Stories of the people, the place and the areas surrounding Formby. Formby is a coastal town with a beautiful beach, fabulous sand dunes, pine woods, red squirrels all managed by the National Trust. The town boasts an attractive village shopping centre where there's much to see, eat and drink. Because of its popularity, parking close to the beach is limited, often full and large queues form by noon at weekends and bank holidays.
The hugely anticipated ‘L37 Fest’ is coming to Orrell Hill Woods (just off the Formby Bypass) this July from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th and tickets go on sale from Tuesday 9th April at 7 PM via ticketquarter.co.uk
The festival has been the talk of the town since its approval by Sefton Council last week and organisers can’t contain their excitement for what they have in store.
Bongo’s Bingo and S Club are already confirmed to headline Friday night in front of 3000 festival goers! Make sure you’re prepared for big cash prizes, silly ones, awkward dance-offs, rave intervals and much more with the main man Jonny Bongo hosting it all. There’s truly nothing better than Bongo’s festival style - it’s going to be huge!
L37 Events, the parent company and organiser of ‘L37 Fest’ were happy to announce Variety: The Children’s Charity will be their charity partner with profits from Friday night’s ticket sales going straight to the charity and helping sick, disabled and disadvantaged children throughout the North West.
The headline acts for Saturday and Sunday, as well as the entertainment schedule for the Main Stage and Second Stage at the festival, are yet to be revealed, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks.
Tickets will be available via www.ticketquarter.co.uk/L37Fest or by calling the box office on 0344 8000 410 with early bird pricing starting at £18 for Friday night and VIP day passes going up to £50 which includes a private lounge area, premium washroom facilities, welcome drinks with a private bar and other amenities.
In the past, Halloween was preceded by an earlier tradition, which was known as Souling.
A visiting custom carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries mainly by children, but previously by adults, in the Shropshire, north Staffordshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire area, on All Saints Day (1 November) and All Souls Day (2 November).
The Soulers visited houses, sang a song, and collected money, food, drink, or whatever was given to them. The songs vary somewhat from place to place, but they all follow the same basic pattern:
Soul, soul for a souling cake I pray you, missis, for a souling cake Apple or pear, plum or cherry Anything good to make us merry Up with your kettles and down with your pans Give us an answer and we'll be gone Little Jack, Jack sat on his gate Crying for butter to butter his cake One for St. Peter, two for St. Paul Three for the man that made us all
Shropshire: By-Gones Relating to Wales & the Border Country (1889-1890, 25.3)
You can hear a longer version of this song below, which was recorded in 1965 by The Watersons.
I don't know what you think, but I'd welcome a return of this celebration instead of the highly commercialised Halloween of today.
I'm also pleased to report that there is still an example of the tradition kept alive at The Antrobus Arms, Cheshire.
The old English custom of souling or soulcaking dates back to the 10th Century.
A traditional Cheshire Souling play performed on All Soul’s Eve and the following 2 weekends.
The Antrobus Gang are well established with continuity a distinguishing feature. They are thought to have performed continuously for hundreds of years.
Soulcakers would go from house to house singing a begging song or a plea for prayers for the dead. They would put on a play for residents.
The plays were performed out of necessity when farm work was in short supply. Plays usually consist of a fight between St George and his adversaries resulting in one of the characters being killed and brought back to life by a ‘quack’ doctor. The Hooden Horse accompanies the soulcakers with its groom and a whip.
The Hooden Horse is a man covered with a blanket holding a horses head.
Soulcakes were small spiced fruit cakes similar to Hot Cross Buns and were given to performers as well as drink or money, helping to keep their families fed during lean times. It could be quite lucrative as 3 nights of mumming (acting out the play) often raised as much as month’s wages.
The tradition continues at the Antrobus Arms where money raised now goes to charity.