The Devil God’s Best Friend

What's on offer?

If you have any interest in: Ufology, Paranormal, Angling, Paganism, the Eco-system and general controversy then this may just be the place for you. I am a published author of books concerning these particular topics...

NB. Images are copyright of Pat Regan...

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Counter Pollution Exercise (Coldstart) on Ainsdale Beach

Marine authority training for potential pollution event on the Sefton Coastline

This morning, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) commenced ‘Exercise Coldstart’ on Ainsdale’s shoreline to test their contractor response to a potential oil spillage event.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We’re urging people not to panic. The exercise is not real – but it provides a unique opportunity for us to help other agencies like the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to test their plans and will provide a wealth of insight and mutual benefit to Sefton and other Merseyside coastal Local Authorities in terms of ongoing shoreline pollution response and recovery planning.” 

Above: the rig off Ainsdale pictured a while ago.

Ryan Carter, Resources and Claims Lead for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution and Salvage Branch, said:  “Every year the MCA undertakes exercises with our partners across the country from ports, harbours, councils and other agencies to test our oil spill response. Today’s exercise is a ‘cold callout’ whereby we test our Oil Spill Response Tier 3 contractors, without giving them notice. We are very fortunate to be working with Sefton Council and their Green Sefton team in this area and shoreline around Ainsdale Beach. During the exercise, there will be no actual pollution present.”

How likely is a catastrophic oil spillage on Ainsdale’s wildlife-rich shoreline?

Moreover, have the Environment Agency and other relevant organisations considered the risks and made appropriate contingency plans? 

Pat Regan ©


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Fiery sunset over the cold Irish Sea…

Although it was not that warm on the Southport shoreline, a milder than normal Valentine's Day saw Britain enjoying temperatures in some parts up to 14C.

Regardless of the weather, Southport is never short of lovely sunsets. 

Ainsdale (above) is a great place to watch the sun go down... 

Life continues at its own pace on the shore... 

Pat Regan © 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Majestic Formby Tree - but what is it now?

Controversial tree felling in Formby's Chapel lane was supposed to result in stump removal.

This was previously stated by the council...

Q. What will happen to the tree stumps once the trees are removed?

The tree stumps will be removed, and footpath repaired. The stump will be removed as a second operation once the felling has taken place. A stump grinder will grind the woody tissue to below ground level to allow the surface to be repaired and made safe. 

Residents in Formby previously felt betrayed by Sefton Council, after discovering about the tree felling plans. Hundreds of locals fought last year to save their beloved village trees.

Above: Protesters in January 2018.

However, members of the public have this week been left rather mystified by strange workings on one partially-living horse chestnut trunk. 

Above: is it a duck, a chicken or a dragon? In fact, we believe this work is designed to represent the dragon's head on a Viking longboat, due to Formby's ancient Norse heritage. 

One elderly lady stated. "I think it's cruel and tragic as that was a lovely old tree full of character and it's still partly alive. It's like skinning a live rabbit."

Another local said: "The tree was still alive and if left it would have sprouted new grown but this latest work will kill it off."

Other shoppers were left wondering what the strange carving actually was?

Are you happy to see a majestic tree turned into contemporary art or? One thing's for sure, this skilfully-executed sculpture has certainly got tongues wagging in the village. 


Sunday, 10 February 2019

Jackboot USA: Nazis tried to ban my pipe in the 1930s-40s. Now, it’s all happening again!

U.S. Food and Drug Administration assault on a man who crafts his living, via making traditional tobacco  pipes

US authoritarianism slips into Schutzstaffel (SS) mode, as precious American liberties are put under threat. Unbelievable but true. US authorities are acting like a new version of Third Reich officialdom, as innocent pipe maker is interrogated about his highly – skilled artistic craft. 

Our forebears fought wars to preserve personal liberties. Today, these freedoms are under serious threat as public apathy permits contemporary health fascists in officialdom to create a world of censorship and oppression. 

Incidentally, Germany had the world's strongest antismoking movement in the 1930s and early 1940s, supported by Nazi medical and military leaders worried that tobacco might prove a hazard to racial purity.

Numerous Nazi leaders were highly vocal opponents of smoking.  However, Churchill along with  Stalin, and Roosevelt were all fond of tobacco. The three major fascist frontrunners of Europe: Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco were all non-smokers. Hitler was the most unyielding anti-smoking advocate. 
Of course, this is a huge topic and I do not intend to highlight all aspects of it. What drew my attention was the downright totalitarian (i.e. officialised bulling) absolutism of the US FDA authority herein, against a man who is an artist in pipe making. This type of authoritarian repression is most clearly an attack on personal liberties that is reminiscent of earlier Nazi censorship. 

I also made a pipe recently from an ancient oak branch. So, can I expect (I welcome in fact) a visit from such officialdom in my country, which is England? 

Such attention would give me the opportunity to highlight this assault on liberty in the press and in forthcoming books that I may write.  

Just remember guys, whatever you think about smoking, drinking, jumping off cliffs, sailing at sea or any other hobbies that you may value, sooner or later the self-righteous mind-controllers in officialdom will get around to censoring ‘your’ personal liberties. 

Ignore this warning at your peril.  

If you value your freedom of expression, belief and opinion then you MUST be prepared to extend it to others. 

Pat Regan © 

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Kew’s Swamp Development - They were warned years ago but they didn’t listen!

Kew wildlife habitat loss and serious flooding problems were something that was fully predicted years ago.

For years (since at least 2005), I campaigned vigorously on the SSGB (Save Southport's Greenbelt) website against the vast stupidity of destroying precious wildlife habitat at, flood-prone, Kew for housing development.

I had articles printed and letters in the local media. I even highlighted the issue in my book ‘Dirty Politics’.

For my sincere concerns, I was greeted with some hostile political and developmental opposition yet found support with Phil Rodwell of SGB website. Like me, Phil could see the foolishness of building on Kew's wetlands. In January 2008 I asked the following...

“Will they listen? Parts of Kew housing estate are already clearly highlighted on the Flood Map produced by the Environment Agency so why do Sefton Council apparently want to 'increase' this hazard, via further developments, to families that currently dwell in this area? In the event of a genuine flood, the following Kew roads could be worst hit, according to the EA Flood Map.

Motherwell Crescent
Bracebridge Drive
Colchester Road
Wollaton Drive
Glaisdale Drive
Handsworth Walk

In the extent of 'extreme' floods, these following roads may be affected.

Markham Drive
Ruddington Road
Nutall Road
Redhill Drive
Folkestone Road
Kempton Park Fold
Town Lane
Heanor Drive
Ayr Close
Aintree Crescent

Adjacent properties may also be at risk. Any further developments could amplify this flooding danger greatly. It takes only inches of water to destroy properties and their contents, making this issue an insurance nightmare.

Sefton's white elephant

Sefton Council’s inglorious white elephant (crime against nature) at Kew appears to have finally introduced itself to most people now. However, the authorities were warned years ago not to undertake this absurd folly on Southport’s answer to the Everglades! 

Changing the ground structure by concreting over large areas of Blowick Moss countryside could perhaps also have an adverse effect on 'other' previously developed areas of Kew. If ground-water alone is prevented from running into the earth on Blowick Moss then it will have to soak in elsewhere, hence the FLASH-FLOODING danger!”

History testifies that they did NOT listen.

In January 2016 OTS News reported that one resident of Ruddington Road said:

 “The water level keeps going up and down, the diggers have created a moat supposedly to take the water away, my neighbours had one of the workmen peering over her fence when she asked him what he was doing he said…. “Just checking to see if your garden has flooded yet?”

Back in 2005 SSGB stated:

'The Council's destruction of valuable wildlife habitat at Kew continues regardless of the fact that they are partners in the ‘North Merseyside Action Plan’ – a vital eco-initiative set in place to conserve wildlife and their habitats. Contrary to the views of belligerent council planners, our countryside is not a disposable commodity that we can simply wipe out at a moment's notice (or at least it shouldn't be!) We would like to thank Phil Rodwell of SGB website for helping us to keep this appalling situation in the public eye.'

The latest (Feb. 2019) news from the Kew swamp simply gives additional; confirmation of what I was chasing up all those years ago – so no, they failed to listen and are NOW reaping what they sowed…

Dream home turns to house of horrors in Kew 

I reiterate they (the politicians, planners and assorted experts) would never listen…

The ground itself, an old landfill site, is contaminated. Naturally, seepage of toxic gases and also possible flooding risk were something that I accentuated numerous times before. Many reasons made the land unfit for human habitation, but would they listen? No, they just palmed me off as just another eco-warrior with an axe to grind…

SSGB was even informed by the Environment Agency that with respect to water voles on the Kew Business Park location, their Biodiversity Team has records of this legally-protected species on Fine Janes Brook down 600m stream of the site.

They also informed us that they believed the site to have a “Biodiversity value” with some un-common wetland plant species being recorded. The biodiversity team has also observed feeding stations next to Fine Janes Brook of the correct size to mark evidence of water voles. The E.A. also tells us that Sefton ecologists are also interested in the site. The Environment  Agency thanked SSGB for bringing the situation to their attention and assured us that they will do all they can to protect the biodiversity of the site with the powers available to them.

I have personally seen and heard water voles at this site both alive and dead and it is wrong and illegal for this special place to be devastated in the name of fat-cat business profits. The native wildlife was in place long before man came along with his bulldozers and technological eco-vandalism!

Kew Flooding Dangers

Just because a part of the countryside was earmarked for development many moons ago, by some uppity grey-suited executive with a map and a biro, did not mean that its obliteration was a fine idea.

Of course, the authorities that make up the regulations on the native UK landscape can't find it in their cold hearts to accommodate a little room for our green spaces that are essential to so many species of wildlife.

Reports in the local press previously indicated that the high cost of treating this contaminated ground to a development level could leave the Council without any profit for it.  Furthermore, I previously wrote that only 23 out of the proposed 650 houses planned would be available to first-time buyers under the affordable homes arrangement. Have these latter points changed?

Why build more properties on a clearly defined flood zone when many of the houses in town are not selling? The authoritarian building ploy at Kew seems to have been based on: ‘Let’s see how much concrete we can get down before anyone notices and  moans about the loss of countryside and flooding, etc?’

However, they were fully warned MANY TIMES; they failed to listen to common sense and are now seeing the result it seems.

In 2012 I blogged the following…

SSGB have been informed that so-called 'development' land at Blowick Moss may be 'uninsurable' for future homeowners, due to potential flood risk.

We pointed out several Kew areas that already appear on the Environmental Agency (EA) flood maps and one insurer that told us:

“Looking at the EA map of your postcode area there are some streets that would seem to be affected from rivers without sea defences if a flood occurred.”

This reference to local watercourses apparently indicates that housing people on any new developments in the region could create an insurance nightmare for many families. The insurer added:

“If we decline cover, but you object as you live at the top of a hill (as an example) you would be requested to get a report from the EA, send it to us and we would reconsider our decision.”

The only consolation offered by this one insurer was:

“If we do offer cover, your premium would probably be higher than normal by approximately 10%.”

Source of quotes:  Norwich Union.

Clearly, after previous season’s UK flooding, insurers are understandably not very eager to take risks on families housed on areas that may flood. Sefton Council and their development supporters seem to to have dismissed all this from the onset.

SSGB have already accentuated the dangers of developing on this part of our countryside.

The Crossens catchment was previously mainly under water until it was claimed from the sea over a hundred years ago. It has since been drained by a system of watercourses pumped by various pumping stations in the area, the main one being Crossens Pumping Station. If the EA were to stop pumping and remove defences, or if they were to ‘fail’, the land would unquestionably flood once again and devastate the housing infrastructure. This is why the EA is required to indicate this risk on their flood mapping system. So to recap any development in this area is:

Ecologically obscene
Risk to legally-protected species (such as water voles) resident in this area
Potentially a risk to human health or even life
Illogical as many large in-town plots are empty, abandoned and unused
Based on fat - cat profiteering
Prone to serious flooding risk
A potential traffic gridlock disaster
An overcrowding problem that can only get worse

When are the authorities that be going to come clean over the Kew issue?

See also


Pat Regan ©

NB. land at Kew was not officially designated as Greenbelt and this has been made clear several times in the past. Nevertheless, the area is a rich haven for birds and animals, which utilise it for survival.

Southport's old heritage 

In his 1923 work,  BLOWICK: THE NAME AND THE PLACE, F. H. Cheetham, F.S.A. wrote about the ancient heritage of Blowick Moss.

See also 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Haunted Bookshop - whooo...

Cornell & Diehl's Haunted Bookshop, a very ‘aptly’ named pipe tobacco?

I took a series of shots and in two (as seen here) I seemed to have some 'unusual' company. What that face was I do not know and the shots were not (honest) photoshopped at all.

Reflections, a trick of the light or something else – you decide…

Whatever it was in the smoke it’s a really nice blend…

Pat Regan © 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Solar Halo spotted over Southport Pier

Known as a 22  degree halo or a sun halo, the ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the Earth's atmosphere. Sometimes a higher/larger sun halo is also seen, which is called the supralateral arc.

Most halos appear as bright white rings but in some instances, the dispersion of light as it passes through ice crystals found in upper-level cirrus clouds can cause a halo to have colour. Light undergoes two refractions as it passes through an ice crystal and the amount of bending that occurs depends upon the ice crystal’s diameter.

Image result for what is refracted light through ice crystals 

Above: The halo slowly faded into the icy afternoon sky.

These halos are considered uncommon in some parts. They are related to other types of ice crystal phenomena, such as sundogs and the circumhorizontal arc.

The circumhorizontal arc was previously known as the lower circumzenithal arc. The one above was seen over Hesketh Bank.

Above: a sundog forming in icy cirrus clouds over Ainsdale.

Above: Sundogs witnessed on both sides of the evening sun at Hightown

Both sun and moon halos have been portrayed in art since ancient times and frequently seen as warnings of storms ahead.

Pat Regan © 


Formby: road accident by the Grapes Hotel

A black Ford car was involved in a road accident this morning in Formby. This happened shortly before 9.00 am at the roundabout of Church Road and Piercefield Road, near to the Grapes Hotel.

The vehicle sustained significant damage to side panels and doors. It is not yet known what actually caused the accident or if any other vehicles were involved. Emergency services attended the scene.

Has your road been properly gritted? 

Claims were made recently by angry motorists that some roads in Formby and Southport have not been gritted. 

Above: Ainsdale's Meadow Lane in 2010. 

Back in December 2010, Sefton Council came under fire from many local sources for not keeping pace with essential gritting. 

At that time Southport MP John Pugh stated: “The council has a story to tell about the gritting but even tolerant and reasonable residents have reacted with a degree of incredulity.” 

Drivers are advised to take extra care on the roads now, with subzero temperatures making some icy stretches particularly dangerous.

Pat Regan © 


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Woodvale Charity – using photos without permission again!

Seeking correct permission to use the photographic work taken by another person is only a matter of politeness to most respectable people. 

However, this common courtesy does not seem to apply to the Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Association (WACA), who make a habit of taking what they want without asking permission.

My work party photo of ex-councillor Ted Hartill’s parents (above) has been taken without my permission from the original WWP (Woodvale Woodland Project) website and used to bolster up the current WACA regime’s public appearance.

Below is the page in question that holds my unauthorised photo.

This can be accessed on this self-promotional WACA page: ‘END OF PROJECT EVALUATION REPORT 2013 -2018’

My original shot can be seen on this WWP work party page 

Normally, I would have NO problem with any decent person or group using my photos (after first seeking my consent).  I have regularly agreed to freely give such permission to others.

However, due to the following ongoing situation, I would have had to seriously consider such a request from this group (even though NO request was ever made) before deciding on whether or not to allow permission. 

WWP whistleblowers banned

The WWP fiasco saw loyal WACA volunteers banned from the project (including children, one with autism) that they had created after freely giving 9 months of hard graft, simply because they refused to work under Tory councillor Ted Hartill’s questionable direction.  See this informative site for more info.

Not the first time 

This is not the first time that WACA has been castigated for misusing pictures without permission. It happened before and involved children’s pictures. 

Parents at the time were understandably unhappy about this charity having their children's pictures on show in a woodland signage board and regarded it as a safeguarding issue. Therefore, following some debate, the matter was brought to the attention of Cllr Haydn Preece who swiftly confirmed that it was indeed a "safeguarding" matter. 

Photographers who find that their work has been lifted have a number of options available to them, including:

1. Do nothing.
2. Personally send a cease-and-desist letter.
3. Ask for credit.
4. Send an invoice.
5. Hire a lawyer to send a cease-and-desist letter.
7. File a lawsuit.

Life is always full of choices, yet reckless charities who gain a great deal of Lottery Funding should act in a professional and responsible manner at all times!  Also, seeking to utilise the work of others, without permission, to gain additional kudos and thus more funding, is a problematic thing to embark upon. 

Image and glossy spin are all fine and dandy. One however frequently discovers that the truth resides in the opposite! 


Monday, 21 January 2019

No Met Office warnings for Southport as the fog rolls in

The Met Office gave no fog warning for Southport/Ainsdale this morning. However, this was the scene in Southport after the experts had predicted a 'bright start'. Sunrise occurred at 8.13 am and the images herein were all taken well after the day had started.

Above: Ghostly conditions in Woodvale woodlands at 9.30 am.

Above: The view over the railway bridge at Kenilworth Road this morning.

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor and nature

Above: The bottom end of  Ainsdale's Meadow Lane was affected by lingering fog. 

Some areas of the town had denser fog and the pale sun did not peep out until well after 10.00 am. The only weather warnings given for this morning related to Scotland and Ireland and these were just for ice. 

Although somewhat misty the Formby Bypass was not too bad thanks to the flow of fast-moving traffic, yet care was taken by most sensible drivers. 

Above: Traffic waiting in line at a murky Ainsdale Station. 

Above: Toad Hall in Ainsdale. 

last night the Met gave minimum temperatures for our area as ‘minus 6.’ In fact, the unpredicted misty condition ensured that it stayed above freezing. 

Spooky conditions, which were 'officially unpredicted' in the Woodvale area, as mists slowly lifted. 

Pat Regan ©