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Formby Review of the Year

Original Source:  FORMBY TIMES: 29 DECEMBER 2010
Dec 29 2010 by Tom Bristow, Formby Times

WE SNAPPED future Prime Minister David Cameron reading the Formby Times.

He told his audience the Sefton Central constituency would “make a difference” at the election. Our readers also proved that they were bringing the Christmas spirit into the New Year by donating thousands of pounds to help victims of the Haitian Earthquake. Churchgoers, Rotarians and shoppers all dug deep to aid the disaster-stricken island.

Sisters Lorna and Emily Richardson saved a woman who fell onto the railway tracks at Ainsdale station. The Formby High girls were on their way to school when they saw the woman in trouble.


WE REPORTED how grandparents of missing Madeleine McCann came to Formby FC.

Susan and Brian Healy arrived in the village to help light lanterns to mark 1,000 days since Maddy’s disappearance.

Much-loved Formby shopkeeper Brenda Maclean sadly passed away in February from cancer. The 57-year-old who worked in Cassidy’s for 12 years was described as ‘the most popular shop girl in the village’.


WE RELEASED CCTV images capturing the moment knife-wielding robbers raided Thomson’s travel agents and took £25,000.

Formby was hit hard by the cold snap and one family-run gym blamed its closure on the freezing weather. Formby Gym, which was owned by the Dickson family said fuel bills, the credit crunch and unhelpful landlords had taken their toll.

Politics was increasingly on the agenda in the run up to national and local elections and in March veteran councillor Eric Storey was deselected by the Conservative Party after 52 years in politics.


MAJOR MARK STANSFIELD announced he would run five marathons in five days for fallen comrades.

The Afghanistan war veteran raised money for Help for Heroes and the British Legion in an incredible feat of endurance.

A milkman lost his job after being caught three-and-a-half times over the legal drink drive limit on Wrigley’s Lane.

Thomas McGreevey, a milkman for 30 years, was banned from driving for 30 months.


IT WAS election month and Labour candidate Bill Esterson swept home with a majority of 3,862.

He told the Times he would make children and schools his two priorities.

We also reported a second attempt by the criminal underworld to destroy a police helicopter at RAF Woodvale. The £2.9m chopper was targeted for the second time in seven months.


OPERATION BEACHSAFE was criticised by the Spar owner on Harrington Road who was targeted by beer-swilling thugs.

In June World Cup fever took over the village as fans flocked to pubs to watch England’s brief sojourn in South Africa.

With the sun shining Formby also launched its Neighbourhood in Bloom bid. Dedicated volunteers spruced up the village ahead of the judges’ arrival.

At the end of June we also honoured the true heroes of our town at the Community Heroes awards.



TRIBUTES were paid to Formby born author Dame Beryl Bainbridge who died aged 77 after a short illness.

Formby, backed by this newspaper, claimed victory in a battle to drive down “rip-off” fuel prices at Tesco. After concerned readers contacted us about petrol prices we put pressure on Tesco who dropped their price to 112.9p from a high of 119.9p.

James Thompson was given a minimum of ten years in prison for the murder of Tony Johnson in Southport town centre

The victim’s dad described the killing as “futile”.


A FORMBY mansion became the glamorous backdrop for Hollyoaks’ raunchy spin-off show Hollyoaks Later.

At the end of August GCSE and A-Level students celebrated excellent results.


A FORMBY policeman escaped jail after accidentally killing the son of former pop star, Searcher Mike Pender. PC Stephen Hulse hit Nathan Prendergast’s motorbike on the Rainford bypass.

The hunt began for Formby’s finest pets. Our Pet Idol competition had a fantastic response.

Business and shoppers backed a campaign to get a bus linking Hightown to Formby. The campaign continues.



BAGPIPER Hugh MacDonald appealed for help in finding somewhere warmer to rehearse. The ‘red-hot chilly piper’ said his current rehearsal barn was too cold to practise in.

An 86-year-old pensioner was killed on Formby bypass. Alec Atherton died as he pulled out of North End Lane.

The Thornton Relief Road was finally given the green light. The Government pledged its support to the long-awaited link road.


THE VILLAGE celebrated Red Squirrel Week at a National Trust fun day. Over 200 visitors came to support the Trust with its red squirrel conservation.

Silence also fell across Formby as people paid their respects to our fallen war heroes. Veterans and cadets paraded through the village on Remembrance Day.

Stormy weather in mid-November washed up hundreds of giant jellyfish weighing up to 40kg on Formby beach.


CHRISTMAS was just around the corner but bad news about Government cuts continued.

Public loos, school uniform grants and waste recycling were all set to suffer.

Village schools celebrated their last week of term with a series of nativities, concerts and plays.

Formby was gripped by record low temperatures of minus 11 and 10 inches of snow fall. Shoppers and workers all struggled to get about as roads turned into ice rinks.


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