Unwelcome visitors to Formby

Mussels-752846_640Here's an interesting story for you to think about over the holiday weekend. I suspect that whatever the weather Formby beach will be a popular with visitors.

I wonder whether they'll be as controversial as these in the following newspaper report.

It's taken from the Liverpool Daily Post, Thursday 27 September 1945. By the way the story is itself a reprint from 50 years earlier.

FIFTY YEARS AGO From the Liverpool Daily Post.

Scene on the Formby Shore.— For some time past the followers of the cockle and shrimp industry hailing from Banks, near Southport, have visiting the shore Formby and used the cockle beds. This, the local men contend, they have no right to do, as they have to pay a rental to the lords of the manor for the use of the beach, whereas these outsiders pay nothing.

On Tuesday morning three carts owned by fishermen from Banks were discovered on the shore and the owners busily engaged on the cockle beds. Mr. Thomas Rimmer, of the Royal Hotel, who takes a particular interest in the Formby Fishermen’s Association, in company with two police officers, visited the shore. The intruders on seeing them approach dropped the cockles they had gathered and made of in the direction of Crosby.

Yesterday morning matters reached crisis, when between twenty and thirty carts turned up, and immediately made for the cockle beds. After a good many bags had been filled a large crowd of local fishermen put in appearance, followed by four policemen.

The visitors went off in the direction of Crosby, but they were soon outpaced by the local fishing folk, who boarded their carts and threw what cockles they had gathered on to the sands. Several blows were exchanged, but the encounter was not of such serious nature as to make the police interfere.

Rather than home empty-handed, the Banks representatives purchased a number of sacks of cockles from Crosby and Liverpool gatherers who pay a rental for the beds.— September, 1895