The Blackpool Statue
Feature from 2016
It has been a long time in coming, but finally, Eric and Ern are together again, cast in bronze and for all to see.
The statue of Eric in his home town of Morecambe was unveiled in 199 by the queen, and even though it draws many people to the resort, many have expressed regret that Ernie was not with him. This though was a purposeful move, and the statue is about Eric and the town, and not his entertainment partnership.
Ernie`s statue, unveiled in Morley (Leeds) in 2010 Was also not about the duo, but about his roots and the locations he performed in. This venture though, drew complaints, many from people who were not fully familiar with the details of Ernie’s life.
They claimed it should have been in Ardsley, after all they say, that’s where he was born. Of course that argument falls down when you realise he actually wasn`t born in Ardsley at all, as our own research confirmed. (Read our feature here
But the one thing that both statues share, is the questions as to why they were not together. This new statue will at last get the boys back together, where they belong, sharing the limelight in front of adoring fans.
The unveiling took place at the statues home, the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. A place they played many times during their career. In fact, the event also marked the 75th anniversary of their very first performance together in Nottingham, in 1941.
The statue, costing £75,000, was created by Graham Ibbeson, the man who made the Eric statue in Morecambe. Again, it is larger than life, standing eight foot tall, and sees them both embracing.
The work originally started life as a mural, to be used in a Sunshine Garden of Fame in Morecambe. Those plans fell through when Morecambe council claimed there was not enough interest in the project, and so Blackpool got the spoils.
Gary, Eric`s son who unveiled the statue along with Gail and Joan, Eric`s daughter and widow was as excited as fans; "This is a great moment. To see them back together is just fantastic. I think Graham has done a fabulous job."
"We thought we would never see the day when the two of them would be side by side again." Joan said, looking admiring at her husband clinging to his comedy partner.
"Doreen and I dreamt of this happening and it`s hard to believe it finally has."
Now standing proud in the domed entrance to the Blackpool Winter Gardens, they have been immortalised in bronze, as a reminder of the days when they were king of the double acts. None have ever surpassed them, and long may that be.
See our gallery for more images.
© morecambeandwise.com 2016