. The eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various colours and patterns. The traditionally bright colours represented spring and light. Nowadays not many parents would risk giving a child a hard-boiled egg on Easter Sunday.
 
But, though I've yet to see it in real life, egg rolling could become my favourite.
 
It's an older more traditional game, in which real eggs were rolled against one another or down a hill. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest won. Even today in the north of England, for example in neighbouring Preston, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling. The YouTube video below shows hollow eggs, wrapped in plastic bags, so as not to lose any of the chocolate as the eggs are rolled down slopes to see which goes furthest.
 
And egg rolling is an annual event at The White House, but due to the lack of a hill, large wooden spoons are used to propel the egg along. Looks like fun.
 
Perhaps this should be a tradition worth reintroducing here in Formby?
 
The YouTube video below shows hollow eggs, sometimes wrapped in plastic bags, so as not to lose any of the chocolate as the eggs are rolled down slopes to see which goes furthest.
 

Enjoy the rest of the Easter Bank Holiday long weekend.


Formby Christians Celebrate the Easter Vigil

Today local  Formby residents, who are Christians celebrate the Easter Vigil.

Easter VigilAlso called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, it's a service held in traditional Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Historically, it is during this service that people are baptised and that adult catechumens are received into full communion with the Church.

It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day — most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight — and is the first celebration of Easter, days traditionally being considered to begin at sunset.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_vigil Accessed 29 March 2013)

Enjoy the remainder of the Easter Celebrations and Monday's Bank Holiday.

 


Good Friday Walk of Witness

Today is Good Friday.

Good Friday Tomb
 
A Good Friday Tomb in the grounds of St Peter's Church Formby

Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_friday Accessed on 27 March 2013)

Here in Formby local residents will mark the event with 'The Good Friday Walk of Witness' which finishes at The Pool Gardens.

There will be a presentation through words, music and costume that will recreate the events of Jesus' last hours. From his trial before Pontius Pilate to his death on the cross.