New Eric and Ernie Heritage Trail opens this week in Morecambe

Photo Neil Cross: Jubilee Working Mens Club president Dave Miller with the plaque to mark the beginning of the Morecambe and Wise heritage trail, on the stage where Eric Morecambe had his first paid performance as a child. The Heritage Trail was launched at the club earlier this year.
Photo Neil Cross: Jubilee Working Mens Club president Dave Miller with the plaque to mark the beginning of the Morecambe and Wise heritage trail, on the stage where Eric Morecambe had his first paid performance as a child. The Heritage Trail was launched at the club earlier this year.

Key landmarks in the life and career of Eric Morecambe are part of a new Heritage Trail to mark 75 years since the comedian adopted his home town’s name.

Bronze plaques of Morecambe and Wise will be unveiled this week at Eric’s former schools Lancaster Road Primary and Morecambe Bay (then known as Euston Road).

Eric’s birthplace on Buxton Street, the Jubilee Club in Torrisholme where the late comic had his first paid gig and the Winter Gardens where he performed with his comedy partner Ernie Wise are also part of the trail.

The original artwork for the plaques was created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson who also created the Eric Morecambe Statue on the promenade.

The plaques mark the 75th anniversary of Eric changing his stage name from Bartholomew to Morecambe and forming his double act with Ernie Wise in 1941.

Jim Cadman, the entrepreneur behind the trail, came up with the idea after his plans for a Morecambe and Wise bronze monument on Morecambe prom fell through in 2015.

“We know that the Morecambe and Wise Heritage Trail will encourage tourists to travel around the Bay area but I believe it will also put a national spotlight on the town,” said Mr Cadman.

The Arndale shopping centre, the Morecambe Hotel, the Globe Arena and Cross Bay Brewery are also part of the trail.

The plaques will be unveiled on Monday and Tuesday.

A full colour leaflet has been designed and printed in Morecambe and this will be distributed and available throughout the Bay area and beyond.

Siobhan Collingwood, headteacher at Morecambe Bay School, said of Eric: “It is lovely to think of him learning, laughing and growing in our rooms and corridors.

“I wonder what observations he would make and advice he would offer to our young people if he could visit us now? Whenever we look at his plaque in school we will remember the array of talents he had and be inspired to nurture our own abilities and talents.”

Rod Taylor, director at the Morecambe Hotel, said: “As a Sandgrown’un, I am especially proud to share our hostelry’s name with that of Morecambe’s most famous and much loved son. It is great to see that little Ern is back centre-stage with his pal, a fitting tribute to the best comedy duo we have ever seen.

“I hope the trail will continue to bring sunshine to all that see it.”