Morecambe and Wise heritage trail plaque to be unveiled

Gary Morecambe, Eric Morecambe's son, with a bronze miniature of Eric and Ernie. A sculpture at Blackpool Winter Gardens, originally planned for Morecambe, and a replacement Morecambe and Wise heritage trail in Morecambe will be based on this design.
Gary Morecambe, Eric Morecambe's son, with a bronze miniature of Eric and Ernie. A sculpture at Blackpool Winter Gardens, originally planned for Morecambe, and a replacement Morecambe and Wise heritage trail in Morecambe will be based on this design.

A new Morecambe and Wise heritage trail will be launched at the club where Eric Morecambe had his first paid gig as an eight-year-old boy.

The first of 10 Eric and Ernie plaques dotted around the town will be unveiled on Saturday, March 12 at the Jubilee Club in Torrisholme.

The design of the plaques will be based around an image of Eric Morecambe cuddling his longtime friend and TV comedy partner Ernie Wise.

They have been sculpted by Graham Ibbeson, the man behind the Eric Morecambe statue.

The Jubilee Club is also just down the road from the Low Lane house where Eric’s parents used to live and where his daughter Gail was born.

Gail Stuart, Eric’s daughter, said: “How marvellous and what a wonderful idea the Morecambe and Wise Heritage Trail is and the plaques designed by Graham Ibbeson, who created the beautiful statue of Dad, are really splendid.

“I am sure that it will encourage tourists to travel around the Bay area, visiting parts of the town that might not have been explored and I am sure that the plaques will be well received at each of the stops along the Heritage Trail.”

Head fundraiser Jim Cadman said other locations for the Heritage Trail include the Winter Gardens, Lancaster Road School and Morecambe Bay School where Eric went to school, the Globe Arena, Cross Bay Brewery, the Royal Bar, the Morecambe Hotel and RSPB Leighton Moss at Silverdale because the comedian was a keen birdwatcher.

The Heritage Trail has been devised to give something back to Morecambe after plans for an Eric and Ernie sculpture on the seafront fell through. This 8ft high bronze relief of the comedy duo will now be unveiled in Blackpool.

Peter Cross, from Morecambe-based Cross Bay Brewery, is backing the Heritage Trail.

Mr Cross said: “This is Jim’s idea to give something back to those people who have donated to the sculpture rather than just walk away.

“It is a token gesture to recognise the people like myself, Rod Taylor (at the Morecambe Hotel), the Jubilee Club and others who have supported it.”

As part of the Heritage Trail launch, auditions will be held at the Jubilee Club on March 12 as part of an Eric Morecambe ‘Search for a Comedy Star’.

Eight heats will be held throughout Lancashire and the grand final is due to be held at the Globe Arena in April.

The winning act will perform at a Morecambe and Wise 75th Anniversary variety show at Blackpool Opera House in July.

The heritage trail will mark the 75th anniversary of Eric changing his name from Bartholomew to that of his home town Morecambe and making his theatrical debut in 1941 with Ernie as Morecambe and Wise.

The Heritage Trail launch event will start at 7.30pm on March 12 at the Jubilee Club, hosted by compere and comedian Tony Jo. Tickets £5.

If you would like to enter the Search for a Star, send your name and age, a brief CV, a recent photograph and

details of your management (if represented) to jwc@corstone.co.uk .