Independent Morecambe

Photo by Irena Vettese

Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) has vinyl wrapped two large, empty buildings in Morecambe’s centre to help brighten up the area, and highlight some of the great retail and leisure opportunities Morecambe offers. The wraps feature some fun shots I did for them earlier this year. The two buildings that have been initially wrapped are the Hitchens Building on the promenade, and the J D Gallagher unit on the corner of Euston Road and Market St. You may well have seen them, as well as some others online. Well, here’s the story behind them…

Back in late 2018, I received a really lovely commission from Morecambe BID to support their “Independent Morecambe” promotion centred around Morecambe’s uniquely independent businesses. My brief was to “bring the essence of the business out”, without resorting to plain old “shoot and scoot” type photography.  The intention was not to advertise the individual business, as such, but rather the town and the independence, quirkiness and individuality of Morecambe’s business offers. At the same time, producing a fun and light-hearted campaign.

As John O’Neill, Manager of Morecambe BID, put it, “we wanted a different campaign, one that would bring the essence of the businesses out without resorting to the ‘butcher with a plate of sausages’ shot. Johnny managed to capture the essence of the brief very well and there is a fun element involved, as well”.

He added that “Every shot features a gull, not as obvious in some as in others, and there’s a quirkiness about it. In ‘Gullfight on Victoria St.’, Gully, our webcam sensation, is seen packing a six-shooter whilst facing down Colin Brown (hairdresser) who’s only armed with a blow dryer.”.

John at Morecambe BID and I discussed the shoots together, and from the off, we both knew we wanted something creative, quite quirky and unlike a normal business/town centre promotion, something that reflected the unique, independent flavour of Morecambe, playful and uplifting but also eye-grabbing so it would attract attention. The seagulls were a nice hook to tie the set of images together. It’s pretty unusual to be given that kind of free creative reign on a project such as this, so I have great respect for the fact that Morecambe BID was happy to give me that freedom, and for the individual business owner’s too, who listened to my crazy ideas and all said yes!

The window wraps also feature some fantastic design work by Mal Garnett, Managing Director of Apparatus Marketing, who said: “as Creative Director for the campaign, the decision was easy to feature Morecambe people as the heroes of the town, beautifully captured by Morecambe photographer Johnny Bean.  Morecambe isn’t your usual seaside town, the people who live and work here are the essence of this place; fun, quirky and all individual.  The campaign celebrates our differences, the people and the true hidden vibrancy of this part of the world. Watch out, things can only get better”.


You can see all the pictures on display at the North Lancs Expo 2019 from Fri 20th to Sat 21st September at the Lancaster Brewery in Lancaster Leisure Park, LA1 3LA 10am – 4pm.

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