The family of Eric Morecambe are delighted after Her Majesty the Queen backed plans for a new Morecambe and Wise monument.
Eric’s wife Joan, sons Gary and Steven and daughter Gail were said to be “thrilled” after hearing about comments made by the Queen during her recent visit to Lancaster Castle.
When told about plans for a giant piece of wall art of Eric and Ernie on Morecambe Promenade, the Queen reportedly said: “That’s good news, they were inseparable in life.”
Her Majesty also said she was pleased the Eric Morecambe statue had been restored and was back in place after being vandalised in October 2014. The Queen had unveiled the statue to the famous Morecambe-born comedian in July 1999, on her previous visit to the district.
Jim Cadman, co-ordinator of plans for a bronze Eric and Ernie piece – dubbed ‘Morecambe Gets Wise’ by The Visitor – said: “We have been keeping the Palace informed of our plans.
“I have discussed it with the family and they are really thrilled, especially as Joan was awarded her OBE by the Queen recently. The Queen loves Eric and is very aware of what’s going on and his legacy.”
Mr Cadman said “exciting plans” were in the works to continue fund raising towards a target of £70,000 to privately finance the new tourist attraction and these would be announced soon. Several fund raising events including The Visitor’s Sunshine Ball have already been held.
The giant piece of artwork, which depicts Eric cuddling his long time comedy partner, will be housed in a new Sunshine Garden of Fame opposite the Winter Gardens theatre.
Mr Cadman and sculptor Graham Ibbeson, who also created the Eric statue, hope the Garden of Fame and wall art can be ready in time to be unveiled next summer, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Morecambe and Wise first forming their comedy partnership. See www.ericmorecambetribute.org for up to date details on the ‘Morecambe Gets Wise’ project.