Formby - the bit sticking out into the Irish Sea, just
above Liverpool. Click here
for larger images.
It doesn't often snow in Formby but December 2010 provided a week of
snow that was wonderful for sledging and gave the dunes a new kind of
One of Formby's chief assets is its beach. This stretch of coast is
a perfect location for filming, whether it's a feature or merely a home
movie. When Carol first worked at Woodvale, quite a few years ago, she
took many a call from Phil Redmond (the producer of Brookside) informing
Air Traffic Control when filming was about to start so that aircraft
could be kept clear of the beach. Autumn is an ideal time for shooting
a home video - like a spoof spaghetti western - see the still on the
left. The long shadows create a wonderfully dramatic backdrop for a
Formby beach, the sand dunes and pine woods are all managed by the
National Trust. The adjacent photo is taken from a dune to the north
of Lifeboat Road. The foundations of the old lifeboat house - the first
in the UK - appear centre-right in the picture.
Formby is also famous for its red squirrels and natterjack toads.
In the Autumn the squirrels should be busy storing their nuts, like
this fellow photographed in Autumn 2006. Unfortunately, in 2008, their
numbers were severely reduced by a disease known as "squirrelpox".
We have even seen several squirrels killed on the roads of Formby. This
is quite an unusual sight. Perhaps sick squirrels are roaming where
they wouldn't normally go, or maybe the virus has just made them less
able to dodge cars.
Formby is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside. At
the centre of the town is the war memorial, which of course, in November
is bedecked with wreaths.
Despite Formby's large size (a recent paper reported over 10,000 households)
the main shopping area is quaintly known as "The Village".
Perhaps we should expect a visit from Patrick Mcgoohan?
Chapel Lane is the main shopping street. Its north side has a beautifully
wide pavement where the hardy can sit outside a cafe enjoying a cappuccino.
This photograph, taken in 2008, was used five years later for an
article in the Formby Champion newspaper.
It took a long time coming, but in 2007 Formby finally got its new
swimming pool and leisure centre.
From one type of pool to another. The northern part of Formby is known
as Freshfield. There are plenty of posh houses there with a few celebrities,
but just look at the state of this road on "millionaires row".
No wonder the wealthy need their 4x4s!
St Peter's church, Freshfield.
Formby Cricket, Hockey, and Squash Club, Freshfield - founded 1865.
Victoria Hall, Freshfield. Home of the Formby School of Dancing and
Still in Freshfield, there's a great cycle ride through the woods that
starts adjacent to Formby Golf Club. The path is called Dobson's Ride.
Since there's a cycle path along the Formby bypass as well, the ride
can be extended into a 6.5 mile circular
cycle route around RAF Woodvale.
In an age when many towns have no railway station Formby has two! It's
such a convenient way to get into both Liverpool and Southport.
Adjacent to Formby station is the Railway Inn, with a short stretch
of cobbled street in front of it.
Shorrocks Hill Country Club - where, in 2007, Alex won the town's junior
public speaking competition. This picture was also published in the
Formby Times on 26th November 2008.
From one end of Lifeboat road to the other. When I told Carol that
I was going out to take some photos of Formby in beautiful autumn weather
she said that Saint Luke's Church Road, in the direction of Alex's school,
had looked very pretty as she walked Toffee that morning. Indeed it
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