free web stats

Southport Reporter - You local online newspaper for Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region.

  .Sign up to get our FREE email news bulletins.  


News Report Page 3 of 5
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 1.

End of year Review 2020 - Part 2
The closing chapter of a year lost...

AS 2020 moves into the dark corners of the history books, a year that will be remembered for both Covid19 and Brexit, we move into the light of 2021, but not before we take 1 last look at 2020.  If you haven't already read Part 1, you can do so now or at the end of this report, by clicking on here.

Interestingly, it turns out that in 2020 it was not just the politicians, businesses and medical staff scratching their heads to solve complex issues. Worldwide, the sales of board games and jigsaw puzzles soared 240% during the 1st official week of Coronavirus lockdown in the UK. In fact, the American multinational conglomerate, Hasbro, even reported a 21% increase in sales for board games, attributed to the rise in homebound families seeking entertainment amid the Pandemic. But, sadly for many local shops, this uptake could not be taken advantage of, as bigger firms, like Amazon swooped in to take advantage of having their own delivery networks and better online marketing. This lead to calls to support local businesses as they struggled to stay afloat. So it is with huge thanks that 1 of those local businesses, who are from Southport are this Review's sponsor. Mind Games, a local small business, based in Southport selling jigsaw puzzles and like many small shops, it struggled to stay afloat, but thanks to a loyal local following, it has manage to keep going and is now trading online. Oddly, the best selling game of 2020 was 1 of the best selling games of 2020 was:- 'Pandemic.' Yes really! This game was 1st published by Z-Man Games, in the United States, in 2008 and was designed by Matt Leacock. The tag line for the game is:- "It's up to you to cure the world of 4 deadly diseases all in an hour's work." Alas, the real life world was not playing out to be so simple.

As lockdowns hit worldwide Anheuser-Busch In Bev, which owns some of the world’s largest alcohol brands, said its pale lager brand:- 'Corona' was facing its worst financial quarter in a decade. As pubs and shops moved to clear stock, and young people picked up the alcoholic beverage as a giggle, you might have been mistaken to think large firms like that were safe, but as the COVID-19 Pandemic changed the lives of millions of people worldwide, so it did the markets and distribution networks.  This was just 1 of many signs of more problems to come as the year progressed.

2020 was not all fun and games, as mental health during the Coronavirus Pandemic and throughout 2020 was a major problem, not just in the UK, but all over the world. It now looks like the world will be reeling from a tidal wave of mental health issues, long after the Coronavirus has been dealt with. But as the tough economic climate brought on by the virus took a hold, we started to see not only the world's economy and supply chains, buckling, but also its people.  In July, it was announced by  CV-Library,  that in Liverpool alone, it was found that 1 in 3 people have struggled with their mental health, with job security being the biggest concern,  This worry was very much founded, but as England's Lockdown continued to ease, still in July 2020, many businesses were on the verge of bankruptcy. For some, this easing could not have come sooner. Sadly, the virus was still lurking in the background, and was ready to pounce.  Boris Johnson did warn us to:- "Stay Alert!" But unfortunately they didn't spot the iceberg themselves.

For the hospitality industry, this was to provide a short, but much needed boost, but for some businesses, the easing of restrictions had already come too late, with many still struggling to get support from the Government, things had to improve.  On 12 July 2020, MP Bill Esterson said that the Chancellor had failed millions of people who have received no financial assistance during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Sefton Central MP said thousands of workers in his constituency had fallen through the gaps of the economic support available. He said he was disappointed, but not surprised that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. had chosen not to offer any help to this group, while at the same time civil servants said what the Conservatives had offered represented:- "questionable" value for money.

On 11 July 2020, we conducted a phone interview with Binky Beaumont, who is part of the Theatre Tours and Tour Programming for Exchange Events Ltd. If you do not know who they are, they are the firm behind Gandey World Class Productions, the UK’s largest Worldwide event production company, who are based in Cheshire. Like so many in the creative industry, he voiced his frustration at the lack of help being given. Opportunely, the very next day, on 12 July, they got given the fantastic news that the Circus could re-open in England,

At the start of August, for most of the area, things were looking up. Frustratingly, in Liverpool, enhanced measures had to be introduced for Princes Park, as it was not just the mercury rising, but also Covid19 rates had spiked in a localised outbreak. This led to a Testing Centre being put in place at the Princes Park Health Centre and gave rise to the idea of doing mass testing in the City, to keep the virus down. After 14 days of:- 'hyper local measures,' Liverpool City Council thanked the community within Princes Park ward for helping to containing the outbreak.

On the subject of Parks, on 4 August 2020, we interviewed a local, qualified Fitness Instructor, Boxing Coach, Michael James Loup, who was doing free training sessions in Waterloo Seafront Gardens, adjacent to the Crosby Marine Lake.

Also across England, the Government ran a very strange scheme called:- "Eat Out To Help Out." The scheme began on Monday, 3 August 2020, with restaurants, bars, and participating cafes packed across the country as diners flocked to consume a meal for 50% off the bill. But just how effective it was and how much it contributed to the spread of the Virus will be debated for years to come. The scheme ended on  31 August 2020, leaving the Government with quite a heavy bill.

As the heat wave continued in August, many used the good weather to take advantage of the:- 'eat out to help out' scheme, as eating establishments welcomed the increased trade. But the rising temperatures brought with it several large thunderstorms. This was 1 of those thunderstorms over Merseyside, on 10 August 2020.

In September, Sean Taylor headed over to the Bombed out Church Garden Bar in Liverpool, to sample some of the food available at the Covid Secure outdoor dining area.  The idea to use open spaces like this was introduced by Liverpool City Council to help the many hospitality venues that had been struggling within the City.

Concurrently, Hightown Beach Cleans' Founder Member, Tommy Norbury, turned out to help hold a socially distanced beach clean, on the Merseyside Coastline. He was joined by the Miss Liverpool City Region 2020 contestants.

Also helping the teams of Merseyside Coastline litter pickers that month was an eco-friendly baby care brand, from Cheshire, called:- 'Pura,' who headed to New Brighton Beach, on a mission to rid the beach of existing litter.

75th Anniversary of VJ Day, on 15 August 2020, was a  very muted affair, due to the Covid19 Pandemic. As with VE Day Commemorations, many events had been cancelled and others massively scaled back. It was fortunate that Southport was still able to hold a small event to mark the occasion. We joined a small service, which was run by the Royal British Legion, SAFFA, and the Burma Star Association, at the Town Centre War Memorial. This event, marking VJ Day or also sometimes called:- Victory in the Pacific Day, and VP Day, was lead by Leyland Road Methodist Church and Church of England Revd. Sonya Marshall. Also in attendance was the Southport MP, Damian Moore.

Also, at the tail end of August, the weather cleared up, with all the businesses closing it was refreshing to see a new hospitality business opening on Lord Street, Southport. The new venue, was called the Skylight. Opening up next to Costa Coffee, it definitely caused quite a stir, especially as the Skylight's 1st customer was in fact the Mayor of Sefton, who was served by a 16 year old, who has just got her very job at the venue!

Over August and September the UK witnessed some pretty dramatic weather, from scorching heat waves to heavy rain and thunderstorms.  As September came the weather had changed again, from hot and sunny to what forecasters called a:- "weather bomb," as the 1 of 2 very unusual ferocious late summer storms hit the UK.  Storm Ellen brought heavy rain and high winds and damage.

At the end of August The Climbing Hangar, that has been closed in for several months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic was re-opening again, so we were invited over to Liverpool, to see the new location, within Matchworks Estate, Speke, Liverpool.

Then September was upon us, and with it came more Covid19 Pandemic fake news. We had to then engage in yet another round of Whac-A-Mole as the slogan slapping cynics moved on to the streets of Merseyside. This time not online but sprayed on walls, rehashing the fictions about the 5g Network and other dangerous conspiracy theories being referenced.

Christmas was already under threat in September, as 1 of Merseyside's most popular public events became another casualty of the Coronavirus Pandemic, with this issuing that the Liverpool Santa Dash being brought to a halt. Instead it was to be held as a virtual festive fun run...

On 12 September 2020 we met up with Federation of Small Businesses' Phil McCabe to hear the FSB's views on the huge challenge ahead for many businesses on Merseyside.

On Tuesday, 22 September 2020, St Luke's Church, in Formby Village, gained international attention, when the Service of Collation, Induction and Installation of its new Vicar, Rev Dr Matt Davis was held. This was all down to a photo that was taken of the new Vicar that made him look like a TV character. Thankfully for the Vicar, this interest was short lived, but it just goes to show how a single image can suddenly take on a life of its own, especially on a slow news week.

On 26 September 2020, we again joined up with contestants from the Miss Liverpool City Region Miss England Heat, and the Canal and River Trust at yet another litter pick session, this time in Bootle. So if you thought they are all about looking good and nothing else, think again!

On Saturday, 3 October 2020, a monument recognising Liverpool's 1st black Citizen, Abell, was been unveiled at the City of Liverpool Parish Church, in a special ceremony to the commemorated the his life,    This date was the Anniversary of Abell's funeral and coincided with the start of Black History Month.

At the start of October 2020, a new shop has opened its doors amid Pandemic. Formby General Store became a welcome sight in Formby Village, with many other businesses having closed in the Village, locals had started to worry nothing new would open. Not only that, but e-scooters were to hit the headlines in Liverpool as it was announced that Trials would take place to rent them out to visitors and locals.

On 14 October 2020, pubs, bars, casinos, betting shops, gyms, and leisure centres, along with adult gaming centres, all had been forced to close again as the Liverpool City Region was the 1st Region in the UK to be placed under Tier 3, the:- "very high risk" category.

But even the Coronavirus Pandemic hasn't stopped the cameras rolling this time for Batman, as Liverpool became Gotham... Did you spot the Bat around Liverpool?

It has been a very hard year for the film and TV industry, and it was good to be able to highlight some positive news, so on 30 October 2020, we did a phone interview, to hear all about a special UK cinema film release.

Audio interview with:- Actor, Joshua Glenister - Kai in Philophobia.

Audio interview with:- Guy Davies - Director of Philophobia.

Halloween in 2020 lead to an overall increase in 999 calls compared with 2019, despite tighter restrictions being in place. Again, for many event and entertainment businesses, the cancellation of events over Halloween and Bonfire Night, just added to the pressure they face, trying to keep a float.

On a windy, wet day, on 3 November 2020, RRS Sir David Attenborough, (Briefly referred to as Boaty McBoatface) that was commissioned by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), left the River Mersey, after being built at Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead.


Just days after Halloween and Bonfire Night, reader Baiba Leimane had contacted us about vandalism on the 226 plot allotments, located on Moss Road, Southport. It was a distressing sight.

After the success of the testing back in August,  within Princes Park ward area of Liverpool, the City Council managed to get  the military to help with a pilot mass testing program. We popped over to see it in action on the 1st day, the Mass Testing took place in Liverpool's Tennis Centre.

Then on 11 November 2020, we ran a virtual Act of Remembrance for the Formby Branch of The Royal British Legion.

A bit of news that was overlooked in 2020 was that Merchant Taylors on 12 November 2020 celebrated the School's 400th Anniversary! Due to the circumstances this year however, they decided to have a mini-celebration across the School with special 400th Anniversary Cupcakes, thanks to the School's catering team, Chartwells.

On 15 November 2020, we revealed the new Mr Liverpool City Region, 2020/2021 winner was Jake Mathot, aged 21, from the Wirral. If all goes to plan, he will be representing our Region in the Mr England 2021 contest, and should he win, he will be following in Christopher Bramell's footsteps, he could go on and represent England at Mr World.  Incidentally, Chris was Mr England 2015/2016 and also from the Wirral.

Sadly as November neared an end, people can in from all over the UK to protest in Liverpool City Centre over anti mask and Covid19 conspirers related ideas. This action lead to 13 people being arrested on suspicion of offences including public order offences and breaches of Coronavirus legislation and 25 Fixed Penalty Notices for breach of Covid Legislation, along with 10 Dispersal Notices.  Dave Evens, aka:- 'Dave the Pap' kindly covered it and sent photos to us.

On 17 December 2020, Sam P Jalloh, an International Tennis Player and Coach, who was originally from Sierra Leone, but now lives in Southport, Merseyside (UK) was awarded the BBC Inspirations Awards 2020.

Dave Prowse MBE, died at a Hospital in London, England, on 28 November 2020. Dave was known worldwide as Darth Vader. We had the privilege of working with him on a number of occasions like this event we ran in Southport, back in 2012.

December 2020 started well for Liverpool City Region Businesses, as we came out of yet another National Lockdown. With the surrounding area, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and also Cheshire being placed into Tier 3, this area managed to avoid it, thanks to the mass testing and efforts of the people in the Region to keep Covid infection rates down. This meant we could go into Tier 2, on 2 December 2020.  On hearing the news, Southport BID said it was looking forward to seeing a number of local firms reopening their doors. We headed out and about to see what the festive lights were like in and around Southport, Chruchtown and Formby areas...

On the 13 December 2020 we found out who the next Miss Liverpool City Region was going to be. Due to the Pandemic, the Miss England and Miss World 2020 had been scrapped and the contestants told they would now be entered in as 2021. So Going through as the representative of our Region in 2021, as Miss Liverpool City Region is Poppy Gerrard and is sponsored by both and Holistic Realignment.

On Sunday, 20 December 2020, photographer Paul Foster kindly took a few photos for us of a convoy of tractors decorated in Christmas lights took to the streets of Liverpool, supported by Merseyside Police. This Festive Convoy aimed to bring some Christmas cheer to Liverpool and to raise money for Alder Hey Children's Charity and also drop off donations for Fans Supporting Foodbanks.

Also on the 20 December 2020, we watched as Churches Together in Formby, Altcar, and Hightown (CTFAH) held a drive in Carol Service at the Formby Pool.

On Christmas Eve 2020, we ran our annual live Santa Watch webcam, that was sponsored this year by:- Beyond-Books.Co.UK, a local online Book Shop. The camera watched as throughout the night we captured the big man himself a few times, as well as his sleight. We also joined up with:- again and a network of webcams, in order to track Santa's progress on Christmas Eve. Did you manage to see him?  Sadly, our YouTube experiment was not successful, due to the volume of people using the internet in our area, which meant speeds dropped and it became impossible to broadcast live on all the channels. But that is something we are working on for next year...

In Christmas Week, we published our 1000th weekly edition since we register our Trade Mark.

On 30 December 2020,  The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is announced that Liverpool would be moving into Tier 3 and the surrounding areas moving into Tier 4. Plus warnings from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said that tougher measures could be needed to help cope with a surge in Coronavirus cases. He has not yet said whether we will need School closures, or even overnight curfews like those imposed in France, Spain and Germany.

On 31 December 2020, Liverpool moved up a Tier, the Brexit Transition end, and Boris Johnson celebrating. However the country was to start 2021 on very shaky ground.  Time will tell if we manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat. What ever, it is time for all to pull together. Despite all the tragedy of 2020, their were many acts of kindness, even heroism to inspire us. Lets hope this carries over into 2021....

News Report Audio Copy

Monthly Sponsor:- Holistic Realignment
Monthly sponsor:- Holistic Realignment - Your local, fully qualified sports therapist. Call now on:- 07870382109 to book an appointment.
Your local, fully qualified sports therapist. Call now on:- 07870382109 to book an appointment.



Please support local businesses like:-
Purple Rain - Southport - Merseyside 

Our live webcams...

This is a live image that reloads every 30 seconds.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.


Please support local businesses like:-


Click on to find out why the moon changes phases.  
This is the current phase of the moon. For more lunar related information, please click on here.

Disability Confident - Committed


Find out whats on in and around Merseyside!

This is just 1 of the events on our event calendar, click on
here to see lots more!

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the UK Press Regulator.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS the independent monitor for the UK's press.

This is our process:-
Policy - Complaints Procedure - Whistle Blowing Policy

Contact us:-


Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge.
Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

Click on to see our Twitter Feed.   Click on to see our Facebook Page.   This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography. Click on to see our Twitter Feed.

Our News Room Office Address

Southport and Mersey Reporter, 4a Post Office Ave,
Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0US, UK

Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy - Terms & Conditions
  - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.