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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 30 July 2007

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Have your say about stroke care

STROKE survivors and their carers are being given the chance to influence the future of stroke services in England and their local area. The Department of Health has issued its draft Stroke Strategy consultation document, and all those interested in improving stroke services are urged to express their views and opinions on the future of stroke care.

The Stroke Strategy could be the most important document on stroke care in England for a generation, and would help to make stroke a top priority. It is due to be finalised by the end of this year and a consultation period is currently underway, providing the opportunity for everyone with an interest in stroke to have their say.  If stroke survivors or carers are unhappy with any measures that are being proposed or do not feel that the emphasis has been made in the right areas, this is the opportunity to express concerns to the Department of Health. Additionally, people are being encouraged to recount their experiences of stroke and the care they received during all stages of their stroke, including admittance to hospital, rehabilitation and after care.

Angela Walkden, North West Regional Manager for The Stroke Association said:- ‘Your views and opinions really do count, so we urge everyone to get involved.  The Stroke Association broadly welcomes the national stroke strategy consultation document and its recommendations. However, to ensure that these good intentions are translated into urgently needed action, we want the strategy to be explicit about how the NHS should improve stroke services at local level, and about the provision of adequate resources to support these services,’.

The specific issues are:-

• Government has supported the call for the NHS to treat stroke as a medical emergency. However, this must be backed up with significant funding for national public awareness campaigns around how to identify the symptoms

• Strokes can be prevented. Therefore, the Government must provide the necessary financial resources to ensure members of the public know how to take measures to reduce their chances of stroke. Furthermore, stroke survivors and carers should be better informed on how to prevent further strokes from happening.

• Long term support and rehabilitation including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and emotional/psychological support, are currently inadequate for many stroke survivors. The draft strategy does little to address this issue. If you have experience of unsatisfactory long term support and/or rehabilitation please ensure that you mention this in your response.

• The draft strategy fails to highlight the important work of the voluntary sector in giving support to stroke survivors. This work is vital to thousands of people with communication and emotional difficulties as a result of stroke. If you have benefited from services run by charities then please ensure you mention this in your response.

Copies of the easy access document or the full document are available through The Stroke Association website or on 01604 623 938.

The consultation period ends on 12 October 2007.

Completed comments can be returned direct to the Department of Health or to:-

The Stroke Association
240 City Road

Please return by 5 October 2007.

IT’S that time of year again, "oh yes it is!"

Southport Theatre in conjunction with New Pantomime Productions will be presenting "Aladdin" from Saturday 8 December 2007 until Sunday 6 January 2008. Following the huge success of last year’s "SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS", New Pantomime Productions return with a sparkling cast and breathtaking stage sets and costumes guaranteed to wow the whole family!

Starring Lisa Riley from Emmerdale and Syd Little plus a full supporting cast with what promises to be a fabulous family pantomime for all ages. The magical Aladdin will have you booing at the evil Abanazar, laughing at Wishee Washee, cheering for Aladdin and the Princess and being dazzled by Aladdin’s magic carpet and mystical cave!


Tickets:- £15 & £14

Children/Senior Citizens:- £10

Family Ticket:- £42 Front Stalls, £40 rear stalls Early Booking offer £36 if booked & paid before 30/9/07

Monday 10 December 2007 All seats 2 for 1

Generous Groups & Schools Discounts available

To book call Ticketmaster on 0870 607 7560 (subject to booking fee)

Groups 10+ Freephone 0800 5875007

Visit the Southport Theatre Box Office Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm.

You can book online new be logging onto:-

See our advert by clicking here.

Report and photograph by Dr. Reg Yorke.

THE event was organised by the Formby Civic Society and the Sefton Coast Partnership History and Archaeology Task group as a contribution to National Archaeology Week, an unusual walk was enjoyed by 30 people in fine weather on Sunday morning 22 July 2007. 

Led by Dr Reg Yorke (FCS) and Professor Philip Woodworth of the Proudman Oceanographic Observatory, Livepool University, the group walked over the sand dunes and into the inter-tidal zone seaward of Formby’s Lifeboat Station to examine and consider the history and function of the two surviving tide poles.

The group were reminded about William Hutchison, Liverpool’s Dockmaster in 1759 who was a pioneer in the recognition of the importance of accurate prediction of the height and strength of the tide, in the port. His records not only being the first known for Liverpool but in fact the first truly systematic measurements in the UK. Measurements started in 1764 ). This was the beginning of the famous series of annual Tide Tables for Liverpool Bay, which have continued to the present day.

These tidal observations were later extended to include outlying positions on the river and estuary by Captain Denham Liverpool’s first Marine Surveyor who had a very clear understanding of the importance of the scientific study of the hydrography of the river and its estuary.

We do not know when tide-poles were first installed at Formby but visual readings continued over a long period using a set of three Tide Poles set in a line between Formby Lifeboat Station and low water line. Each of them was marked in feet and inches up to 32 feet and carefully maintained free from barnacles and being repainted as necessary. From their position it was obviously possible to gather data at all states of the tide. In 1889 the Keeper of the Tide Gauge, who was also the Lifeboat Coxswain, was paid an allowance of 3/6d per day “to keep the tide gauge when ever it is required”. In the 1970s the MDHB continued to require the resident of Lifeboat Cottage to keep a continuous telescopic sighting record every 15 minutes from 9am to 4pm and send these observations to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.

Even after Lifeboat Cottage was abandoned 15 minute readings continued to be taken during day-light hours and forwarded to the MDHB The last Formby ‘Tideman’, David Simpson, interviewed by the Formby Times in 1972 described how he read off the depths using high powered binoculars. In poor visibility he had to walk to the edge of the water and stay there taking readings every quarter hour. Professor Woodworth confirms that The Proudman Oceanographic Observatory still has a long series of Formby records.

The two surviving poles are in the inter-tidal zone in front of the former Life-boat House. Their measuring scales are no longer visible, the poles themselves being encrusted with barnaclesand are unique in Liverpool Bay.

According to recent information from Michael W. Bankes a Formby resident and formerly hydrographic draughtsman for the MDHB, the meticulously kept readings were telephoned daily (as soon after 4 pm as possible), from Formby to the Marine Surveyor and Water Bailiffs Dept. The written sheets of measurements being sent in at the end of each week. Their purpose was to provide continuous ‘real time’ measurements of sea-level in the Bay which was not always the exact level predicted and which was then correlated with the ongoing and concurrent echo-sounding depth measurements carried out from the MDHB Survey vessel, particularly important in the Channels, the beds of which could ‘shoal up’ within a month with potential hazard to shipping despite being within the navigation buoys, training bank and revetment.

These Tide-Poles are a physical reminder of the tradition of meticulous tidal recording started in the Mersey by Hutchinson and its importance of detailed knowledge of tidal flow in the estuary and at low and mid-water levels re-established by Denham in the mid-19th century; Accurate tidal measurement in Liverpool Bay is today as important as ever and it is noteworthy that tidal data is still being recorded at Formby, by the Proudman Oceanographic Observatory, Liverpool, using an array of specialised radar antennae situated on the Ravenmeols Dunes.

Other events being organised for National Archaeology Week:-

Little Crosby Village Museum Visit and Walk.

Wednesday 8 August 2007 from 7.00pm to 9.00pm…

A guided walk led by Bob Wright and visit to the village museum. Suitable for age 10 upwards but reasonable fitness to walk for a couple of hours. Sturdy footwear and appropriate weatherproof clothing. £3.00 per person to support the Museum. Advance booking essential.  

Meet up at the Little Crosby Museum.  Walk will be lead by Bob Wright of the Crosby Civic Trust and Little Crosby Museum Trust.  Phone:- 0151 924 7622 or mobile:- 078852 72609

Guilded Walk, Seaforth Village

Mark Sargant takes you on a guided walk tracing the history of Seaforth and looking at buildings of interest in the village centre. Suitable for age 12 upwards but youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable footwear and appropriate weatherproof clothing. Free but advance booking essential.

Tuesday 14 August 2007 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm

Meet at Star of the Sea Church on the corner of Church Road and Crescent Road.   The walk will be lead by Mark Sargant of Sefton Libraries (Local History Service).  Phone:- 0151 257 640.

See for more information.

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