New Website in Beta

Just a brief update.

FormbyOnline ScreenGrabWhen I first started my blog I chose a platform called Ning. It was considered rare amongst 'hyperblogs' but it got spotted by others, in particular by the 'Talk Local' network. But eventually I transferred my affections to Typepad and I've used that as my base since 2006.

But I've rediscovered Ning and my affections for the platform have been reignited. So here's the result, It's a responsive design so it adjusts to suit the users' devices. In the PC or laptop mode, the front page is much richer in links and services. But it still works well in the mobile phone setting.

I'm likely to change the title of the blog from 'formbyfirst'  (Previous) then to 'formbyblog' (Current) and finally, now it will be known as 'formbyonline'.

It will be less personal or entirely focussed on Formby in the future but while retaining that core idea the use of 'articles' will add a wider dimension.

Forums, Polls, and Groups are exciting extensions available on this platform which I've added to the site.

And I'm also hoping that people will become members (for free) and take advantage of running their own blog and contribute articles, forum discussion items and complete the occasional poll.

The original site will still be here but at some point relatively soon I won't update anymore.

New Website Link: Letters from Formby


The Journal

Formby Blog Weekly Journal, new stories added regularly.

Climate change really ought to be addressed now

Crowds join in the Walk of Witness

Good Friday Walk of Witness

The NHS in Sefton is changing and it needs your help

NhssurveySefton residents are being asked for their views about how local services could be improved. They will also be asked to share their ideas on how people can live healthier lives and what improvements they think could be made to help people access services quickly.

With growing pressure on the NHS – people living longer, more people living with long-term conditions, and lifestyle choices affecting people’s health – changes are needed to make sure everybody gets the support they need.

Share your views via the ‘what would you do?’ online surveys here and help make care better.

Read more about why you should take part here.


Sefton Festival of Golf May 4-12

Golf BallSefton Council is hosting a fabulous festival of golf to coincide with the British Masters tournament at Hillside Golf Club.

As the borough prepares to welcome thousands of golf fans for the British Masters tournament, a week of golfing activities is taking place at Southport Golf Links and Bootle Golf Course from May 4-12.

The festival is to appeal to both beginners and existing golfers, of all ages and ability and is supported by the European Tour and former Southport Golf Links junior member, Tommy Fleetwood......


Full Story

Major political parties in Sefton have announced their manifesto plans ahead of the May 2 local elections.

Echo Banner

Parties say what they'd do if in power

Residents will elect just over a third of the local authority’s 66 councillors.

But what are the parties offering in return for your vote?

Here’s what each had to say:

(Source: Liverpool Echo)

Read the full Liverpool Echo Ariticle

Pilot Dies In Birkdale Sand Dunes Air Crash

Paramotor AircrashA man was killed on Thursday night after the paramotor he was flying crashed close to Royal Birkdale Golf Club.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Southport's Coast Road before the surrounding road was closed by police.

Paramedics and fire crews were tasked to deal with the incident while police forensic officers were seen in the area the day after.......

(Source: Liverpool Echo)

Full Story ext link



How to access medical care this Easter

Pharmacy 2With Easter fast approaching, Sefton health professionals are reminding people to ensure they use the right NHS service for them, should they or their family members become unwell over the long weekend and also during the first May bank holiday. 

GP practices will be closed from Good Friday (19 April) to Easter Monday (22 April) and the early May bank holiday (6 May) but there are several other ways for Sefton residents to access medical help during this time if they need it.   

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said:

“Pharmacists are a great resource. We recommend taking advantage of all the services available at your local pharmacy for any minor health-related concerns and if you need a GP appointment to think about using the extended access service. .........

Read More

The English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle and so many more names...

“A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power. “

(Opening lines of a poem by Anne Bronte celebrating ‘The Bluebell’)

Bluebells 2I can still recall a childhood memory of walking through a vast, seemingly, everlasting bluebell wood. It was sunny and my parents had decided on a ‘Mystery Trip’ one Sunday afternoon. I’m sorry to say we picked armfuls of the flowers to fill vases on getting home. Nowadays, and rightly so, you can look, but not touch or pick.

What started this line of thinking was a small valiant patch of bluebells  I spotted thrusting outwards from beneath an adjacent garden fence while walking the footpath from Green lane towards Paradise Lane. It displayed obstinate vigour in seeking its place in the sun.

I wonder will it still be growing there next year…..

Read More

Polling Station 2Formby and Little Altcar Parish Council Elections 2019

Eagle-eyed voters will notice the significance of this year's local elections for Parish Councillors.

Formby Parish Council and Little Altcar Parish Council will eventually become a ‘Grouped Council’

The following extract from the Little Altcar PC website explains it clearly  [Note: Formby Parish Council website and their Facebook have been inactive for months]

Following the last parish council meeting the Clerk has been exploring alternative options for the amalgamation of the 2 parishes and a Grouping Order would appear to provide a way forward without the necessity of obtaining over 2000 signatures"

The extract continues with the following:

Read More

L37 FEST Logo

L37 FEST Tickets on Sale

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 tomorrow night (Tuesday 9th April) at 7 PM via

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.....

Read More

Bike and Go with friendsBike and Go with Friends Offer

Groups of friends looking for an alternative way to see the local sights are being invited to enjoy a half-price day out, courtesy of Bike & Go.

The bike hire scheme, which offers bike hire facilities from 22 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, is running a special deal for groups of people who want to experience a different kind of sight-seeing trip this spring, with half-price subscription and a ‘rent two, get two free’ offer.

The offer means that those signing up before April 30th, 2019, will pay just £5, rather than the usual £10 subscription fee. In addition, for the duration of the offer period, they will be able to rent out four bikes for the price of two – a saving of £7.60 for each 24-hour period for which the bikes are hired.....

Read More

High Tides, Strong Winds and Flooding

Posted Wednesday 3 January 10.35 am

NTFormby have reported the following about the the combination of high winds and the tides. At one stage the Environment Agency issued a warning about potential flooding. That has now been withdrawn.

This is an NTFormby image showing the extent of the damage at Victoria Road car park beach access.

You can always get an indication of potential flooding at this 'live monitoring station'.





Examine your options and think twice before using A&E

NHS 111People are being urged to think twice before using A&E and keep it free for the seriously ill and injured.

Winter is the busiest time of year for NHS hospitals across the country, particularly for accident and emergency departments. Often these patients have multiple health problems, longer stays in hospital and needs substantial support at home to be safely discharged.

“The seriously ill and injured are our priority but we continue seeing patients with minor illnesses and injuries that could be dealt with elsewhere,”

said Chief Operating Officer Therese Patten.

“Cuts, bruises, sprains, coughs and colds are not normally emergencies. They can usually be treated at home with help from a pharmacist, by a GP or in a NHS walk-in centre.
“A&E is for people with medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes, and serious illnesses and injuries.  Patients with conditions like these will always come first, which means less serious cases may wait longer.”

Therese added: 

“We’re fortunate to have a brilliant, dedicated team here at Southport and Ormskirk. That’s why I’m asking: examine your options and keep A&E free for the seriously ill and injured. It could be you or your family who need our team’s help in an emergency one day.”


Pharmacists: They're experts in medicines and use their expertise to advise on common problems, such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. They can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional.

Family doctor: A GP or a GP out of hours service will help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.

NHS walk-in centres: For people needing urgent help with minor illnesses or injuries no appointment is necessary at a walk-in centre. West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8 am to 7.30pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 8 am to 7.30pm weekdays and from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.

By phone: NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak with a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

Online: Visit NHS Choices or, for NHS services across Sefton, West Lancashire and Liverpool, go to the Examine Your Options website.


Season's Greetings

Posted Saturday 23 December 9.30 am

I doubt I will add any new posts to my blog this side of New Year.

Village cribSeason's Greetings to all of you who regularly read the blog, my thanks to you for your support.

I will still be tweeting over the holiday period on @formbyvillage

Finally, this is the most appropriate image on which to end the year and start the festive break and remind us all of the real story behind the celebration.