A fitting statue for Morecambe's queen of stage and comedy

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They look every bit the king and queen of comedy: a favourite photo of mine from 1956 shows Albert Modley sitting alongside Thora Hird, each in a deckchair on the prom near The Midland hotel

Thora even manages to make sitting in a deckchair look elegant with her legs daintily crossed and a bit of fur and white gloves completing her outfit.

She is pointing something out to Albert who looks a bit less self assured, despite his suit, tie and flat cap set at a jaunty angle.

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The photo is an inspiration for a proposed statue of Dame Thora.

Thora Hird and Albert Modley.Thora Hird and Albert Modley.
Thora Hird and Albert Modley.

With the second deckchair empty, the statue becomes interactive, offering the chance to sit and chat or have your picture taken alongside Dame Thora (much in the way Graham Ibbeson’s statue of Eric Morecambe provides a ready photo-opportunity. Thora Hird’s career crossed eight decades from her debut as a baby in Morecambe’s Royalty Theatre to her solo character studies in later life.

Along the way her career spanned weekly rep, the West End stage, film, TV and radio. By the time of her death in 2003 she was regarded as a true national treasure.

It is proposed that Preston-born sculptor Peter Hodgkinson be commissioned to do the work. Other subjects by him include the artist LS Lowry at Sam’s Chop House off Cross Street in Manchester and footballer Tom Finney at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.

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A public appeal to raise funds for the project has been launched. A specially-produced brochure priced £1 is available from the Heritage Centre in

Morecambe’s Arndale Centre.

You can also find out more online here