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Blue Plaque raised for one of Formby's most respected artists, the late Muriel Sibley

After a long time planning a suitable tribute for Muriel Sibley to honour her wonderful contribution in the late 20th century to preserving our heritage in Formby, the heavens opened! On what was one of the worst days of rain in Formby for a long time, Storm Babet hurled down her torrential downpour on the members of the Civic Society and the Parish Council as they ‘opened’ the site of the Plaque at 18 Brows Lane. Did these hardy people care? Not a bit.

Members of the Civic Society and the Parish Council as they ‘opened’ the site of the Plaque at 18 Brows Lane in Formby

Cllr Dave Irving with the Muriel Sibley Blue Plaque

They had all been told or read and seen about what Mrs. Sibley had done for her adopted community and they said what they wanted to say by way of thanks to her, standing in the driveway of her former home and along which she would have ridden her bicycle with pens, pencils and camera to record the many different houses, cottages and buildings in the community in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Muriel Sibley

Muriel Sibley lived from 1912 to 1993, 44 of those years in Brows Lane. She drew and painted buildings in Formby and beyond, wrote weekly articles with illustrations on our local history for the Formby Times and presented a programme of ‘slideshows’ about the local community for many years.

Cross Green Blundell Arms Hotel 1879c

Grange Lane No 02 1973c Tower Grange

Muriel Sibley

Muriel was a founding member of the Formby Society in 1953 and worked with a mischievous sense of humour: look at her many drawings and try to spot the ‘personal touches’ on each one such as a cat, a dog, a bird or a parked bicycle.

Thank you so much, Muriel Sibley!


A bit of history about our beloved

Muriel Sibley.

Muriel Sibley

Muriel had European blood in her veins, entering the world as Muriel Edith LeFevre, born in West Ham, on November 23, 1912, the eldest of two daughters of 26-year-old Stratford-born Edith – a dressmaker –, and 28-year-old William, from Cambridgeshire – Police Constable with the Great Eastern Railway Company. Beginning with her immediate family, Edith and William had obviously met when being brought up just nine doors apart in Creek Road, and they had married in 1909 at North Witchford, moving to 198 Murchison Road, Leyton, Essex, with daughters Muriel and her younger sister, Winifred E, who was born in July 1915 in Hackney, London. In 1939, Winifred was still single, living in Romford, but may have married one Arthur Smith in 1947.


Muriel’s father, William LeFevre, who was born in 1884 in March village, North Witchford, unfortunately died just six days after Christmas, New Year’s Eve 1930, aged just 46, with the family living at 27 Stockland Road, Romford, Essex, when Muriel was 18 years old.

Probate was administered in London on February 16, 1931, and granted his estate of £204.12s.4d. to his wife, Edith.


Muriel’s mother, Edith Ellen Amelia Mony, also a French surname, was born April 24, 1885, in West Ham, Essex. In the 1939 Register from the National Archives, following the death of her husband, Muriel’s father, the 54-year old widow was a schoolteacher in a children’s orthopaedic ward. She is recorded with her 26-year-old single daughter, Muriel, then a council school teacher, still in Stockland Road, along with a lodger, 59-year-old married man, Frank N. Hudson, soldier, author and journalist, who may have been related or known to the family, as Elizabeth LeFevre’s maiden name was Hudson! This 1939 Register confuses many as it was a ‘register-in-progress’ – a working document up until 1991 – so records Muriel as ‘single’ but includes her later married name of Sibley, ie Muriel E Sibley - although her full maiden name was often recorded as ‘Muriel E LeFevre’!


The Formby Civic Society

The Formby Civic Society have a collection of over 600 images of Muriel Sibley sketches and watercolours as well as a video of an interview with her in 1991 at

Muriel also donated over 700 of her photos of Formby in the 1970's to the Society and these can be identified by the ref. STxxxx and viewed at



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