Margaret Brecknell signs copies of her book celebrating Southport in Broadhurst's bookshop in Southport

A new book has just been published celebrating Southport’s rich history and people. 

Celebrating Southport has been written by author Margaret Brecknell, who took part in a recent book signing at Broadhurst’s bookshop on Market Street. 

Written in time for Christmas, the new book shines a spotlight on of Southport’s heritage, culture and identity – its people, significant events and achievements across the centuries.

Southport can trace its origins back to 1792 when William Sutton, a pub landlord from Churchtown, built a bathing house in a sparsely populated area a few miles down the coast. Although widely mocked at the time, Sutton realised the potential for a resort close to the newly constructed Leeds & Liverpool Canal. 

Within 30 years Southport, as it was renamed, was attracting over twenty thousand visitors annually.

In this book, Margaret Brecknell celebrates the resort’s significant events and achievements, together with its notable local people from across the centuries. 

Southport was viewed as more upmarket than its emerging rival, Blackpool. 

Among those attracted here were “The Greatest Showman” P.T.Barnum and the future French Emperor Napoleon III.

Southport later hosted some of the twentieth century’s best-known entertainers including Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and The Beatles. 

In the 1970s, the legendary Grand National winner Red Rum was trained on Southport Beach.

With people increasingly choosing to holiday abroad, Southport has reinvented itself as a destination for day trippers. 

In recent years, a large-scale rejuvenation project has taken place near to the seafront with the aim of restoring some of the resort’s most popular attractions, such as the 1,000 metre long Victorian pier – the second longest in the country and the oldest cast iron pleasure pier – to their former glory. 

Southport has much to celebrate in its past but can also look forward to the future with renewed confidence.

Illustrated throughout, this book will appeal to residents, visitors and all those with links to this seaside town.

This richly illustrated book is the latest in Amberley’s new ‘Celebrating’ series.

Margaret Brecknell is a freelance writer with a passion for history and sport. After graduating from Manchester University with an Honours Degree in Latin, she worked at a stockbroking firm for many years. Now focusing on writing, her articles have been published in a wide range of different magazines including History Scotland, Best of British, Evergreen and Catworld.


  • Celebrating Southport by Margaret Brecknell is on sale at £15.99 at stockists including Broadhurst’s bookshop on Market Street in Southport. For more details about Amberley Books and more of their publications please visit:


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  1. Suzanna Byrne 2 years ago

    Broadhurst’s book shop is my favourite book shop. Waterstones is wonderful, and most individually owned book shop is wonderful, but Broadhurst’s is the very best. I live in California and whenever I can come home to Southport, I buy at least one book from them.

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