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Notes in the margins

Updated on a regular basis 

Saturday 21 January 2023

Formby Magic. 

There's an air of mystery in Formby today.

Railway Civil Engineering

My first job on leaving school was as a Student Civll Engineer working for the London Midland Region, LMR. The first 6 months were spent in a drawing office very close to Mornington Crescent underground station. After acquiring the drawing skills needed I was then transferred to the bridge section in Stephenson House near Euston Station.

Access to the original drawings like the one shown below was an every day experience for all of us.

It was always a highlight of the day if an original by Stephenson himself came to hand.


Thursday 19 January 2023

Interesting Initiative

We are a national research centre based at the University of Leeds. Our core partners are The Audience Agency, The University of Liverpool, The University of Sheffield and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. 

We are funded by the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation over five years.

What we do

  • We work alongside cultural practitioners and organisations, academics, funders and policymakers to:
  • Summarise existing evidence to make relevant research more accessible
  • Support the cultural sector to develop skills in research, evaluation and reflective practice
  • Convene discussions around questions of cultural value
  • Shape policy development
  • Offer funding for research partnerships through our Collaborate fund


Tuesday 17 January 2023

Mea culpa

Oops. I got it wrong on my Monday post, on reflection I should have written, 'The sight of a major snow fall in Formby is uncommon '.

I promise to be more precise next time. 


Monday 16 January 2023

Rare Weather Forecast for Formby?

The sight of snow in Formby is uncommon. I've lived here since 1972 and major disruption to life in Formby can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

I await the outcome of this forecast with a degree of scepticism. 


Weekend 14-15 January 2023

The Real Value of Trees

Too many of us take little or no notice of trees in our environment.  I suppose it has something to do with the idea of 'familiarity breeds contempt', trees are simply there and after a while we hardly notice them. 

The longevity of trees also plays its part, trees live out their lives to a  much longer timeline. We live busy quick lives, we literally 'don’t have time for them'.

Unless someone threatens to cut them down then we often spring into action.

Ask yourself what do know we really about them. Have a look at the following does this surprise you?


Home to Red Squirrels

I spotted this video by Sarah Scott while browsing the web. It was just too good to ignore. Enjoy Sarah's celebration of the natural world. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Its a breath of fresh air during this period of miserable weather. 

I'm fortunate to live locally to pine woodlands that are home to red squirrels and earlier last year I made this short film about the magic of being in nature.

Sarah Scott


Saturday 13 January 2023

Chinese New Year in Liverpool 

Sadly I haven't enjoyed a Chinese New Year in Liverpool since 2017. On that occasion it began with a Dragon procession from close to the Pagoda in Liverpool.

The crowds were huge but cheerful and well ordered. Finally after a powerful series of deafening crackers exploding at various points the procession finished at Great George Square.

Liverpool New Year 2017

This year is a celebration of the year of the rabbit. Here in Liverpool I'm sure the festival will be equal if not better than previous years.

2023 sees in the Year of the Rabbit, which begins on January 22. 

In Chinese culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. 

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded and ingenious.

Do go, you'll not regret it.



Thursday 12 January 2023

Improve your well-being.

No need to book, just turn up on the day.

Well being 2


Wednesday 11th January 2023

Trees for streets.

What a fantastic project. I wonder whether Sefton Council would get involved?


Chinese New Year 2023

I'm really looking forward to the year of the Rabbit.  Add this to your diaries and go to Liverpool's very special celebrations on the day.

I can promise you will thoroughly enjoy it. I learned more about about China, its culture and geography the last time I went in 2017.

Have a good weekend.

What is Yarn Bombing?

If you look it up on Google you'll find an extensive article on the Wikipedia website.  Here's an extract:

While other forms of graffiti may be expressivedecorativeterritorialsocio-political commentaryadvertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places.[1] It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.[2


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Earlier Notes

Updated on a regular basis.

Food banks in this day and age?

Initially I posted this without a pause for thought, but the more I reflected the more I realised it can't be just taken for granted.

The very existence of foodbanks is the saddest comment on how wrong our social policies are and the damage blind adherence to failed economic theories has done.

2023 must be the year for change.

A thought for the New Year

My thanks to Dan Roberts for this list, published on his Mastodon account.

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