Southport (/ˈsaʊθpɔːrt/) is a large seaside town in Merseyside,
England. At the 2001 census, it had a population of 90,336, making it
the eleventh most populous settlement in North West England.
Southport lies on the
Irish Sea coast and is fringed to the north by
the Ribble estuary. The town is 16.7 miles (26.9 km) north of
Liverpool and 14.8 miles (23.8 km) southwest of Preston.
Historically part of Lancashire, the town was founded in 1792 when
William Sutton, an innkeeper from Churchtown, built a bathing house at
what is now the south end of Lord Street. At that time, the area,
known as South Hawes, was sparsely populated and dominated by sand
dunes. At the turn of the 19th century, the area became popular with
tourists due to the easy access from the nearby Leeds and Liverpool
Canal. The rapid growth of
Southport largely coincided with the
Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. Town attractions include
Southport Pier with its
Southport Pier Tramway, the second longest
seaside pleasure pier in the British Isles and Lord Street, an
elegant tree-lined shopping street, once home of Napoleon III of
Extensive sand dunes stretch for several miles between
Woodvale to the south of the town. The
Ainsdale sand dunes have been
designated as a national nature reserve and a Ramsar site. Local fauna
Natterjack toad and the Sand lizard. The town
contains examples of
Victorian architecture and town planning, on Lord
Street and elsewhere. A particular feature of the town is the
extensive tree planting. This was one of the conditions required by
the Hesketh family when they made land available for development in
the 19th century. Hesketh Park at the northern end of the town is
named after them, having been built on land donated by Rev. Charles
Southport today is still one of the most popular seaside resorts in
the UK. It hosts various events, including an annual air show on and
over the beach, and the largest independent flower show in the UK,
in Victoria Park. The town is at the centre of England's Golf
Coast and has hosted the
Open Championship at the Royal Birkdale
1.1 Earliest settlements
1.2 Early history
1.3 19th century
1.4 20th century
5.2 Annual events
5.4 England's Golf Coast
7.4 Walking and cycling
8.1 Independent schools
8.2 Further education
9.4 Kite surfing
9.5 Speed record
10 Notable people
11 Famous animals and entities
13 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
There have been settlements in the area now comprising
the Domesday Book, and some parts of the town have names of Viking
origin. The earliest recorded human activity in the region was
during the Middle Stone Age, when mesolithic hunter gatherers were
attracted by the abundant red deer and elk population, as well as the
availability of fish, shellfish and woodland.
Roman coins have been found at
Halsall Moss and Crossens, although
the Romans never settled southwest Lancashire.
The first real evidence of an early settlement here is in the Domesday
Book, in which the area is called Otergimele. The name is derived from
Oddrgrimir meaning the son of Grimm and is linked to the Old Norse
word melr meaning sandbank. The
Domesday Book states that there were
50 huts in Otergimele, housing a population of 200. The population was
scattered thinly across the region and it was at the northeast end of
Otergimele (present day Crossens), where blown sand gave way to
alluvial deposits from the
River Ribble estuary, that a small
concentration of people occurred. The alluvium provided fertile
agricultural land and the river itself stocks of fish.
It was here, it seems, that a primitive church was built, which gave
the emerging village its name of Churchtown, the parish being North
Meols (pronounced "meals", not "mells"). A church called St Cuthbert's
is still at the centre of Churchtown.
With a booming fishing industry, the area grew slowly and hamlets
became part of the parish of North Meols. From south to north, these
villages were South Hawes, Haweside, Little London, Higher Blowick,
Lower Blowick, Rowe-Lane, Churchtown, Marshside, Crossens, and
Banks. As well as Churchtown, there were vicarages in
Parts of the parish were almost completely surrounded by water until
1692 when Thomas Fleetwood of
Bank Hall cut a channel to drain Martin
Mere to the sea. From this point on, attempts at large-scale
Martin Mere and other marshland continued until the 19th
century, since when the water has been pumped away. This left behind a
legacy of fine agricultural soil and created a booming farming
Plaque dedicated to William Sutton, on the corner of Duke Street
In the late 18th century, it was becoming fashionable for the
well-to-do to relinquish inland spa towns and visit the seaside to
bathe in the salt sea waters. At that time, doctors recommended
bathing in the sea to help cure aches and pains. In 1792, William
Sutton, the landlord of the Black Bull Inn in Churchtown (now the
Hesketh Arms) and known to locals as "The Old Duke", realised the
importance of the newly created canal systems across the UK and set up
a bathing house in the virtually uninhabited dunes at South Hawes by
the seaside just four miles (6 km) away from the newly
constructed Leeds and
Liverpool Canal and two miles southwest of
When a widow from
Wigan built a cottage nearby in 1797 for seasonal
lodgers, Sutton quickly built a new inn on the site of the bathing
house which he called the South Port Hotel, moving to live there the
following season. The locals thought him mad and referred to the
building as the Duke's Folly, but Sutton arranged transport links from
the canal that ran through Scarisbrick, four miles from the hotel, and
trade was remarkably good. The hotel survived until 1854, when it was
demolished to make way for traffic at the end of Lord Street, but its
presence and the impact of its founder are marked by a plaque in the
vicinity, by the name of one street at the intersection, namely Duke
Street, and by a hotel on Duke Street which bears the legacy name
of Dukes Folly Hotel.
"Municipal buildings, Southport, England", ca. 1890 - 1900.
Southport grew quickly in the 19th century as it gained a reputation
for being a more refined seaside resort than its
neighbour-up-the-coast Blackpool. In fact
Southport had a head start
compared to all the other places on the
Lancashire coast because it
had easy access to the canal system. Other seaside bathing areas
couldn't really get going until the railways were built some years
later. The Leeds and
Liverpool canal brought people from Liverpool,
Manchester, Bolton and
Wigan amongst others. By 1820
over 20,000 visitors per year.
Southport Pier is a Grade II listed structure. At 3,650 feet
(1,110 m), it is the second longest in Great Britain.
Southport Pier is referred to as the first true "pleasure pier", being
one of the earliest pier structures to be erected using iron. A design
from James Brunlees was approved at a cost of £8,700 and on 4 August
1859 a large crowd witnessed the driving home of the first support
pile. The opening of the pier was celebrated on 2 August 1860.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte lived in exile on Lord Street, the main
thoroughfare of Southport, between 1846 and 1848, before returning to
France to become President and subsequently Emperor of the French.
During his reign, he caused much of the medieval centre of Paris to be
replaced with broad tree-lined boulevards, covered walkways and
arcades, just like Lord Street. On the strength of this coincidence,
it has been suggested that the redevelopment may have been inspired by
memories of Southport's town centre.
Memorial to the crew of the Eliza Fernley lifeboat, in Duke Street
On the night of 9 December 1886, the worst lifeboat disaster in the
history of the UK occurred off the shores of Southport. A cargo ship
called the Mexico was on its way to South America when it found
itself in difficulty. Lifeboats from Lytham,
St. Annes and Southport
set off to try to rescue those aboard the vessel. The crews battled
against storm-force winds as they rowed towards the casualty. The
entire crew from the St. Anne's boat was lost and all but two of the
Southport crew were too. In all, 28 lifeboatmen lost their lives on
that night, leaving many widows and fatherless children.
A memorial was erected in Duke Street Cemetery and a permanent
exhibition used to be on display in the Museum of the Botanic Gardens
(now closed) in Churchtown. There is also a memorial inside the
Lifeboat house, now operated by the
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust.
Mexico was just one of many shipwrecks in the
From 1894 to 1912
Birkdale and the adjoining village of
Southport and administered by
Birkdale Urban District
Council before becoming part of the county borough of
1912. This was a huge expansion of the town.
In 1925, the RNLI abandoned the station at
Southport and left the town
with no lifeboat. In the late 1980s, after a series of tragedies,
local families from
Southport started to raise funds and bought a new
lifeboat for the town stationed at the old RNLI lifeboat house.
The lifeboat, operated by the
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust, is
completely independent from the RNLI and receives no money from them.
Instead it relies entirely on donations from the general public.
On 21 March 1926,
Henry Seagrave set the land speed record in his
4-litre Sunbeam Tiger Ladybird on the sands at
152.33 mph (245.15 km/h). This record lasted for just over a
month, until broken by J.G. Parry-Thomas.
Politically, the constituency of
Southport has been a key battleground
between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. In recent years
Southport has been a stronghold of the Liberal Democrats with John
Pugh, holding the seat for 16 years until his retirement in the 2017
General election when the conservatives took the seat and the Liberal
Democrats candidate Sue McGuire fell into third place. The incumbent
Member of Parliament is
Damien Moore who holds a majority of 2914.
Southport is located within the historic county boundaries of
Lancashire, and was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1866. It
became a county borough independent of the administrative county of
Lancashire in 1915, having reached the minimum 50,000 population (the
1911 census gave a figure of 51,643). The
Birkdale Urban District,
including the parishes of
Ainsdale was added to Southport
Under the 1971 Local Government White Paper, presented in February
Southport would have lost its county borough status, becoming a
non-metropolitan district within Lancashire. Rather than accept this
fate and lose its separate education and social services departments,
Southport Corporation lobbied for inclusion in the nearby planned
metropolitan county of Merseyside, to join with
Bootle and other units
to form a district with the 250,000 required population. It was duly
included in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton.
This decision has been regretted by some of the population. A
recurring local political issue has been the cross-party movement
Southport to leave Sefton and form its own unitary
authority, perhaps adjoined to the neighbouring West Lancashire
authority. Support for this has been seen amongst Liberal Democrat
councillors, and also within the
Southport Conservative Party.
Southport born man Kevin Laroux Wood stood in the parliamentary
election for the
Southport Constituency on 9 June 1983. He was
supported by a team of like minded people who raised the funds needed
and formed the "
Southport Back in
Lancashire Party". Posters were
distributed and articles published in the Visiter newspaper. Although
he was not elected as MP, it put the issue firmly on the local agenda
which continues to this day. In the same period in 1980, a Private
Member's Bill proposed restoring
Southport to Lancashire, and renaming
the residue of Sefton to the Metropolitan Borough of Bootle. The Local
Government Boundary Commission for
England conducted a review of the
area in 1987, which attracted 10,000 messages, of which "70% were pro
forma". In 1990 the LGBC made suggestions that Southport,
Birkdale should be made a district of Lancashire: the final
recommendations in 1991 "concluded that public opinion was more evenly
divided than initially thought", and also that eastward transport
Lancashire were poor compared to those southward to the
The government again directed the Local Government Commission for
England to make a review in December 1996 (after it had finished the
work on the creation of unitary authorities), commencing in January
1997. This review was constrained by the legal inability of the
commission to recommend that the current Sefton-West
be altered. In a MORI poll conducted at the behest of the LGCE, 65% of
Southport residents supported the campaign, compared to 37% in the
borough as a whole. Local MPs
Matthew Banks and
Ronnie Fearn (MPs for
Southport at various times) supported making
Southport a unitary
authority, with Banks wishing to see it tied to Lancashire
ceremonially, but Fearn wishing to see it remain, as a separate
borough, in Merseyside.
The commission noted that
Southport would have a relatively low
population for a unitary authority, even including
Formby (89,300 or
114,700), and that it was worried about the viability of a south
Sefton authority without Southport, and therefore recommended the
status quo be kept. The commission suggested the use of area
committees for the various parts of the borough and also that
Southport could become a civil parish. Another request made in
2004 was turned down, the Electoral Commission must request such a
In 2002, a local independent party calling themselves the Southport
Party was established, with many members supporting a policy of
Southport out of Sefton." Three council seats were won in the 2002
local elections, including that of the leader of Sefton Council,
Liberal Democrat Councillor, David Bamber. At the following election
there were no gains and a drop in the number of votes for the party.
At the all out election in 2004, one of their councillors stood down,
whilst the other two lost their seats.
To date, there have been no further moves to change Sefton's
boundaries, but the Boundary Commission indicated in 2004 that a
future review is possible.
At 53°38′43.44″N 3°0′29.88″W / 53.6454000°N
3.0083000°W / 53.6454000; -3.0083000 the town is situated in North
West England. The closest cities are Preston approximately 20
kilometres (12 mi) to the north east and
27 kilometres (17 mi) to the south.
Existing on the West
Lancashire Coastal Plain, most of the town is
only slightly above sea-level and thus parts of
Southport used to be
susceptible to flooding. This would be most frequently noticed on
Southport's Marine Drive, which was regularly closed due to flooding
from high tides. But in February 1997, new sea defences started being
constructed and in 2002 the whole project was completed.
Southport has a maritime climate like most of the UK. Due to its
position by the coast,
Southport rarely sees substantial snowfall and
temperatures rarely fall below −5 °C (23 °F) so it
doesn't have frequent frosts.
Southport generally has moderate
precipitation, unlike the rest of western UK.
Trans Pennine Trail
Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) stretches the breadth of
England – 215 miles (345 km) from
Southport in the
Hornsea in the east. The TPT is an exciting route for walkers,
cyclists and horse riders linking the North and Irish seas and passing
through the Pennines. Its route takes you alongside rivers and canals
and through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of
England. You can follow historic railways and canals and follow in the
footsteps of packhorse traders on ancient salt routes.
Places adjacent to Southport
Ribble Estuary, Blackpool
Mere Brow, Holmeswood
Halsall, Shirdley Hill, Liverpool
United Kingdom Census 2001 showed a total resident population for
Southport of 90,336. Approximately 19,000 were aged 16 or under,
60,000 were aged 16–74, and 10,000 aged 75 and over. According
to the 2001 census, 96% of Southport's population claim they have been
born in the UK.
Historically the population of
Southport began to rapidly increase
Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. From then the
population has been stable with minor decline in some areas of the
Southport is quite affluent compared with other parts of the
Southport are known as "Sandgrounders", although there is
debate about what is sufficient to qualify for that name.
Population growth in
Southport between 1901–2011
Southport - A Vision of Britain, City Population - Southport
As a seaside town
Southport has a long history of leisure and
recreation and is still heavily dependent on tourism. The town went
into decline when cheap air travel arrived in the 1960s and people
chose to holiday abroad due to competitive prices and more reliable
weather. However, the town kept afloat with people coming to spend
the day by the seaside on bank holidays and weekends. The town has
diversified with annual events, shopping and conferences. In 2011
Southport was named the 14th most popular coastal resort in the
country, benefiting from a 23% rise in money spent in the resort in
that year. Part of the resort's progress is a result of the money
Southport over recent years.
Red Arrows at
Southport Airshow in 2009
Southport Airshow The north west's biggest airshow held in the
Southport Flower Show The UK's largest independent flowershow.
British Musical Fireworks Championships
Woodvale Rally 
Scooter Rally at Pontins Southport
Southport International Jazz Festival
Southport Food and Drink Festival
Southport 24 Hour Race A Sailing race that sees boats racing
continuously for 24 Hours even in extreme weather conditions. Entries
have included Olympic gold medalists and teams from Eire, France
and even the USA and Australia. It is regarded as one of the hardest
endurance races in the world.
Tidy Boys IDEAL Weekender
Southport has a dependence on tourism the town is also home to
many businesses both in the private and public sector. Some
manufacturing facilities were situated in the town, most notably
Chewits were manufactured in the town from 1965 to 2006, only closing
to move production to Slovakia. Manufacturing has diminished in the
last few decades and only a few sites are still in production in the
Lord Street is the main shopping street of Southport. It is one of the
great shopping streets of Northern
England and is said to be the
inspiration for the tree-lined boulevards of Paris.
In the 2000s Chapel Street was pedestrianised and is home to some of
the UK's most famous brands.
Southport also has a newly renovated
indoor market situated on King Street and Market Street as
well as a farmers' market held on the last Thursday of every month on
Southport is used for conferences at the
Southport Theatre &
Convention Centre. It has hosted the
United Kingdom Independence
Party national conference as well as the regional Labour Party
conference. The Liberal Democrats held their federal Spring conference
here in March 2018.
England's Golf Coast
Southport is often called England's Golfing Capital because it is at
the centre of England's Golf Coast and has the UK's highest
concentration of championship links courses. Royal
Club is one of the clubs in the
Open Championship rotation for both
men and women. The club has hosted the men's championship ten times
since 1954, most recently in July 2017, and has hosted the women's
tournament five times, including 2010. Southport's other courses
include the 9-hole
Southport Old Links in High Park, the Hesketh Golf
Hillside Golf Club
Hillside Golf Club and
Ainsdale Golf Club.
See also Listed buildings in Southport
Pleasureland in 2005.
One of Southport's main attractions for many years was Pleasureland, a
fairground established in 1912. It was owned by the Thompson Family,
and was closed in September 2006. A replacement fairground on the same
site, provisionally named New Pleasureland, opened in July
2007. An earlier permanent funfair, Peter Pan's Playground, closed
in the 1980s and is now the site of part of the Ocean Plaza shopping
A former landmark of Pleasureland was the Looping Star roller coaster,
which was on site from 1985 to 1987. It featured in the video for the
pop single Wonderful Life, by
Liverpool band Black, which was also
shot at other parts of the Sefton and North West coastline. On
24 April 2009 a serious fire occurred at the oldest attraction within
New Pleasureland. Called The River Caves, it was completely destroyed
in this arson attack, and a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection
with the fire.
Southport Model Railway Village
Southport Model Railway Village is situated in Kings Gardens opposite
the Royal Clifton Hotel and near the Marine Lake Bridge. The Model
Railway Village opened in May 1996 and was created by Ray and Jean
Jones. The Jones family still run the attraction today. The Model
Railway Village season extends from April to the end of October. The
season has extended into weekend openings during November, February
and March, weather permitting. An earlier model village, the Land
of the Little People, was demolished in the late 1980s to make way for
the aborted Winter Gardens/SIBEC shopping development. Its site is now
occupied by a Morrison's supermarket.
Other major attractions in
Southport include Splash World, an indoor
water park situated on the back of the Dunes swimming pool which
opened in June 2007.
Meols Hall, a manor house, home of the Hesketh family is open to
the public for a limited period each year. Set in its own expansive
grounds, it boasts a history back to the
Domesday Book and is full of
interesting pictures and furniture.
Southport also boasts one of the few lawnmower museums.
The Power Station, that was the base of the town's former radio
station Dune FM, on the edge of Victoria Park, which itself is home to
Southport Flower Show.
Southport has many unique buildings and features, many of which are
privately owned Victorian villas and houses and the town centre shops
are of architectural interest. The most notable buildings, gardens and
places of architectural interest are:
Scarisbrick Hotel on Lord Street
Rosefield Hall, one of Southport's Victorian mansions, while being
restored in 2007.
Lakeside Miniature Railway
Southport Pier (formerly home of the
Southport Pier Tramway)
Marine Way Bridge
Southport Model Railway Village
Southport Town Gardens
Wellington Terrace, Lord Street
Promenade Hospital (Renovated as luxury flats and renamed Marine Gate
Ribble Building, built as a railway station then adapted for use as a
bus station, part of the site was redeveloped as a supermarket and the
remainder converted to a hotel and 24hr Gym)
Smedley Hydro (A former Victorian Hydropathic Health Spa, now under
ownership of the Home Office for the UK's Birth, Deaths and Marriages)
Botanic Gardens (was home of only local history museum in Southport
– that was closed by Sefton Council in 2011)
Park Crescent, Hesketh Park No.29 has one of the oldest existing
residential garages in the UK dating from about 1899, although both
house and garage have been converted to flats.
Kew Gardens (
Southport District General Hospital now occupies most of
Atkinson Art Gallery & Library
Arts Centre & Town Hall
St Cuthbert's Church
St George's United Reformed Church, Lord Street
St George's United Reformed Church, Lord St
Emmanuel Parish Church, Cambridge Road, which has an organ, installed
in 1914, built by Harrisons of Durham
Holy Trinity Church. The church was founded before 1898.
Queen Victoria Statue – originally moved from the Town Hall
Gardens to Neville Street junction to the Promenade and again to the
pedestrianised side of Neville Street.
Queen Victoria on Neville Street
Also of architectural interest, but not extant, are:
Cannon Cinema (Lord Street)-(demolished and replaced with the Vincent
Hotel that opened in 2008)
Kingsway Night Club (demolished in 2010 following an arson attack)
Open Air Baths (demolished 1990s, South Ocean Plaza complex now
occupies the site)
Steamport Museum (housed inside the former 27C locomotive shed,
demolished in late 2000) site now occupied by Central 12 shopping
Birkdale (a large Victorian hotel, demolished in 1969)
Southport General Infirmary
Southport General Infirmary (demolished in 2008–09 with only a wing
of the infirmary remaining as it is being used for mental health
Due to its position by the coast,
Southport is a linear settlement and
as such can only be approached in a limited number of directions by
The main roads entering
A565 (from Preston to the northeast, from the A59
Preston – York),
Ormskirk and St Helens to the southeast),
Formby to the south).
There is no direct connection to the motorway from Southport; the
nearest connections are:
from the east – junction 3 of the M58 (on the A570, twelve miles)
from the south – junction 7 of the M57 (on the A565, fourteen miles)
from the north – junction 1 of the M65 / junction 29 of the M6 (on
the A582/A59, nineteen miles)
Marine Way Bridge
An east-west bypass for the A570 at
Ormskirk is planned to relieve
congestion on Southport's main access route to the motorway network,
although the effectiveness of the proposals are still under
Several areas within
Southport town centre have recently undergone
major road redevelopment; the largest scheme was the construction of
the Marine Way Bridge (opened May 2004), which connects the Lord
Street shopping district with the new seafront developments. The
150-foot (46 m) high structure is thought to have cost in the
region of £5 million.
Also one of the main shopping areas in the town, Chapel Street, has
undergone a pedestrianisation scheme to be similar to parts of
Liverpool city centre.
Due to the limited number of directions by road, many of the services
Southport are from one place South to one place North or
East of Southport.
The main operator is Arriva North West, that operates many services to
Ormskirk and other places to and through
Southport as well
as some local services.
Stagecoach in Preston
Stagecoach in Preston operates a service in Southport, the X2 (Preston
Southport - Liverpool)
Southport railway station
Site of former railway station
Butts Lane Halt
Heathey Lane Halt
New Cut Lane Halt
Site of former railway station
Southport railway station
Southport railway station has a frequent service of trains to
Liverpool and a regular service to Wigan, Bolton,
Manchester Airport. In addition, there are stations at Birkdale,
Ainsdale on the
Liverpool line, part of the Merseyrail
network, and at
Meols Cop on the
Liverpool line was originally built by the Liverpool, Crosby and
Southport Railway in 1848, to a terminus at Eastbank Street. It was
followed on 9 April 1855 by the
Manchester and Southport Railway with
a line to
Manchester via Wigan, with stations at St Luke's and
Southport was also served by three further railway lines:-
From 1882, the West
Lancashire Railway operated from
Road station (also known as
Southport Central) to Preston Fishergate
Hill. It had stations in
Southport at Ash Street, St Luke's, Hesketh
Park, Churchtown and Crossens. This line was shut in 1964, and
Southport and Preston are linked only by the (largely
dual-carriageway) A565 and A59 roads.
In 1884, another line from
Liverpool was opened:- the
Cheshire Lines Committee's
Cheshire Lines Extension
Railway extended the CLC's North
Liverpool Extension Line from
Liverpool Central to
Southport Lord Street. It had stations in
Birkdale Palace and
Lancashire Railway sponsored the Liverpool,
Preston Junction Railway to provide a connection to the CLC line,
joining it at Altcar and Hillhouse. It had stations in Southport
at Butts Lane and Kew Gardens. These lines ultimately proved
uncompetitive, and the
Southport services were withdrawn in 1952.
In July 1897, both the West
Lancashire and the Liverpool, Southport
and Preston Junction Railways were absorbed into the
Yorkshire Railway (L&Y). The L&Y had a large terminus at
Southport Chapel Street and could see no sense in operating two
termini at very close proximity. In 1901, the L&Y completed a
remodelling of the approach lines to Central to allow trains to divert
Southport line and into
Southport Chapel Street
Southport Central was closed to passengers and it became a
goods depot eventually amalgamating with Chapel Street depot. It
survived intact well into the 1970s.
Southport Pier can be found the
Southport Pier Tramway which
transports passengers from the Promenade to the pier head over 3,600
feet (1,100 m) on a 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
gauge. This closed in 2016 because of the effect on the pier of
the weight of the trams.
Lakeside Miniature Railway
Lakeside Miniature Railway passes under the pier, carrying
passengers along the western side of the marine lake. The line claims
to be the oldest continuously running 15 in (381 mm) gauge
railway in the world..
Walking and cycling
The town possesses a variety of academic institutions. The all-girls
Greenbank High School is situated next to the Royal
Club, and is a certified Specialist Language College, teaching
Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian and Mandarin Chinese GCSE's.
Miranda Richardson was educated at the school.
The male equivalent (also situated in Birkdale) is the all-boys
Birkdale High School, a school specialising in Mathematics.
Meols Cop High School is situated in the
Blowick area of
is one of the six schools in the country chosen to be written about in
OfSTED's School Inspections handbook of 2012.
Meols Cop High School
has recently become one of the highest achieving schools in Sefton,
with 96% of the students obtaining at least 5 GCSE's at A*-C grades.
The school is oversubscribed and is currently[when?] building an
additional 2 new classrooms to make way for new year groups with the
number of students increasing every year. The school is a specialist
school in sports.
There are several other high schools in the town, including Stanley
High School, which is a specialist Sports College and whose former
students include comedian
Lee Mack and world-famous chef Marcus
Wareing and Christ the King.
The town's last remaining independent preparatory school, Sunnymede
School, which was in Westcliffe Road,
Birkdale closed in 2010 due to a
lack of pupils. In the past the town had more independent schools
which included Tower Dene, which was situated on Cambridge Road. This
school closed in 2002 due to a similar fate. One of the Victorian
houses that housed the school has since been turned into apartments,
the other is now a nursery. Kingswood College (originally St Wyburn's)
is now housed outside
Scarisbrick Hall, but it takes many
pupils from the town. Brighthelmston School (girls) and University
School (boys) are long closed.
The town has two
Further education colleges:
Southport College that is
situated near to the town centre and
King George V College
King George V College which is on
Scarisbrick New Road in the
Blowick area of the town.
Southport College offers a wide range of subjects and courses that are
available to meet a range of students with different abilities but
does not offer a wide range of
A-Level courses as they used to when
they first opened as
Southport Technical College.
Courses at the college include Diplomas, NVQs, BTECs and Access
courses. In addition,
Southport College offers some higher education
courses in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire, Edge
Hill University and
Liverpool John Moores University.
King George V College
King George V College (KGV) offers both
A-Level and Business And
Technology Education Council courses and the college requires higher
GCSE grades to be accepted onto the course desired. In 2015 Ofsted
reported that it 'Requires improvement'. In 2013 the college was
the best performing state funded college in an 18-mile radius of
KGV. For the fourth year running, KGV achieved the highest point
score per student for state education in Sefton for A levels and their
equivalent advanced level courses. The college has also been
OFSTED as "outstanding" (grade 1).
It originally opened as King George V Sixth Form College in 1979, and
replaced the former King George V Grammar School for Boys, which
occupied the same site from 1926 until its demolition in stages during
the 1980s as the College was fully opened.
Haig Avenue, home of
Southport is home to
Southport F.C. who have played at the Haig
Blowick ground since 1905. The club entered The Football
League in 1921 and became a founder member of the Third Division
North. In 1978 the club was voted out of the Football League following
three consecutive 23rd (out of 24) placed finishes, and was replaced
Southport were the last club to leave the Football
League through the re-election process. Automatic relegation from the
Fourth Division was introduced in 1986–87. They are in the
Conference North, the sixth tier of English football.They were
previously in the National League after winning the Conference North
in 2009-10 campaign.
Southport is also home to a rugby union team,
Southport Rugby Football
Club, who play at the Recreational Ground on Waterloo Road,
Birkdale. The junior section of
Southport RFC is known as the
Southport Sharks, which has sides that range from 6 years old upwards.
They also play on the same grounds, and train every Sunday
10 am – 12 noon.
The town is probably best known for golf; the Royal
Birkdale Golf Club
situated in the dunes to the south of the town is one of the venues on
The Open Championship
The Open Championship rotation and has hosted two Ryder Cups. Nearby
Ainsdale Golf Club is also a two time
Ryder Cup venue
Hillside Golf Club
Hillside Golf Club and Hesketh Golf Club host many major
events as well as being final open qualifying courses. Many smaller
links courses also surround the town.
Sculler on Marine Lake
Southport's location by the coast also lends itself to some more
specialised sporting activities –
Ainsdale Beach, south of the town,
is popular for kite sports, including kite-surfing.
Henry Segrave set a world land speed record of
152.33 mph (245.15 km/h) on the beach, driving a Sunbeam
Tiger. His association is commemorated by the name of a public house
on Lord Street.
Marine Lake lies nestled between the town centre and the sea and is
used for a variety of water-sports including water-skiing, sailing and
rowing. The lake is home to the West
Lancashire Yacht Club and
Southport Sailing Club, both of which organise dinghy racing. The
Southport 24 Hour Race, organised by the West
Club, is an endurance race of national standing, with an average
turnout of 60 to 80 boats. In 2006, the event marked its 40th
The flat and scenic route alongside the beach is very popular with
cyclists, and is the start of the Trans Pennine Trail, a cycle route
running across the north of the country to
Selby in North Yorkshire,
through Hull and on to
Hornsea on the east coast.
In June 2008, Cycling
Southport as one of the 11 new
cycling towns. These 11 towns shared £47 million from the
government to be spent solely on cycling schemes in the towns.
Southport's Cycling Towns programme aims to encourage tourism and
leisure cycling, create regeneration opportunities and significantly
increase cycling to school. There are now many cycle lanes in
Southport and more are planned, to encourage cycling in the town.
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Sophie Abelson, actress
Harold Ackroyd VC MC, recipient of the
Victoria Cross in World War I
Jean Alexander, actress
Marc Almond, lead singer of Soft Cell
Michael Arlen, author and playwright
Robin Askwith, actor
Matthew Baylis, novelist, journalist and ex-
Gavin Blyth, journalist and ex-
Dora Bryan, actress
Jon Burton, founder of Traveller's Tales
Richard Corbett, MEP
Peter Cropper, violinist
Peter Doig, artist
John Culshaw, record producer
Lord Fearn, politician
Tommy Fleetwood, professional golfer.
Alan Groves, footballer
Fran Halsall, swimmer
Ollie Halsall, guitarist
Frank Hampson, artist, creator of Dan Dare
Alan Hansen, footballer, television pundit
Tim Hetherington, British photojournalist and film-maker killed in
Libya during the 2011 Libyan Civil War
Anthony Holden, writer
Jan Holden, actress
Michael Weston King, musician
David Lonsdale, actor
Lee Mack, comedian
Ginger McCain, racehorse trainer
Neil McDermott, actor
David Mitchell, author
Wilfred Pickles, actor and broadcaster
Albert Pierrepoint, executioner
Keith Pring, footballer
Anthony Quayle, actor
Arthur Richardson, VC
Miranda Richardson, actress
Jimmy Rimmer, footballer
Michael Rimmer, 800m athlete
Stuart Rimmer, footballer
William Rimmer, composer and conductor
Jack Rodwell, footballer
Tony Rodwell, footballer
G. B. Samuelson, pioneer of British cinema
Adrian Scott Stokes, painter
Leonard Stokes, architect
A. J. P. Taylor, historian
Brian Viner, journalist and author
Tony Waiters, footballer and coach of Canada's national team at the
1986 World Cup
Marcus Wareing, chef
Edmund Whittaker, mathematician
Four of the five members of the
Mercury Prize winning band Gomez
Famous animals and entities
Red Rum, record-breaking racehorse and 3-time winner of the Aintree
Eagle, a comic for boys, was started in Southport.
The town's media consists of two rival newspaper groups, and two radio
stations. The independently owned 'Champion' newspaper is a free
weekly paper and Trinity Mirror's 'Sefton & West Lancs Media Mix'
titles The Mid-week Visiter and The
Southport Visiter (now out on a
Thursday) are free and paid-for respectively. The town also falls
within the circulation areas of three regional hard copy newspapers;
Liverpool Echo, The
Liverpool Daily Post and The Lancashire
Southport is also covered by several local and regional
Lancashire Life. The local Ranger Service, which is
part of Sefton MBC, runs a quarterly free magazine called Coastlines.
Southport newspapers now out of print are as follows: Independent
Southport News 1861–1872;
Southport News (West Lancs) 1881–1885;
Southport Guardian 1882–1953;
The area also has many online media sites, including the UK's first
online newspaper, the
Southport Reporter, as well as Internet
forums and blog sites.
The town's commercial radio station
Dune FM closed during August 2012.
On a regional level
Southport is covered by several local and regional
radio stations, including Radio City 96.7, City
Talk 105.9, Magic
1548, 97.4 Rock FM,
Magic 999 and BBC Radio Merseyside.
Sandgrounder Radio, a dedicated DAB radio station, which launched on
Saturday 11 June 2016 now serves the town.
Southport is situated within the television regions of BBC North West
and ITV's Granada Television.
Corgi Motorcycle Co Ltd.
Southport (UK Parliament constituency)
Southport Corporation Tramways
Southport is made up of seven wards
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Southport – A History,
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Braham, Michael; Wilde, Geoff (1995), The Sandgrounders: The Complete
League History of
Southport F. C., Palatine Books,
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History of Southport's Historic Pier, Harold Brough,
Copnall, Stephen (2005), Pleasureland Memories: A History of
Southport's Amusement Park, Skelter Publishing,
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Birkdale – The Growth of a Lancashire
Seaside Suburb 1850–1912,
Ainsdale Historical Research
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Ainsdale Historical Research Society,
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Co. Ltd, ISBN 0-85033-966-9
Gell, Rob (1986), An Illustrated Survey of Railway Stations Between
Liverpool 1848–1986, Heyday Publishing Company,
Greenwood, Cedric (1990) , Thatch, towers and colonnades: The
story of architecture in Southport, Carnegie Publishing,
Harding, Stephen (2002),
Viking Mersey: Scandinavian Wirral, West
Lancashire and Chester, Countyvise Ltd, ISBN 1-901231-34-8
Lewis, David (2005), Southport: Stories and Landscapes, Breedon
Publishing, ISBN 978-1-85983-467-1
Smith, Philip (2009), The Sands of Time: An Introduction to the Sand
Dunes of the Sefton Coast Line, Amberley Publishing,
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Formby, 1776–1918", Alternative Press, ISBN 0-9508155-0-0
Trust in Yellow (2008), The Complete Non-League History of Southport
Football Club 1978–2008, Legends Publishing,
Local Newspapers, holds newspaper title names from 1750 to 1920.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Southport.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Southport.
Southport Tourism site
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust
Suburbs of Southport
Districts and wards of the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton
Netherton and Orrell
Ceremonial county of Merseyside
North West England
North West England Portal
City of Liverpool
Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley
Metropolitan Borough of Sefton
Metropolitan Borough of St Helens
Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
See also: List of civil parishes in Merseyside
Population of major settlements (with links)
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
Districts of North West England
Cheshire West and Chester
Blackburn with Darwen