TV re-run leads to a new chapter in history of Pegu
THE power of the telly (do we still call it that?) is a wondrous thing, as we remembered thanks to a recent re-run of the Britain at Low Tide documentary which featured the Sefton coast.
The programme, made by Tern TV with the help of community archaeologists CITiZAN and the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, looked at the archaeological heritage of the coast, including prehistoric footprints, the “Blitz Beach” at Crosby, the remains of the world’s first lifeboat house at Formby, and of course, the wreck of the Pegu on the edge of the old navigation channel into Liverpool.
The Pegu is named after a river in Burma – the destination for the Pegu’s maritime freight.
I was lucky enough to “ship-hike” out to the Pegu on a bumpy boat ride from Birkenhead with the film crew last year as it is not accessible on foot, and we discussed the wreck’s wonderful history and how the good folk of Formby managed to “salvage” much of its cargo of whisky when it ran aground in 1939.
Following the re-run on Channel 4, Rob Dawson, who lives on the other side of the country got in touch with the news that he had the Pegu’s bell!
Rob had bought it many years ago and since the wreck in 1939, the bell has had an interesting history…
“I bought the bell from a chap in Blackpool”, Rob explains.
“He had used it for 20 years as a door stop and to hide his house keys when he went to work!
“He told me he came across the bell when he worked at an old zoo or airport in Blackpool”.
Rob added: “I also had a communication from a lady who used to be at a private school in the 50s or 60s where the Pegu bell was hung and used as the school bell.
“The girls translated “Pegu” to mean “Please everyone get up”.
Thanks Rob – great to discover a new chapter in the Pegu’s history.
Not far from the Pegu, the National Trust has added more events to Coast Fest 3, the fortnight celebrating the Sefton coast from September 9-24.
On Monday, September 18, Sealife Manchester are organising a beach clean at National Trust Formby, for more details, please contact ConservationSLM@merlinentertainments.biz. Then on Tuesday, September 19 from 10am to noon, there’s a chance to meet Rob the Ranger and the National Trust’s grazing herd at National Trust Formby. This will be a free drop-in session. For details see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby
If you missed last week’s column, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a PDF detailing all the events taking place in the festival.
The wreck of the Pegu, and right, the bell from the ship