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Sad news of the Death of Gordon Roberts

Gordon and Patricia with Kim

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Gordon Roberts earlier this week. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time.

Gordon was born in 1930 in a mining village near Durham City.

Although keenly interested in archaeology – sometimes actively – since boyhood, he became by profession a teacher of modern languages, holding a Durham University BA degree and Diploma in Education.

He and his wife, Patricia, moved to Formby in 1965, and their two daughters went to local schools here. From 1969 until early retirement in 1985, Gordon was Head of Languages at Formby High School. From 1989 onwards he began monitoring and researching the hitherto un-investigated ‘Formby Footprints’, sometimes taking part in associated television and radio broadcasts.

At the 2006 Sefton Coast Forum, he received that year’s Special Volunteers Award ‘in recognition of his outstanding contribution over many years towards the archaeology of the Sefton Coast.

In 2007, increasing health problems prompted Gordon and Patricia to move away from Formby and into Cheshire to live nearer their elder daughter. However, the Sefton Coast Archaeology Volunteers scheme was established in 2009, principally to continue Gordon’s monitoring and research.

Sadly his wife Patricia passed away in 2014 and he dedicated his booklet with findings and photographs in memory of her.

‘THE LOST WORLD OF FORMBY POINT:Footprints on the prehistoric Landscape, 500BC to 100BC’ is available from the National Trust site in Formby.

Tributes were paid on social media by Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership:

‘We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Gordon Roberts this morning. Gordon was THE expert on the prehistoric footprints at Formby. His work on the prehistoric footprints was unparalleled - he discovered what they were, and since 1989 continued to investigate and monitor his remarkable discovery. Gordon was out on the sands only a week or two ago monitoring the beach for more clues to the archaeological treasures that lie under the shore, as enthusiastic as ever after 27 years of study. He always shared his knowledge freely and the projects and monitoring of the prints through the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, National Trust and University of Manchester simply would not have happened without him. Condolences to his family and friends from all at Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership and Sefton Council's coast and countryside team. He was a terrific ambassador for the Sefton coast and all its archaeological treasures’

and also from the National Trust:

‘Very sad news about the passing of Gordon Roberts earlier this week. He gave us all so much and we can't thank him enough for all the hard work he put in to the Sefton Coast. All the staff and volunteers at National Trust Formby would like to send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed but his memory will certainly live on, intrinsically linked to the footprints on which he spent so much time studying.’

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