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Monday, 30 January 2012 (3022922)
Memorial service for 1869 fishing disaster
by Natasha Young

NORTH Meols Civic Society remembered victims of the Marshside Fishing Calamity of 1869 last week, as a memorial service took place.

Members gathered at the Fog Bell on Marshside Road on Sunday (January 29), to mark the anniversary of the funerals of seven local men who lost their lives while fishing for shrimps in the Ribble Estuary on January 26, 1869.

The service was opened by society chairman Gladys Rimmer Armstrong, and society founder Ken Bridge, who explained how the event also marked the start of a regeneration of the Fog Bell building. It is hoped the site will be opened as a museum about the Marshside coast and fishing history.

Southport councillor Lord Ronnie Fearn also attended the ceremony to lay a wreath, along with Jenny Houghton, as the pair are both descendants of men who died in the tragedy.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Irene Cowell, of the Marshside Parish Church of Emmanuel.

Meanwhile, anyone interested in the history of the former civil parish of North Meols, which includes Marshside, Churchtown, Crossens or Banks, can attend the society's next meeting on Friday, March 2. Local shrimper Gerald Rimmer will talk about the fishing industry in the area.

Society members are also looking for any people in the brickwork and joinery trades who could help with the regeneration of the Fog Bell site.

To contact North Meols Civic Society, email


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