The Eric Morecambe Statue
Feature from 2008
A visit to Morecambe would not be complete without saying hello to an old friend that proudly stands on the see front; we are of course talking about the statue of Eric Morecambe.
The Eric Morecambe Staue
Initial funding for the statue was done via local newspapers, offering readers and residents of Morecambe to ‘Buy A Brick’ for £5. Local businesses could also help although their bricks would be slightly more expensive at £25.
The idea would then be to build the plinth using these bricks, each inscribed with the donators name. These amounts do not sound like much in today’s money, but remember, this was in 1998.
This idea faltered, mainly due to the huge administration effort that would be required to register, check and verify every name that had to be inscribed. Not to mention that actual amount of work involved in etching every brick.
The plinth idea was scrapped, instead having the statue fully accessible to the public which now seems like an obvious idea despite worries of damage. This would mean that visitors could get close to the statue and even have their photographs taken along side.
The initial public appeal managed to generate £14,000, short of the estimate cost of the statue.
At this point the scheme was re-invented to include the surrounding area and gardens. This would involved re-developing a large part of the front with steps, pathways, lights, gardens and a large area in front of the statue which would be engraved with various details of Morecambe and Wise.
This would of course cost more money and it was raised through a variety of methods. Local businesses were approached with the idea which would no doubt generate more revenue for them. Various people donated funds including Morrisons who very kindly offered £40,000.
Further funding was still required though to meet the expected final cost of £125,000. A successful bid was put in for Lottery Arts funding and the remaining amount came from North East Development.
The finished statue and surrounding gardens was unveiled by the Queen on 23rd July 1999. The slightly larger than life-sized statue depicts Eric Morecambe in one of his characteristic poses with a pair of binoculars around his neck (he was a keen ornithologist).
It stands at the top of the stairs in a purpose built circle surrounded by beautiful flower beds. On the floor you can read various related messages, from the famous guests on the Morecambe & Wise show to key words like 'RUBBISH' and the words from their famous sing, Bring me Sunshine'.
Amongst the engravings there are 103 names of every celebrity that appeared on the show; these are:
Michael Aspel, Richard Baker, Kenny Ball, Peter Barkworth, Shirley Bassey, The Beatles, Acker Bilk, The Beverley Sisters, Cilla Black, Frank Bough, Richard Briers, Ian Carmichael, Pearl Carr, Roy Castle, Alma Cogan, Henry Cooper, Peter Cushing, Dad’s Army, Robin Day, Judi Dench, David Dimbleby, Sacha Distel, Robert Dougall, Paul Eddington, Dick Emery, Trevor Eve, Georgie Fame, Fenella Fielding, Frank Finlay, Bruce Forsyth, William Franklyn, David Frost, Hannah Gordon, Hughie Green, Alec Guinness, Deryck Guyler, Susan Hampshire, Nigel Hawthorne, Denis Healey, Edmund Hockridge, Vince Hill, James hunt, Glenda Jackson, Gordon Jackson, Philip Jenkinson, Elton John, Teddy Johnson, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Penelope Keith, Kenneth Kendall, Ludovic Kennedy, Lulu, Joanna Lumley, Vera Lynn, Magnus Magnusson, Millicent Martin, Francis Matthews, Yehudi Menuhin, Kenneth McKellar, Cliff Michelmore, Mrs Mills, John Mills, Patrick Moore, Robert Morley, Matt Monro, Marion Montgomery, Pete Murray, Peter Nero, Nina, Barry Norman, Rudolf Nureyev, Des O’Connor, Ian Ogilvy, Laurence Olivier, Kate O’Mara, Michael Parkinson, Nicholas Parsons, Eric Porter, Andre Previn, Alan Price, Vanessa Redgrave, Cliff Richard, Ralph Richardson, Diana Rigg, Angela Rippon, Thora Robson, Leonard Rossiter, Donald Sinden, Dusty Springfield, Graham Stark, John Thaw, Frankie Vaughan, Richard Vernon, Eddie Waring, Dennis Waterman, June Whitfield, Richard Whitmore, Harold Wilson, Terry Wogan, Peter Woods, Edward Woodward and Suzannah York.
The 6 foot 6 inch statue (Eric was 5'10 in real life) is cast in bronze and was created by Graham Ibbesson.
More images in our gallery
© morecambeandwise.com 2008