The family of Eric Morecambe is delighted his statue will return on December 11 because the date holds a special meaning for them.
The TV comedian and his wife Joan were married on December 11 1952 and would have celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on the date the statue is re-unveiled.
Joan and her daughter Gail will be in Morecambe for Eric’s return on December 11.
The date was chosen by complete coincidence – as it suited the diaries of engineers from the London foundry where the sculpture has been repaired.
The Eric Morecambe Statue, our town’s most famous landmark which pulls in thousands of tourists each year, was removed by Lancaster City Council for repairs after being attacked by a man wielding a hacksaw blade on October 11.
Sculptor Graham Ibbeson has been personally overseeing the repairs and will be in Morecambe on the day of Eric’s return.
Mr Ibbeson said he was “chuffed” at news of the return date.
He said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops and we want to make sure Eric is as pristine as he can be.”
The statue will travel up to Morecambe from a London foundry on the Wednesday night and work to re-install ‘Eric’ will then begin.
The re-unveiling ceremony is expected at lunchtime on December 11.
It has not yet been confirmed who will unveil Eric.
The statue of Eric was first unveiled by the Queen in 1999 following a fund-raising campaign led by The Visitor.
Our newspaper is working closely with Mr Ibbeson and Jim Cadman, his business partner, on a series of events in 2015 to celebrate the statue’s return.
We will have more details on the exciting link-up between The Visitor and the team behind the Eric Morecambe Statue’s return, and the programme of events, in next week’s edition.
They include a match for the ‘Eric Morecambe Cup, created by Mr Ibbeson, between Morecambe FC and Luton Town football club, who Eric supported, will compete for the cup in their League 2 match on Saturday, December 13 – two days after the sculpture returns.
Other events to celebrate the statue’s return will be held in 2015 including an Eric Morecambe themed day and a gala dinner. A life-sized bronze relief of Morecambe and Wise is also being planned.
Eric Morecambe was born John Eric Bartholomew in Morecambe, Lancashire, in 1926. His comedy double act with Ernie Wise is renowned as the most popular in British entertainment history.