Feature from 2014
Good to have him back
Since the famous statue was removed from the promenade at Morecambe, the Lancashire resort felt somehow incomplete. The iconic figure of Eric Morecambe had until then, stood tall, overseeing the holiday destination and drawing in the public.
When it was taken down for safety reasons after a failed, and ridiculous theft attempt, Lancashire council vowed to get it restored as quickly as possible.
The sculpture`s original creator, Graham Ibbetson was contacted and plans were in place to repair his work and get it back on the seafront before Christmas 2014.
Skip forward several months, an in a very windy and wet Morecambe, Eric is back where he belongs.
`We had to rebuild the inner frame,` Graham informs me, `and give it a stronger support. We had to drill holes all down the back so we could get the new frame built into it.`
`We took the foot that had been left on the seafront since the incident, and re-attached it back to the main sculpture. We strengthened it and finally sandblasted it to smooth it off. Now you can’t see the join.`
Graham has also produced a smaller version of his work to be used by the FA for the new Eric Morecambe Trophy.
Finally, at 1pm on Thursday 11th December, the statue was officially re-opened and Eric`s family were on hand to do the honours. Not even the tropical storm-like conditions could dampen the mood and a crowd had gathered around the area along with the press, to welcome Eric back.
`It is really wonderful to see him back,` Eric`s daughter Gail said, `I think Morecambe isn`t the same without Dad here.`
Eric`s son Gary was equally enthusiastic, `Fabulous,` he said, `all credit to Graham and his team, it`s great to see him back and wonderful that all these people have braved this weather to see him.`
With the statue back, there are now future plans for other evens to be held in the town including an Eric Morecambe Day and possibly a Morecambe & Wise convention. Funds could be raised by a special tribute magazine, featuring interviews and articles connected to the comedy duo, and even exhibitions. More details of these will be posted on the site shortly.
There is plenty going on, all thanks to a bodged robbery attempt, and if things work out, 2015 could be a good year for Morecambe and Wise fans.
© morecambeandwise.com 2014