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Discovering Formby's Past

DID YOU KNOW?.........

A Royal visit to Formby

These photographs, taken on a little Brownie Box camera, are of a visit to Formby by the Prince of Wales, who later was briefly Edward the Eighth. His was the first visit here by royalty during the twentieth century. The man in a white overcoat is probably a bodyguard or plain clothes policeman, and Edward is in the car in the smaller picture.

The Prince was here for a visit to the Golf Club. He drove past the Blundell Arms, now the Cross House Inn, where he was greeted by a large number of local children waving flags. He continued up along Gores Lane and on to the Golf Club for lunch and a round of golf. There were crowds all along the way, as his popularity was just about at its height at the time. The visit was deemed a great success, particularly due to his ease with everyone with whom he came into contact.

The owner of the photographs thinks that they were taken on Gores lane. Can anyone identify the spot?

(My thanks to Joan Rimmer for some of the details here, and to Mary Bowler for the photographs.)

At this time of remembering the horrors of the Somme, Gallipoli and the Great War in general, I was very moved by a story from a friend recently. Her mother worked for Mr. Wood the Chemist in the 1920s and ran the shop for him. (These days we know it as Rowlands, and there have been several chemists there since Mr. Wood’s time). Each week there was a succession of both physically and emotionally damaged Great War veterans among their customers. These men had to come in to collect an official measured allowance of laudanum. They needed it because they had been treated with laudanum in military hospitals and had become addicted. I find that story profoundly sad, especially when set against the jollity of Edward’s visit.

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