There is something wonderfully compelling about the statue of Eric Morecambe on the promenade overlooking Morecambe Bay in Lancashire … Virtually everyone who sees it has to pose for their photo in that dancey, head-on-one side, hopping-on-one foot stance he made so famous in the 60s, 70s and 80s. He has his back to one of the loveliest views in the country as Morecambe promenade faces out to the beautiful Lake District fells across the deceptively peaceful sands of the Bay.
Eric Morecambe was an English comedian who formed the award-winning double act Morecambe and Wise with fellow northerner Ernie Wise. He took his stage name from his home town of Morecambe in the north west of England. This larger-than-life statue was created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson and was unveiled by the Queen at Morecambe in July 1999, the same year he was voted Britain’s funniest person of the 20th century. The sculpture is surrounded by inscriptions of many of his favourite catchphrases and a lengthy list of the many famous guest stars who appeared on the show. They include The Beatles, Tom Jones, Laurence Olivier, Glenda Jackson, Shirley Bassey, Angela Rippon and conductor Andre Previn.
Not far along the Promenade is the recently restored Art Deco Midland Hotel, where another famous sculptor, Eric Gill, created some very fine murals and sculptures that grace the building, adding a touch of glamour to this traditional English seaside town.
Opposite is Brucciani’s Ice Cream Parlour next to the red-brick Victorian Winter Gardens, venue for many famous names, including Eric Morecambe, from the days when this northern town was a very popular seaside resort, attracting big names from theatre and other performing arts. It’s still waiting rather forlornly for enough funding to be restored to its former lively wondrousness. However, there’s a feeling of optimism about Morecambe Bay and it’s most defintiely on the way up. The spirit of Eric Morecambe must be very happy to see his life-like presence giving so much pleasure to so many – and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come …
There are some delightfully quirky sculptures of sea birds all along the Promenade and the sunsets there can be magical.
Great post. I think you know I have very happy memories of the Morecambe area. It is great to be reminded how pleasant it can be. And, oh, I do miss dear old Eric!
Thanks for your comment Wendy. Have you been back recently? The Prom & Jetty have been completely redesigned with lots of delightful art works & a quirky contemporary design. It would be great if the town itself could get some regeneration and investment. The views across the bay are stunning.
My aunt & uncle used to live in Harpenden & I remember seeing EM at a garden fete there – he was a genuinely funny, charming guy. Much missed, as you say 🙂
That is a coincidence – my best friend lives in Harpenden and I lived there for a while. The last time I stayed with her, we sent to see the local operatic society do a Gilbert and Sullivan production in the community hall named after Eric – great fun. I haven’t been back to Morecambe for years but it is on the agenda.
Definitely quirky…would be fun to take that photo with the statue:)
You’ll have to come over one day DJ & I’ll show you round some more of our quirky delights in the NW 😉
Many childhood memories of Morecambe. Particularly Morcambe illuminations and Happy Mount Park. And the much missed Frontier Land. Yee-Haww!
My ‘day job’ is based in Morecambe and I frequently just ‘have’ to stop and take photos across the Bay. Most people cann’t believe it when I tell them the pics are Morecambe.
Aww, great post. Loved Eric Morecambe and had no idea that Lancashire Day was coming up – or that there was a Lancashire Day for that matter.
Frontier Land – now that’s the Land that Time Forgot Barry! Only the frontage left – and the Polo Tower of course 🙂
I know what you mean Alvina – think it is one of the most stunning views in England.
Although not quite finished yet, the Winter Gardens are hosting many events and is @gardensMcbe The person who has been responsible for much of the restoration, Evelyn Archer, tweets from time to time @evelynarcher1 and has a website
Thanks so much Chris for that information. We hope very much that one day the Winter Gardens of Morecambe will open fully and regain some of its former glory. I’ll follow those tweeps with interest!