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The history of Formby and Freshfield in photographs
Formby village
The photographs document how Formby and the surrounding areas have changed since the 19th century.

A new collection of photographs shows how the once rural village of Formby transformed into a bustling community.

Formby and Freshfield Through Time tells the story of the coastal village through a series of images dating back to the 19th century.

The book, written by Formby Civic Society members Reg and Barbara Yorke, compares images of famous landmarks as they once were with how they are today.

Barbara's family have lived in the area for many generations.

Formby village
The Quality sweet shop on Chapel Lane is now an estate agents.

She shares her memories of growing up in the village and explains how Formby and Freshfield have changed over time.

"Formby at that time was very rural. There were cottages actually bordering the main street in the village, unfortunately they have gone," says Barbara.

"The photograph of the butcher's shop shows the cows lying outside. This before the road was paved and you can see the pile of bricks which were being use to build the new road. This is probably why this photograph was taken as the changes took place."

"As the roads improved and the railway was built, the village began to grow and change."

All the photographs in the book are from the Formby Civic Society which was set up in 1953.

The society has a strong local history section which began collecting archive photographs from many local people who were documenting the changes in the village.

Barbara and Reg Yorke
Barbara and Reg Yorke share photographs of Formby and Freshfield.

Many local families added pictures to the collection and local photographer Muriel Sibley donated over 4,000 photographs to the society.

The Sibley collection currently holds over 600 works of art. Each piece holds a historic record of some of the most notable landmarks and buildings in Formby and the surrounding areas.

"We strongly believe that the collection shouldn't be locked away," says Reg.

"For the book, we chose pictures where there was an interesting contrast. Some of the buildings have now gone and some places look very different."

In the book each old photograph is compared with an image of the same place as it is today. It took three months to recreate the photographs and almost all the new photographs were taken by Reg.

He says, "The hardest part of creating the book was selecting which photographs to use. We have certainly enough for three of four books.

"The Society is proud to hold this collection and we invite people to search the index of the photographs on our website."

For more information about The Sibley Collection and to view the online index visit The Formby Civic Society website.




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