An icon of Morecambe’s entertainment scene died just days after a triumphant final gig playing the music he loved.
Steve Blane, proprietor of the Crown Hotel on Morecambe seafront and nightclub DJ, passed away suddenly on Friday after what friends and family said was one of the happiest weeks of his life.
Steve, who turned 61 the day before his shock death, was in terrific form at the ‘Disco Inferno’ revival night at The Platform the Sunday before last.
Hundreds packed the dancefloor as the charismatic dad-of-three played his favourite soul, funk and disco tunes.
It brought back memories of his pomp years behind the decks at Harvey’s nightclub in Morecambe in the 1980s, when he was famed for his trademark safari-style pith helmet.
Steve had also DJ’d at his son Matthew’s wedding just 24 hours before The Platform show.
Close friend and fellow DJ, Steve Middlesbrough, said: “He was happier than he’d ever been.
“Steve was one of life’s good guys, a stylish raconteur and so much fun. I never got bored in Steve’s company. It’s so, so sad and shocking.”
The night before his death, Steve posted a poignant Facebook message and photo of himself and his beloved wife Angela, as they enjoyed a meal for his birthday at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Lancaster.
He wrote: “To all my friends, I would like to say thank you.
“Seeing so many of you wishing me well on my birthday makes me so happy and makes me remember all the good times we have shared.”
Tributes poured in on Steve’s Facebook page as news spread of his death.
Stephen Johnson wrote: “God bless you Stevie, you created an era in Morecambe that will be fondly remembered by so many people. Harveys was a social community thanks to you my friend, your charming charismatic style combined with witty banter oozed out through your music.”
Originally from Yorkshire, Steve moved to Morecambe when his dad Reginald became head chef at the Midland hotel in the 1960s.
His parents also owned a guest house on Heysham Road and young Steve would entertain the guests with his own late-night shows, honing showbiz skills for his later career.
He began DJing at the Redwell at Arkholme in the ‘70s and went on to work at the Casa Baba in Lancaster, the Chequered Flag at Garstang, 42nd Street at Heysham. Greendales Club near Pontins and Brooks in Lancaster.
But he will be most remembered for his work at Harveys, the old nightclub at The Battery, where he DJd for countless party nights and functions.
His day job was in the motor trade as a sales manager at Cumberland View Garages, John Wilding and David Hayton.
Steve also ran the Golden Ball pub at Snatchems for six years and later, the Scale Hall pub on Morecambe Road.
He ran the Crown Hotel for the last five years.
Steve’s son Matthew said his dad had recently been complaining of chest pains but his death had still come out of the blue.
Steve is survived by his wife Angela, sons Matthew and Stephen, daughter Natalie and grandchildren Beatrice, Harriet and Charlie.
His funeral will be held at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium at 3.30pm on Friday, September 12. All welcome.