Column: David Brayshaw

David Brayshaw
David Brayshaw

Late last year I was introduced to local artist Rob Newbiggin.

I’d heard of Rob before as he had created a number of portraits of the famous race horse Red Rum, and I remember seeing these featured on the BBC. Rob was kind enough to show me some of his work and I was very impressed; he is clearly a very talented artist.

This all happened around the time that the Eric Morecambe statue was damaged and, as Rob showed me some more of his portrait work, I had one of my rare ‘lightbulb’ moments. I thought: wouldn’t it be something, if we could get a portrait of Eric Morecambe and hang it in Morecambe Town Hall, overlooking the new Carnival Trophy cabinet?

I mentioned this to Rob. Straight away, he loved the idea. We quickly agreed a commission fee and the deal was sealed with a handshake and a coffee.

Now, some nine months later, the portrait is complete.

Carla and I are now busily arranging a reception and official unveiling and we are delighted that Eric’s daughter Gail and his wife Joan will be joining us to perform the unveiling on August 14. Rob has created a truly amazing piece of work and I’m sure it will serve as another fitting tribute to one of our town’s ambassadors.

I’m extremely pleased that our Seaside Fiesta was awarded funding by Morecambe Town Council last week. This event, planned for August 2, will bring together up to 250 Batala samba drummers on Morecambe seafront. We are planning a varied stage line up, featuring music from around the world and we are hopeful that we can build this into another annual event, featuring world music and world food.

The recent Nice N Sleazy and Splendid Day Out events both seemed to be extremely well attended and very successful. Carla and I visited the Nice N Sleazy event (and managed to catch Frank McGregor again) and we both volunteered to help out at the Splendid Day Out, where we caught up with the tea duelling and some clog dancing. These two events are fundamentally different, yet Morecambe seems to lend itself to making them successful. I know that the people who arrange these events work very hard to ensure that all the fine details are considered however, visitors seem to come here, love the place and hopefully look for a reason to come back.

There are lots of other diverse events planned in Morecambe this summer but there is always room for more. If anyone has an idea for a festival or event they’d like to discuss or suggest, the Morecambe Event Cooperative would be pleased to hear from you. The members of the Coop all have the same principal objective, which is to create and support a diverse range of events and festivals in Morecambe. This helps boost tourist numbers and benefits local businesses, whilst entertaining tourists and residents alike. If you like the sound of this, why not join us?