Eric Morecambe portrait unveiling caused a media storm

The new portrait of Eric Morecambe.
The new portrait of Eric Morecambe.

It was an extremely busy week last week, with most of the early part being taken up trying to convince Carla that my comments in last week’s Visitor (about sending her to Mick Gorry’s to learn how to obey voice commands) was, if fact, a joke.

We finally saw eye-to-eye when I agreed with her that no, it wasn’t funny, was inappropriate and if I ever say anything similar again, I will have to learn to iron.

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.

Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

The Events Co-op met on Wednesday. We heard how the recent Seaside Fiesta had exceeded all expectations: numbers were around 7,000 for the parade and in the arena which, considering the weather, is a fantastic turnout.

One of these days we are going to put on an event when the sun makes an appearance, which will be a first, but I’m looking forward to it. We discussed a number of other events which have been suggested for next year, including an evening parade around Christmas time.

There are some really exciting suggestions, however, we still need more people to get involved with the Events Co-op. We are all volunteers, and most have full time jobs, so the more volunteers we have to help put on events, the easier they become and, the more we can put on.

We have a Facebook page, Morecambeeventscooperative, where you can volunteer. The more the merrier (literally) because we usually meet in a pub.

Friday was the official unveiling of the Eric Morecambe portrait which Carla and I had commissioned Rob Newbiggin to produce. The original idea was for Rob to produce the portrait which we would hang in Morecambe Town Hall to add to the splendour of the Carnival trophy cabinet. I don’t think any of us ever imagined this portrait would create such a media stir. Friday morning the news of the unveiling was broadcast on the radio as well as both Granada and BBC television.

The civic ceremony was attended by the Mayor and held at Morecambe Town Hall. We were delighted Eric’s daughter Gail and widow Joan agreed to attend and take part in the ceremony which was overseen by the ever resplendent Morecambe MC, Michael Glen. What made the occasion even more special was seeing Joan and Gail being driven to the Town Hall in Eric’s original Rolls Royce and by his chauffer, Mike Fountain.

We are extremely grateful to both Mike for driving the Rolls and to local Councillor Peter Yates (who now owns the Rolls) for allowing and arranging this to happen. The day couldn’t have gone better.

The Town Hall echoed with Ashleigh Wood’s rendition of ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ and the heartfelt words from the various speakers, including Gail Morecambe, brought a tear to the eye.

Another good day for Morecambe and reason to be proud to live here.