It was a crisp and blue-skied October morning when Stuart Campbell and Jane Icely decided to take a walk along the prom in their new home of Morecambe.
Little did the couple know their stroll would lead them to uncover the biggest news story to hit the town in years.
Stuart and Jane were the first to realise the Eric Morecambe statue had been badly damaged.
Stuart, 51, who is originally from Manchester, said: “We’ve only just moved to Morecambe on Thursday. We’d been to the Lancaster Music Festival the night before, then on Saturday morning we went for a walk down to Eric’s Cafe for a full English breakfast.
“We then went across to the statue and had our photos taken with it.
“Then Jane pointed to this thing on the floor. It was a hacksaw blade. Then we saw all these iron filings around the foot of the statue.
“We noticed big cuts all the way around (the foot), about two-thirds of the way through. It looked like somebody had been there all night trying to cut their way through it.
“We went back to Eric’s Cafe and used the chef’s phone to contact the police.
“At first the police didn’t seem all that interested. But because we told them there was the chance the statue could fall over on top of someone, they sent somebody down. We then hung around waiting for the police and the council to turn up.
“When the policeman arrived he found more broken worn-out blades nearby.”
Stuart, who works as a district nurse, said the incident was quite a “baptism” for him as a new citizen of Morecambe.
He said: “Morecambe and Eric Morecambe are synonymous with each other.
“I’m absolutely shocked. It’s a great tourist attraction. Something the town should be proud of. This has had worldwide attention, an act of mindless vandalism.”