How Eric Morecambe helped one young boy’s autograph collection

Bob Middleton and his autograph book.
Bob Middleton and his autograph book.

Sixty years ago a boy with a passion for collecting was helped by Mr Morecambe himself.

When Bob Middleton was 10 he met Eric Bartholomew at a market stall in Morecambe – little did he know he was about to be helped by the town’s most famous figure head.

The autograph of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, belonging to Bob Middleton from Morecambe.

The autograph of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, belonging to Bob Middleton from Morecambe.

Now 72, Bob looks back on his autograph collection as a reminder of the kind gesture from Eric Morecambe.

“The family had something to do with one of the stalls near my grandmother’s,” said Bob, who went to Euston Road Primary School.

“I met their son Eric, who was starting out in the theatre business, he offered to get some autographs for me.”

Over two years Eric collected autographs for Bob. Bob’s two books include signatures from the Black and White Minstrels, Benny Hill, Joan Regan, Winifred Atwell, Chic Murray, Edmond Hogrick, Ruby Murray and of course, comedy duo, Eric and Ernie.

“He did that special thing for me which I will always appreciate,” said Bob.

When Bob lived on Hestham Avenue with his parents he also got to know another famous face – award-winning actress, Thora Hird. Her brother, Neville, lived next door.

“Thora collected matchbox labels for me, I have framed them,” said Bob.

Bob hopes to pass down his collection to family.