I recently bumped into local legend Paul Frith, better known as the Eric Morecambe living sculpture. Recently Paul has been making stand-in appearances (for charity) for the absent statue on the prom. He even kindly agreed to turn up at one of my weddings last weekend as a bit of fun. I didn’t know Paul beforehand, so his number is listed in my mobile as “Eric Morecambe”! Now I know his real name I don’t want to change it, it’s too amusing when it lights up saying “Eric Morecambe calling”!
Anyway, it seems that the vandalising and subsequent removal (for repairs) of Graham Ibbeson‘s Eric Morecambe statue on the promenade has sparked new calls for an Eric Morecambe celebration day, and maybe a sculptural reuniting with his comic partner Ernie Wise!
The BBC reported this week that “Plans for an “Eric Morecambe Day” and a sculpture of him with comic partner Ernie Wise have been proposed”. Personally I would love to see both of these happen. Morecambe has already proved with the Vintage By The Sea Festival that it can host an amazing festival, one capable of drawing in tourists from all across the country. I already know as a Morecambe wedding Photographer what a draw the Eric statue is, and with the love across the globe that we have seen recently for Eric, who could say it would not have huge appeal. A celebration of Eric Morecambe (perhaps centred within a comedy festival?) could be a catalyst to help Morecambe rise again. Planners are already discussing a possible Eric Morecambe Day to be held in July 2015.
Across the bay in Ulverston, another of Ibbeson’s sculptures celebrates the town’s famous son Stan Laurel, but stops short of the unthinkable separation with his partner Oliver Hardy. So why not reunite Eric and Ernie in Morecambe?
Clockwise from the top 1. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy with performing partner John Sampson, 2. Paul Frith with Chris & Cheryl at The Midland Hotel, 3, 4. Charlotte & Phil’s wedding, 5. Verity & Martyn’s wedding, 6. Mrs Beanphoto. (all images © Beanphoto)