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Tree stump in Formby Village is being carved into a Viking Ship by sculptor Simon Archer

The one tree that was felled in March outside Waterfields on Chapel Lane in Formby Village will now be sculptured by Formby's brilliant sculptor Simon Archer.

The sculpture will be of the front of a Viking Boat with the word Fornebei and some Vikings sculptured on the back. Formby is an old Viking village. The word Formby was originally spelt 'Fornebei' translated as 'village belonging to the family Forni' (Forni was a well-known Norse family name) and was built on the plains overlooking the beautiful Irish Sea Coast.

About 960 AD Vikings came to the west coast of Lancashire, first trading or raiding, then settling. Tradition has it that the Viking invaders failed to defeat the native Anglo-Saxons on the coast of Formby so they sailed inland, up the River Alt, and took them by surprise by attacking from the rear.

This is the way the tree will face with the front of the sculpture towards the shops as seen here in the maquette

This is a little maquette of the sculpture where the word Fornebei will be and the row of vikings as seen in the pictures below

This is a sketch of the back of the boat

The Vikings will be carved on the back of the boat

Harington Conservatives Councillors, Cllr Dutton, Cllr Jamieson and Cllr Pitt secured funding to sculpt the tree in Formby Village which sadly was marked for felling.

Cllr Denise Dutton said: "It was heart breaking that any trees had to be felled in our village, but as a legacy we have been able to organise the sculpting of the remaining stump into the front of a Viking Boat, representing Formby."

"I am also pleased to report this is being funded through development levy section Harington Ward Clls 106 monies, so it is at no cost to council tax payers. The herras fencing is being provided by the National Trust, the scaffolding by Formby Tool Hire. This project will be undertaken by Simon Archer Formby based wood carver."

The S106 monies are basically a levy that Sefton charges developers to build within the borough. It was originally meant for enhancement of the green infrastructure around a development and it's spend is solely controlled by the Ward Cllrs into whose Ward the development is built.

Simon Archer has a formal background in Fine Art and sculpture and now works exclusively as a wood sculptor/chainsaw artist, creating unique artworks from dead or fallen trees.

Simon said: "The front of the Viking Boat will represent Formby with it's Viking history. On the other side will be a row of Vikings and also the word 'Fornebi' which was how Formby used to be spelt. This job will take me approximately 5 days to complete."

"Most of my work is commission based, whether it's carving large dead tree stumps in parks or small pieces for domestic gardens. I also try to make time to experiment with my studio work, trying new ideas and working more intuitively."

Cllr Simon Jamieson, Sculptor Simon Archer (middle) and Cllr Denise Dutton standing at the tree to be sculptured on Chapel Lane in Formby

This is the tree that had to be cut down in our village but will be sculptured into a Viking Boat approximately 10ft high

Find out more about the brilliant Simon Archer here:

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