The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse plan to create a time warp over the weekend as a tribute to the landmark’s 250th anniversary.

The voluntary group will set the clocks firmly in reverse for a family fun day on the North Wirral coast featuring ancient pastimes such as hopscotch and shove ha’penny; centuries-old music and dance with sea shanties and Morris dancing augmented with nautical tales from storyteller Tom Goodale.

Wirral Ukulele Orchestra will add to the merriment with a foot-tapping singsong of all-time favourites and guests of honour will include deputy mayor Cllr Steve Foulkes, Wirral West MP Esther McVey and local councillors.

Leasowe lighthouse is the oldest surviving brick-built lighthouse in Europe. It was built in 1763 by Mersey Docks and Harbour Board with 660,000 hand-made bricks. The light was extinguished in July 1908 when the lamp ceased to function.

The Friends group claim the building – along with a second lighthouse on the Mockbeggar bank – was crucial to Liverpool development as a major port.

Rosemary Quinn, secretary of FOLL, said: “So many ships were wrecked on Mockbeggar bank sands; clearly Liverpool would not have become such a big port with the lighthouses. They guided the ships into Hoylake where they got rid of some of their cargo so ships were lighter and could go on to Liverpool.”

After a period as a tearoom Leasowe lighthouse was closed to the public in 1935 and the building was hit by neglect and vandalism.

Following public pressure the exterior of the building was painted in 1973 and a short time later a firm of developers put forward plans for a £500,000 scheme to develop the lighthouse, which failed.

In 1989 Wirral Council approved a £30,000 scheme to refurbish the lighthouse and a rangers’ office was provided on the ground floor.

The Friends are committee to the restoration and development of the lighthouse and its environment and continue to work to raise cash for its revival.