Plans to turn fog bell into micro-museum are given huge boost

Plans to turn fog bell into micro-museum are given huge boost

by Tom Martin (July 2022)

A CAMPAIGN to transform Southport’s historic fog bell into a new micro-museum has been given a huge boost after it was picked by Historic England to receive a slice of funding.

It was announced last week that Historic England would be supporting 57 projects across the country through its ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories’, with the fog bell, on Marshside Road, being one of them.

The small building is a renowned local landmark, built following an 1869 tragedy when seven local fishermen drowned after becoming disoriented in fog and cut off by the incoming tide.

The Champion reported in February how there are plans by NW Heritage CIC to convert the long abandoned  fog bell into a micro-museum to display the history of life saving along the Sefton coast. The micro-museum would not only include the tragedy in 1869, but also other notable events in history such as the world’s first lifeboat station in Formby, the Southport and St Anne’s lifeboats disaster in 1886 and the present day service provided by Southport Lifeboat.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England said: “These community-led projects demonstrate that heritage is all around us and accessible to everyone. They will highlight that wherever people live they are surrounded by historic buildings, landscapes and streets, industrial and coastal heritage that can help bring communities together.”

A spokesperson for NW Heritage CIC said: “The fog bell building will tell the stories of those who have worked and lived on the Ribble estuary and of the rich history of saving lives along our coast - from the very first lifeboat station at Formby, the Marshside calamity of 1869, the worst lifeboat disaster of 1886 to the service provided by Southport Lifeboat today.”

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