COUNTDOWN TO ERIC: Eric Morecambe statue is coming home

Eric Morecambe statue
Eric Morecambe statue
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Excitement is building as the town prepares to welcome home the Eric Morecambe statue.

The sculpture of the much-loved comedian will be back where it belongs on Thursday almost nine weeks after being damaged by a hacksaw attack.

Eric’s family – widow Joan, son Gary and daughter Gail – are travelling up to Morecambe for the big day, which would have been Eric and Joan’s wedding anniversary.

And the man who created the famous landmark, sculptor Graham Ibbeson, says not even a forecast of strong winds and heavy rain will put a dampener on what promises to be a special occasion.

Mr Ibbeson said: “Whatever the weather, I’m sure Eric will bring us sunshine.”

The Yorkshireman has been supervising the statue’s repairs at a London foundry since Lancaster City Council removed the landmark
following the attack on October 11.

He said: “He’s as good as new, in fact he’s better than new. Everything is spot on. The colour of Eric is better than it originally was.

“As Eric would have said, you can’t see the join.”

The repaired statue will be picked up from the foundry on Wednesday and driven from London to Morecambe.

Then on Thursday the statue will be re-installed in its original spot on Morecambe seafront between 8am and 9am. Eric’s family will visit the statue at around 1pm.

They will be driven from the Midland hotel in the comedian’s restored Rolls Royce.

There will be no official unveiling, but the family will inspect the statue and say a few words to the expected crowds, weather permitting.

Lancaster City Council will then organise a major event celebrating the statue’s return on March 14 2015, timed to coincide with Comic Relief the day before.

Coun Ron Sands, Lancaster City Council cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, said: “Naturally everyone will be very excited to see the statue back in its rightful place – Morecambe hasn’t felt quite the same.

“We want to celebrate the statue’s return by holding an event on a weekend that celebrates what the statue, and Eric Morecambe’s legacy, bring to the town but also kick starts the tourist season. Next March will be the ideal time.”

A series of events will also be held to celebrate the statue’s return, Eric’s legacy and raise funds for a planned ‘Morecambe and Wise’ bronze relief on the promenade. The Visitor is backing this campaign, organised by Jim Cadman, business partner of Graham Ibbeson.

These events will include an ‘Eric Morecambe Day’ in July 2015.