MORECAMBE VINTAGE: Celebration of past sets up bright future for town

Photo Neil Cross'Morecambe Vintage Festival'Natalie Walsh tries on a hat
Photo Neil Cross'Morecambe Vintage Festival'Natalie Walsh tries on a hat

Organisers of this weekend’s Morecambe vintage festival are aiming to create a legacy of art, design and culture in the town.

The third annual Vintage-by-the-Sea event hits Morecambe seafront on Saturday and Sunday, and is once again expected to lift the ‘cool factor’ in the seaside resort.

Wayne Hemingway.

Wayne Hemingway.

Tens of thousands of trendy nostalgia-lovers from far and wide, families and other local people will descend on the town to enjoy a whole host of music, art, film and fashion events in and around the Midland, Platform and Winter Gardens.

Last year’s event – a celebration of British culture from the 1930s onwards – pulled 40,000.

Wayne Hemingway, the leading designer and TV personality who co-organises the event, said he hoped this year’s festival would continue to inspire local people, and attract creative professionals and investment to Morecambe.

“We want this to lift design thinking,” he said.

“People are starting to think creatively in Morecambe. This isn’t just about the vintage economy, this is an arts festival, and it’s important it keeps evolving. You can’t stand still with an event.”

Mr Hemingway, who was born in Morecambe, this week announced a partnership with NewRiver Retail, owners of the Arndale in Morecambe. They will work together on an imaginative makeover and rebranding of the flagging shopping centre.

He is also working with two Morecambe women, Lauren Zawadzki and Elena Gifford from the Deco Publique events company, on the vintage festival, the Arndale redesign and other projects. Recently they collaborated on a major programme of events in Liverpool marking the 175th anniversary of passenger ship crossings from the city.

“The fact that Lauren and Elena have just gone to work on a very big scheme in Liverpool is an example, because they have learned from it and that knowledge is going back into the place where they live,” he said. “The more young people you can keep in a town, they will create things and make things happen, because they can see an opportunity.”

Deco Publique is also co-ordinating a street art scheme to brighten up Victoria Street with newspaper-style wall murals paying homage to Morecambe’s heritage.

“A group of us want to build on the positivity and create new things to help Morecambe’s profile,” said Elena.

“I don’t know if it’s a direct result of Vintage, but there is definitely more aspiration to make Morecambe look and feel fantastic than there was before.”

For more on this weekend’s Vintage-by-the-Sea see HERE