Decline of the Red Squirrell
"Although not thought to be under any threat worldwide, the red
squirrel has nevertheless drastically reduced in number in the
United Kingdom; especially after the grey squirrels were
introduced from North America in the 1870s. Fewer than 140,000
individuals are thought to be left in 2013. The population
decrease in Britain is often ascribed to the introduction of the
eastern grey squirrel from North America, but
the loss and fragmentation of its native woodland habitat has
also played a role."
Just came across this site by chance and enjoyed reading everybodys memories,
especially Mookies. I'm sure this is Michael who lived just down the road from
me. I lived in the house opposite Mrs Hale's (and still do!). Our road used to
be unadopted, just a track, and outside Mookies house used to be a huge puddle
which, we as kids, always used to play in, especially in the winter when it
froze over and made a great slide. Mrs Hale used to wear a long fur coat in the
winter and come out of her house with a bucket of cinders to throw in the
potholes. Her house had a stables attached and I believe that in her younger
days she used to teach the local genteel ladies to ride horses side-saddle. A
bit further past Mookies house, near the coal yard used to be 'Coal Harry'
Mawdsleys cottage. The coal used to be delivered to the yard by steam trains
(the branch line off the main line was not electrified) and the train drivers
used to let us kids ride on the footplate into the yard. Our days were spent in
the fields behind Mrs Hales cottage or the fields on the other side of the
railway line, climbing trees (there was one large tree we called 7 planets - I'm
not sure why, it might have been that you were supposed to be able to see 7
planets from the top). On the way to the beach you went past Cockburns pig farm
(next to where the pond is now, if my memory is correct). Another favourite
pastime was hunting for spent bullets on the old rifle ranges. Happy innocent
Thought you might be interested that the
Formby Civic Society now have most of their archive photographs on
These can be found at
Formby Civic Society
Note : This collection of photos published
Formby Civic Society covers what seems to be all the different
times, places and events of Formby. It is well worth a visit. If you
are interested in the history of Formby you'll like this.
came to formby on my scooter in 1971 when i was 16, fell in love with the place
then, I'm originally from fazakerley but now live here. Formby is truly a
magical place. Eric.
Great memories of Formby Point in the 60s walking along the beach with a
transistor radio listening to the small faces, I have always wondered what the
shipwrecks were you could see further out, the one that looked like two ships
close in was in fact the Ionic star that had broke in two. The view from the
shore looks strange now with the mast of the Pegu missing, the Ellan Vannin is
in deep water and not visible. There is some excellent info and pictures on the
Southport shipwrecks website
that answered all the questions for me after all these years.
i live in formby, and it seems you really have all the good points to make. 5/5
FORMBY RULES WOOOOO X X X X LOL -yea formby is great and fun hehe ..Ishbel
how do I send an email to you. I've lots of memories of
just-post war Formby. Mike
If you have a
story, photos, and anything else about Formby please
here. Photos can be sent by attachment to the email. Cheers.
Hi all Does any one know anything about an old house demolished some 30 years
ago. It was a very large detached manor house type in it's own grounds. It was
situated directly off Kirklake Rd. St Luke's end, directly opposite what used to
be a large horse paddock. Now also developed and ironically called the Paddock
(I think). Used to play in and on the house as a kid. It was big and white and
of course was reputed amongst us kids to be haunted (weren't they all) LOL.
Great place to visit though it is hard work in the sand with
child buggies Sue
Formby point what a great place I've grown up there and owned my caravan since i
was about 6 years old. Just reading this is bringing back memories for me and i
can't wait to go there again just imagining the light breeze and the green trees
and playing out on a hot day in the sand dunes and in the lush green magical
forests i love it there so glad i came across this website to share my memories
with others :D
I would just like to mention that my dad and mum took me to Formby all my life,
it was such a lovely place, and my dad who died in 2007, spent all his childhood
there with his parents. I love it when the tide is in.
What fascinating reading about The Star of Hope. I ride past
this on my horse many times and had often wished I knew more about it. Thank you
for this information. GG
this site was very helpful for my Geography project
I spent all my childhood holidays at freshfield caravan site with my sisters,
grandparents johnny and marion and mum and dad len and maureen from early
1960's. What a truly wonderful magical life it was -so innocent and back to
nature with the sand dunes, clean beach and pine forests. Have been back since
but was sad to see caravan site and many dunes washed away with new site in
place and very commercialised. Thank God for dreams and memories. Freshfield-
Hi went to Formby last year as promised. I am hooked - what a gorgeous place.
Spent the day on the beach with a picnic and messing in the sand dunes, then on
to visit the red squirrel sanctuary, which is a large wooded area with lots of
little hills for the kids to explore - saw loads of red squirrels - you can even
buy nuts there and feed them. what a magical place - will definitely visit again
this year. The only down side was silly irresponsible people who leave smashed
bottles/glass in the sand dunes - to all you responsible people out there if you
come across any - don't leave it remove it or a child could get hurt whilst
playing!! Lynne (I took some gorgeous pics last
year but cant find the folder i put them in on my PC!!)
Hi I live in Manchester and although have never been am visiting
Formby tomorrow, my daughter aged 4 has just been with school and my
sister's family all go to Formby - can't wait - will try and take
some more pics and post them. lynne
I was born in Formby next to the coal yard. The houses have gone now
except the one which the builders yard use, I think as there office.
I used to play and camp in the fields were now houses are built. Mrs
hales used to live in the old cottage next to the main road, we as
kids thought she was a witch. The shore was a place we lived on all
the school hols. The remains of the old lifeboat shed was still
there. There was also a shop were you could get crisps pop etc, that
has long since gone. There was a haunted house near the church were
my grandma is buried. Formby point is just a point, a marker on the
beach in the dunes to be more precise, not a place to shop or a
village. I have some fantastic memories of the beach as it was 50
years ago. MOOKIE
Formby Point - a collection of own and others'
thoughts and feelings.
Some write "Formby Point! What a flood of memories". Those memories
certainly contain smells and the softness of the sand; the sound of
all those various birds and the rustle of the bushes.
The excitement of crossing the golf course as the green keeper
didn't like that.
The memories of "pop" and Lucozade and sand-filled egg sandwiches
which grated and polished with every bite. The memory of the ever so
long journey to the nearest "chippy" but the special taste that
those chips had after such efforts - not to mention the fish and the
The memories of helping others - be it through traffic controlling
or looking after others on the beach as a St John Ambulance cadet.
Not only the broken glass occasioned cuts but also treading on the
star grass at the wrong angle. Memories of the evacuation away from
the war endangered Bootle to the beautiful sands of Formby.
Memories of growing up at Formby under the sweet smell or warm pines
and the heat of hot summer sand on bare feet. Delivering newspapers
to caravans and campers in tents, some of whom stayed for a whole
Riding in the front basket of the delivery bicycle through the
pine-tree woods - that is, until its front wheel sunk in the fine
sands. Watching the asparagus in the hidden enclosure grow. It
wasn't a very fat asparagus but an extremely tasty variety. Combing
and roaming the beach and the dunes and, as young boys, hiding and
peeping when kissing lovers were discovered - young boys just do
Searching for dinosaur footprints which the specialists are only
finding today. Searching for the wrecks of The Star of Hope and the
Ellan Vannin as well as remains of the Isle of Man postal plane that
came down on Freshfield Beach. The memory of going with a friend to
the dunes to pick up a piece of corrugated iron for a den roof.
Even in howling gales and pouring rain there is something special
about Formby Point. Something that is only found in the North
West. Something that the wind-bent trees and bushes remind me of
some wild, dark and bewitched novel that only springs to life with
the winds and rain. Something that reminds me of the loneliness of a
bicycle journey at 10 in the evening from Preston to Southport
against a strong south west wind.
There really is something very special about Formby Point and it is
not the diamond ring down in the squirrels' den - What is it then?
It could be the fact that we never discovered the Old Formby that
lies beneath the dunes to this day. But no, it is the atmosphere and
the smells of the place - A something very special that makes it
just that. © Lee Ashley
Great website, just stumbled on it. We were evacuated to Formby in
the 1940s, and this was only from Bootle! But we did live not far
from the docks' and our street had a direct hit. First we were put
into a house, with others, in Green lane opposite the cinema then
Church Road. It was about 1945 when we were placed back in Bootle,
but another road. My aunt used to live in Alderson Crescent until
the, I think, 80s. Formby is a beautiful place and we still visit it
today. 2006. anon
In 1971 I was a Police Cadet and
often did 'traffic control' and 'parking duties' on Lifeboat Rd,
during the busy summer months. It is truly a 'get away from it all'
place and now, having retired, I am taking groups of people by coach
to Formby Point to enjoy themselves as I did all those years ago!
I grew up in Formby Point - My parents owned
the newsagent shop and we delivered papers to the caravans and tent
people who stayed there all summer long. I remember riding in the
front of his carrier bicycle as he delivered newspapers. Many happy
times were spent cycling and walking through those Piney woods to
the beach. I live oversees now and this evoked lots of memories.
Thanks for the great pictures. Marilyn
Meyers (Boyer when I lived in Formby)
I had a caravan at Lifeboat Road Formby Point for many years.
It is indeed a magical place. Your photos bring back many happy memories
of walking through the Pinewoods, over the sandhills, along the beach.
Seen three thousand year old cloven hoofed animal prints and
human footprints there, to be washed away
by the tides of the next couple of days. If you could go back there
at a different time of the year, you could really expand your flora
photos and probably add some insect and animal pics too. Thanks, and
best of luck to you, Cheers , Dave E.
During the 1940's a ship went aground off Formby point does anyone
know the name of the ship and where it was coming from ?
The shipwreck is The Star of Hope. The Star of
Hope was outward bound from Wilmington North Carolina USA with a
cargo of raw cotton when she was caught in a WSW force 10 gale in
the Mersey approaches. The crew of 9 abandoned ship and were taken
on board the Crosby lightship. you can still see the wreck at low
This is a fascinating site of some of the
wrecks on the River Mersey :-) Y2U
photos of wrecks published by Formby Civic Society
I went to Formby Point and it was an
extremely cold day as well so we had to walk through the rain which
was very cold and it was funny because we was with our friends.
Formby Point! What a flood of memories, we spent
all our childhood summer holidays camping there. We had such freedom. I would
just take a lemonade bottle of water and disappear after breakfast not coming
back until I was really hungry. When the big juicy blackberries were out that
could be all day. The only boring bit was the long walk to church every Sunday
morning. Relieved only by a talking and wolf-whistling parrot of some
description. On Fridays me and Dad would walk up to the station and get fish and
chips which we wrapped in a towel and pillow case and almost run back to keep
them warm. Thanks for surfacing my memories. Anon
Was the wreck of star of hope the wreck that had
the mast sticking up till a few years ago? also there were two visible wrecks
close in shore at Formby in the 1960s also one still visible at Southport does
anyone know the id of these ? Anon
The wreck that had the mast showing until a few years ago was the ionic Star a
5,000 ton cargo liner of the blue star line. She was wrecked on the edge of red
wharf bay in 1939 after losing direction, all the cargo and crew were saved. You
can still see what's left of the wreck at low tide on the edge of the shipping
channel. The two wrecks that were close in shore I was told were beached at
Formby after being damaged during the war, you could still see the sternpost of
one of the wrecks in the 1980s. Sorry I do not know the id of these. The wreck
at Southport is the SS Chrysopolis, this is south of the pier, she was lost in
fog in 1918 and became a total loss after becoming stuck on Spencers sand bank,
during the 1960s a D u k w amphibian trip was operated taking holiday makers
round the wreck which is over 2 miles off shore and still visible at low tide. Anon
thanks for the great reply
Yup, I was one of the Coastguard's on duty that evening. I think the tug was the
Wallasey (I am open to correction). Couldn't help wandering why this mast had
stood aloft for for 50 years or more and then had to be snapped off by a Tug
that had the whole Irish sea to choose from who she hit! A sort of "hole in one"
if you excuse the analogy.
Hi, an 8,000 tonne ship was also a total loss at the edge of the shipping
channel at mad wharf Formby point in 1939 this was called the Pegu it lost its
way due the buoy lights being switched off due to wartime restrictions, the mast
of this wreck was knocked down by a tug in a gale in 1987
That tug was inbound but had its bridge window smashed by a massive wave, it
lost engine power in the Formby Channel, started dragging its anchor and then
went straight over the top of the Pegu, dismasting the wreck. The tug then
grounded but was released by other tugs sent to its rescue by the Coastguard at
Pictures of Formby Point
If you have a nice photo
of Formby Point attach it to this
tell us a little about it and we'll show it here.