The Morecambe and Wise Bus
Feature from 2008
Anyone in Morecambe today (4th August) may have seen a new bus on the roads that is different from the average double decker.
Side view of the bus
Launched outside the newly refurbished Midland Hotel on the Morecambe seafront by Eric’s son Gary, the bus is part of a group of buses that have been lavishly decorated for Stagecoach by Mark Bushell.
Mark, a football historian and World Football Exhibitions Managing Director told us;
“The idea originally came from football. We did several buses for Stagecoach that involved Liverpool, Everton and Preston North End. They were such a success that we looked at other ways to connect well known figures to areas. We looked at art, poetry and of course entertainment. We did one for Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth; and the natural one for this area is obviously Eric Morecambe. We all know the heritage and cultural significance of Morecambe and Wise and we were more than happy to create this.”
A sizable crowd had gathered outside the hotel even before it was due to be launched, Mark Added;
“As you can see today, people are genuinely enthusiastic about this, even before it’s gone on the streets. It’s great to introduce Morecambe and Wise to new generations of fans in this way.”
There was a serious message too, public transport. Getting people to use it again, Mark continues;
“It’s a double whammy really. Younger people are asking who are Morecambe and Wise and also getting their attention on public transport, hopefully encouraging people out of cars and on to the bus.”
Gary, who cut the ribbon to launch the bus, said;
“I have been back to Morecambe many times, but to come back for a bus is probably the most unique experience I’ve had. The green issues I think my Father would have appreciated and been behind. As a birdwatcher and nature lover, he was keen on anything that makes the planet a better place.”
Chris Bowles, Managing Director of Stagecoach North West noted how well the other buses have been accepted;
“I grew up with Eric and Ernie on the television like so many of us did, and it’s a great honour for me to be associated with that legacy. We have found buses have gone down very well with local communities when they are not decorated in the normal colours but with new colours and images that reflect the local area. We hope that this vehicle will be very popular during the next few years of its service.”
Mike Fountain, Eric’s Chauffer was also there, he told us;
“I think it’s great, absolutely fantastic. Just look at it, it’s beautiful. With all of the pictures down the side, people can stand at the bus stop and learn about Eric and Ern. I love the ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ on the side too. It just brings a smile to your face when you see it.”
More images in our gallery..
© morecambeandwise.com 2008