Morecambe shop windows get dressed for success

Evelyn Archer and Robyn Holtham from the Winter Gardens, Lisa Byron from LZ Boutique and Janice Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council.
Evelyn Archer and Robyn Holtham from the Winter Gardens, Lisa Byron from LZ Boutique and Janice Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council.

LZ Boutique and the Winter Gardens were the big winners in an annual contest to find Morecambe’s best shop front.

The women’s fashion store and the office at the grand old theatre were judged winners of the ‘A View for Eric’ competition by a panel including Cedric Robinson MBE, Queen’s Guide to the Sands.

They dressed their shops in a Morecambe Bay theme in the Lancaster City Council-run event, entered by 20 shops in the town centre and seafront area.

LZ Boutique won the town centre section for a bold and colourful seaside-based display, including a Punch and Judy show pop-up banner, a large deckchair and mannequin dressed as a bathing beauty.

Second place went to The Little Shop of Hobbies on Pedder Street and third place to 13 The Warehouse on Queen Street. Both Fancy That of Pedder Street and Sue Ryder on Euston Road were Highly Commended by the panel.

In the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) Area, which includes part of Marine Road Central, Skipton Street and Victoria Street, the winner was the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust with their stage inspired window, complete with an Eric statue and sunset backdrop, by Robyn Holtham and Evelyn Archer.

Second place and Highly Commended were The Pottery Basement and The Crown Hotel respectively.

Window display variations included everything from sunsets, sand and shrimps to Punch and Judy, sunbathing teddies, giant seahorses and sticks of rock, with some shops also paying tribute to the recent Morecambe Carnival.

Other judges were Emma McColm from the LOVEmyBEACH project, Councillors Janice Hanson and Margaret Pattison, Christine Stebbing, chair of Morecambe Town Team, and Greg Lambert from The Visitor.

The winners and runners-up each received a certificate, window dressing toolkit and tickets to be entertained in Morecambe, including a champagne afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel as part of the Vintage by the Sea festival courtesy of English Lakes Hotels, match day tickets at Morecambe Football Club, and tickets for the Platform, including to see comedian Omid Djalili, courtesy of Lancaster City Council.

Barbara Boyd, from The Little Shop of Hobbies on Pedder Street, said: “A lot of people have been into the shop and said how lovely our window looks.”

Coun Janice Hanson, chair of the judging panel, said: “The competition is now in its second year and it was fantastic to see the effort that so many businesses had gone to.”

The theme of ‘Morecambe Bay’ was chosen because it plays such a strong role in Morecambe’s development from the fishing village of Poulton to the town of today.

Displays should be up for the public to view until at least Friday, May 30.