Modley talks lead to change of Morecambe pub name

The former Bradford Arms in Morecambe will be called 1866.
The former Bradford Arms in Morecambe will be called 1866.

The former Bradford Arms in Morecambe won’t be named after a famous comedian after ‘amicable talks’ with his family led to a change of plan.

Bravo Inns II will now call the Queen Street pub ‘1866’ – the company’s second choice.

The firm ran a competition with a cash prize on Facebook to choose a new name for the pub on Queen Street, and chose ‘The Albert Modley’ after the late radio and TV comic who lived in Morecambe.

But after meeting with Mr Modley’s family, Bravo Inns II have decided to rename the Bradford after the year in which it was built.

Leann Morris, Albert Modley’s great granddaughter, said: “After a number conversations with Bravo Inns we have come to an amicable decision not to use my great grandfather’s name Albert Modley as the name for the public house previously known as ‘the Bradford Arms’.

“Albert was a real advocate and a promoter of Morecambe and gave a huge contribution to comedy, entertainment and tourism and the family feel this is where we would like to see his name attributed to.

“My cousin has been working on a Heritage Lottery bid over the last two years to bring a northern entertainment exhibition for the public to enjoy.

“The plan was to use the family name for this project so it was not part of our vision to have another building in his name in the town.

“I, as are my family (of which there are a many of us in the town) are flattered with gesture, it is fabulous that people remember him and want to keep his name alive.

“We are excited to see how the new pub evolves and we congratulated Bravo inns for the huge investment they are making in our town.”

A spokesman for Bravo Inns II said: “In relation to the proposed name change, after speaking in length with family members, Bravo Inns have taken on board their reservations with regards to the renaming of the Bradford Arms after their great grandfather Albert Modley.

“The family have reiterated their thanks to Bravo Inns for our consideration in using and honouring one of Morecambe’s legendary comedians.

“The Albert Modley was always Bravo Inns’ first choice, but we did have a very close second which is 1866.”

The name ‘The Albert Modley’ was suggested by Darren Clifford, chairman of Morecambe Town Council and a Lancaster city councillor.

“A massive thank you to Darren Clifford who suggested ‘The Albert Modley’, we will still honour our £250 prize,” said the Bravo II Inns spokesman.

“Congratulations to Ben McDonagh Gallagher your suggestion 1866 will now be our new name.” Ben will also receive a £250 prize from Bravo Inns II.

The firm took over the pub earlier this year and a full refurbishment is under way.

The company also owns the York Hotel which reopened in March.

Albert Modley, who died in 1979, appeared in three films and the hit radio show ‘Variety Bandbox’.

The Yorkshire funny man came to live in Morecambe in 1932 and loved it so much he stayed until his death.