New Website Launch

The Southport and Formby Association of the National Trust (SoFA) are very pleased to announce the launch of our new website. The site will provide members and the general public with the following:

Event Information

An iconic view of Southport Pier. New website launch by SoFA.
Southport Pier
  • Check on the dates and details of upcoming events.
  • Read articles about past events

Articles

  • News about what we are doing to support our National Trust properties
  • Reports on the events which have taken place
  • Photographic items about the National Trust properties we have visited, either as a group or individual member visits

News

  • Check out our latest articles

National Trust News

  • Information about the properties we support
  • General National Trust news of interest to our members
Ainsdale LNR

As well as being an infomation resource for our members we hope the new website will be useful to the general public. It will raise awareness of the Southport and Formby Association, helping to attract new members.

If you are not yet a SoFA member but are interested in joining, please fill in our contact form.

Zoom Talk – Women of Courage

Industry

Our very own Frank Hyland will be entertaining us with our second Zoom talk. Women of Courage, the First Women Factory Inspectors is on Tuesday 30 March at 2.30pm

Women of Courage’ describes the challenges and changes faced by the first ‘Lady Inspectors’ as they were called. We follow their contribution and their determination to achieving safe standards for workers in a range of industries. We look in particular at the achievements of women factory inspectors during the two world wars and their development in post war times.

In a career of over 35 years as a government health and safety inspector. Frank Hyland worked with some notable colleagues and had access to historical material included in this talk.

We will issue an email to our members in advance of this Zoom talk, with a link to the session.

If you are interested in joining SoFA please contact us using our Contact Form

National Trust Tales – David Simmonds

There was a good turnout for our very first Zoom talk, National Trust Tales, by David Simmonds. David is President of the Chelmsford National Trust Supporter group. He gives talks through the Trust’s Talk Service and is a volunteer for the Trust at Hatfield Forest.

The Tales

David’s illustrated talk dealt with ten tales looking at various aspects of the National Trust. The presentation was well received with 49 screens showing, representing around 60 members.

As David does his talks for the benefit of the Trust and does not charge a fee, he has kindly suggested that SoFA make a donation to our local property, Formby.

David became a life member of the National Trust in August 1977 at the cost of £75 and the first property he visited in 1977 was Lindisfarne castle.

The Founders

The three founders of the National Trust were Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Palmer and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. The first National Trust property was Dinas Oleu near Barmouth in Wales.

Beatrix Potter

David spent some time talking about the Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter and her cottage ‘Hill Top‘ in the Lake District.

The next topic was Tails (and trees) of Hatfield Forest, where David volunteers. He talked about the animal and bird life in the forest.

Hatfield Forest - National Trust - SoFA
Hatfield Forest – Image by cristian prisecariu from Pixabay

The Dark Ages

Then came a tale of the Dark Ages and David talked about the book Beowulf, which is in the National Trust collection. He went on to describe Sutton Hoo in Woodbridge, Suffolk which is the site of the Great Ship Burial. Sutton Hoo is England’s ‘Valley of the Kings’ and the Anglo-Saxon ship burial found in the King’s mound is the richest burial ever found in Northern Europe. Netflix released a film in 2021, about Sutton Hoo, called ‘The Dig’ which David recommended.

Thomas Hardy

The National Trust own Thomas Hardy’s Cottage in Dorset where Hardy, the author of ‘Wessex Tales’, was born and penned some of his early novels. The National Trust also own Max Gate in Dorchester, a Victorian home designed by Hardy who died there in 1928. David also mentioned Beeny Cliff in North Cornwall, which provided much inspiration for Hardy’s work.

Next came a tale of Danbury Commons and Blake’s Wood, Essex’s second largest area of common land, looked after by the National Trust.

Orford Ness

A tale not to be told was about the Trust’s Orford Ness in Suffolk. This was so secret a place that most people have never heard of it. At the height of the Cold War the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment used Orford Ness for development on the atomic bomb.

Fire Poppy at Orford Ness - National Trust - SoFA
Fire Poppy at Orford Ness – Image by James Roberts from Pixabay

Rudyard Kipling

‘Tales of the campfires’ referred to Rudyard Kipling and his stories/poems related to fire. The National trust own Bateman’s, a 17th century Jacobean house which was a sanctuary for Rudyard Kipling. David particularly referred to Puck of Pook’s Hill, a fantasy book by Kipling published in 1906.

Bateman's, Rudyard Kipling's house.  SoFA
Bateman’s – Image by acedev from Pixabay

Delaval Hall

The tenth tale was of a seafarer and his Northumbrian Hall. Wealthy Admiral George Delaval bought Seaton Delaval Hall from his bankrupt cousin in the 1700’s. The hall has a colourful history, but Lord and Lady Hastings returned to the hall after a hundred years of family absence. After the death of his parents the current Lord Hastings asked the National Trust if they were interested in acquiring the hall. The Trust received the keys to Delaval Hall in 2009.

The Future?

A bonus tale – David asked the question; will the National Trust continue?

Supporter groups such as SoFA are very important to the future as they have a great deal to offer. The National Trust urgently need to attract younger members otherwise there is the sad possibility that it will become history. We need to do all we can to secure the Trust’s future.

If you are interested in joining SoFA, please contact us using our Contact Form.

Article supplied by Lois Hughes

The National Trust's Lindisfarme Castle, by David Mark - SoFA
Lindisfarne Castle – Image by David Mark from Pixabay