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September 2011
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November 2011

Ghosts appear in the Village

It must be that time of the year. Lock your doors, dim the lights. If this photograph is anything to go by, mishief is likely to be unleased soon on Formby.......whoooh.


If you've ever wondered where this event began try Wikipedia:

Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanternsbonfiresapple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films....

Some prefer to remember it as the night before All Hallows Day.

FormbyFirst is Collaborating with The Guardian

Since yesterday the journalistic Twitterati around the world have been very busy commenting about The Guardian Media Groups project - n0ticeboard.



One of the most interesting trials could be a new hyperlocal service called n0tice that the company is putting through its paces.
The site, which is currently running in invite-only beta, is an attempt to create a publishing platform based on location — and it uses the metaphor of a community noticeboard to get there. People can sign up to create their own board, customize it, leave messages, place small ads, anything they like. In a way it harks back to the days of BBS, but with all the bells and whistles you might expect from a website in 2011.

Some months ago a few UK local blogs joined a 'beta' test group for this project, FormbyFirst was among that group. Since then individual bloggers have been adding examples of Reports, Events and Offers in each of our local catchment areas. The web site is continuing to develop. 

At moment I can't tell you when the service will go live or not, but I do have an 'invite' to give to someone. Write to me, perhaps you too can be part of this new social media world.


Tubular Bells in Freshfield

StPeters1The newly renovated eight tubular bells at St Peter's Church, Freshfield, chimed on Sunday 23 October following the morning
Eucharist service. There are two sets of bells, a single tolling bell and the rare set of eight chiming bells.

They are gentle in nature but an entrancing call to prayer in quieter times.

Nevertheless they are in keeping with St Peter's as the following quote suggest:

Taken from Domesday Reloaded by the BBC and written in 1986

St.Peter's is quiet and peaceful,
You want to whisper there.             
A stained glass window towers above the altar.                            
A gold cross stands proudly in front.  
The lectern is a carved eagle.        
Banners hang silently round the church 
A star light glitters in the chapel of rest.    

Louise and Sandra (aged 10)


I wonder whether Louise and Sandra are still parishioners, let me know. Listen for yourself.

St Peter"s Tubular Bells (mp3)  

The drawing of St Peter's Church is by James Eden and can be viewed along with other images here.

The Formby Club

FormbyClub1On 18 November the Formby Club are opening the Churchill lounge from mid-morning to 19:00 to Formby residents to use for fund raising activities for Children in Need - See their website for further details.

Then on the 3rd December they are holding an open day coinciding with the Dickensian Day with the Chairman's charities (RLNI & the NW air Ambulance) present with activities planned for the day.

They have also started to introduce charity Quiz nights, the first one was held on 14 October, next one to be announced soon.

Recently they decided to actively encourage membership of the club to younger people by introducing a new membership category for people in the 18 to 25 years age group at a greatly reduced cost. 

The club have taken this action  to reflect the lack of suitable recreational facilities for people of this age.


Formby Flood Risk to Worsen?

Rain1Sefton MBC Planning committee have received a report on proposed changes to the management of land drainage practices in Sefton. Extracts from the report are published below:

The Environment Agency's Consultation Document proposes a significant change in its current Land Drainage practices within the Lower Alt with Crossens catchment by spring 2015. The Environment Agency draft Flood Risk Management Strategic Plan Consultation Document raises some issues and implications which are potentially significant for Sefton, and it is important to submit a Council response to the Environment Agency, as well as to continue discussion over the next months and years.....

The Consultation Document indicates that this Environment Agency management regime currently provides: 
• Tidal flood defences.....
• Urban, river flood risk management.....
• Rural river flood risk management....
• Urban surface water flood risk management....
• Rural land drainage....

2.5 The Environment Agency consider that the current means of flood risk management in the Lower Alt and Crossens catchments is not sustainable. The Consultation Document states that an alternative, more sustainable approach to flood risk management would include: 
A reduction in capacity or closing down of some pumping stations, including a potential reduction in capacity at the Altmouth and Crossens Pumping Stations......
An increased use of the natural flood plain in rural areas - including agricultural land — as washlands and for flood storage......

The Consultation Document makes dear that the Environment Agency cannot, and will not, continue to fund rural land drainage after 2015. Also, it makes clear that the Environment Agency would want to alter the river flood risk management regime, notably by reducing the amount of pumping by investigating other flood risk management options, especially for the urban area, such as increased flood storage on agricultural land within the natural floodplains......
....For example, if farm land around the roads running east-west between Formby, Southport and West Lancashire is flooded more frequently, would this affect perceptions of accessibility of these parts of Sefton? 

The Environment Agency's consultation period (with Sefton MBC)1 for the document runs from 5th  October to 16th  December 2011, but raises issues which will need further discussion internally and with the Environment Agency and other stakeholders through the proposed Debating Period until spring 2013.

1. The text in italics has been added by formbyfirst, presumably the Statutory bodies will begin public consultation, once the 'Debating Period' has finished.
2. Document source:
3. Presumably this also has implications on whether House building could or should be allowed on what is currently Green Belt