TO PROMOTE HEALTH PROJECTS IN SEFTON
An event aimed at
promoting the wide range of health-related projects in Sefton takes
place at the Royal Clifton Hotel in Southport next month (October).
Everyone is welcome to attend the free Active Citizens Health morning, organized
by North Sefton Community Development Project. During the morning there
will be a wide range of activities and health related demonstrations
including reflexology, first aid and exercise.
Sue Reed, Community Development Manager, said: "The aim of
the event is to promote the variety of health projects currently running
in Sefton. We'll have loads of displays and demonstrations going on
including reminiscence, relaxation, tai-chi and aromatherapy. Everyone
is welcome to come along and have a try."
The event takes place between 9.30am and 1pm on Thursday, October 10th
and refreshments will be available.
For further details contact Sue Reed or Peter Appleton at Sefton Council
for Voluntary Service on 01704 501024.
CLIENT SUCCESS FOR WORKSKILLS INC
project to help men in Southport and Formby find work has reached a
milestone by assisting its 100th client.
Marvin Taylor, of Ainsdale, has become the 100th man to receive
support from Sefton Council for Voluntary Service's WorkSkills Inc., a
project that tackles barriers to employment.
Marvin (49), a heat treatment technician working off-shore in the oil,
gas and nuclear power industry, hadn't worked for three years after
serving a prison sentence. On release earlier this year he wanted to
renew the documents required for his career and needed to complete a
variety of courses.
He approached WorkSkills Inc., which was able to fund a course so that
he could obtain his SCAT card, an international passport in health and
safety for the construction and engineering industry.
He passed the course and then went on to complete a first aid course
with St John Ambulance in Liverpool, also funded by WorkSkills Inc.
"They have been very helpful and are still helping me, "says
Marvin. "If it hadn't been for WorkSkills Inc. I wouldn't be
in this position now with the right documents to get back on the rigs. I
have a lot of respect for them."
"It is an excellent project but they need more funding. If it
wasn't for projects like this a lot of men wouldn't be able to move
forward and would be stuck on the dole. With this there is a chance they
can go back to work." continued Marvin
Since completing the courses Marvin, who is also working towards a law
degree through the Open University, has already been offered jobs in
America and Norway.
Jackie Le Fevre, who developed WorkSkills Inc. and manages the Sefton
CVS skills development unit, said:- "You only have to look at
the labour market to see that men and particularly older men are having
a difficult time. We are delighted that this project has been such a
success and we have been able to help 100 men in the area take positive
steps on the road to employment."
WorkSkills Inc. is currently funded by Merseyside Health Action Zone but
will need a new benefactor from the end of March next year if its unique
services are to continue.
PIER ATTRACTS RECORD CROWDS
A staggering 200,000
visitors have strolled along Southport Pier since it re-opened in May
following a £7 million restoration programme.
This far outstrips the annual figure of 100,000 reported prior to the pier
closing in 1996.
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"These figures are
incredible and are only those who have walked to the seaward end of
the pier. They just show how important the pier is in attracting
visitors and boosting the town's tourism economy." says Lord
Fearn, Sefton's Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism.
"Residents and visitors alike have recognised just what a superb
attraction the pier is. It is one of which we are really proud."
Since the pier re-opened less than five months ago people of all ages
have been flocking to Southport to walk the full length of Britain's
oldest pier. The pier had been shortened following a fire at the
seaward end but has now been restored to its full length.
David Knowles, chairman of the Southport Pier Trust, said: "The
number of visitors we have received justifies the work that has taken
place to save the pier. It is an outstanding achievement which puts
Southport on the map as the major tourism venue in the North
At one time it was feared the Victorian landmark would be bulldozed
after rescue-package problems and the collapse of a construction
company. But Britain's oldest and second-longest pier has been saved
for future generations.
Visitors can now enjoy spectacular views from the end of the pier
across Liverpool Bay to North Wales and the new modern, contemporary
designed pavilion features an exhibition on the history of the pier
and also the local natural habitat, coffee shop and seating area.
A further £2 million is now being sought for the fitting out of the
visitor centre at the end of the pier, a new passenger tram, a tram
station and new pier entrance.
The restoration work has been by the Merseyside Objective I programme,
the Heritage Lottery Fund and Central Southport Partnership.
The pier was officially opened
on August 2 1860 with a grand gala including procession, banquet, firework
display and ball.
It was one of the earliest built using iron and was often referred to as the
first pleasure pier.
It cost £8,700 and at 3,600 ft in length is the second longest in the
country behind Southend.
Objection was raised to the length of the walk so on May 7th 1863 a
single-track tramway was opened. This was followed by the first cable
tramway for passenger traffic in the world that opened in 1865.
Over the years the pier has undergone many changes due to fire and storm
damage. The first major fire was in 1897 when damage was estimated at £4,000
and destroyed the pier head and pavilion. This led to the construction of a
grand building at the old entrance called the Pier Pavilion where many stars
performed including Gracie Fields and George Formby.
In 1933, a blaze destroyed 150 yards of the pier including an extension,
concert pavilion and clubroom. Damage was estimated at £5-6,000.
The third fire in 1959 destroyed the bar, café, amusement arcade and
landing stage. Damage was estimated at £50,000 and the length of the pier
was further reduced.
The most recent fire was in February this year only weeks after renovation
work had started. The former arcade at the end of the pier and 180 ft of
decking was destroyed.
During World War II, the pier was closed to the public so searchlights could
be installed to help destroy German bombers on their way to Liverpool.
The pier has been at the centre of many strange events. From 1894-95 the
winters were so cold that even the sea froze beyond the end of the pier.
Pier divers entertained crowds during the Victorian era like Professor
Osborne who specialised in riding a bicycle off the end of the pier, Sid
Smith or 'Dare Devil Tootzer' as he became known, who dived into the sea
from the pier train as it was in motion and Professor Gadsby, the one-legged
diver who was well known for diving into a sea of flames.