Terrible, awful, dreadful, shameful.
These were just a few of the adjectives being bandied about by locals and visitors at the site of the former Eric Morecambe statue on Sunday morning.
Like the other onlookers, I simply couldn’t believe that someone could have the gall to try to vandalise or steal our Eric.
We all agreed that we felt sick and despite the warm sunshine, the mood was pretty sombre. I felt a little choked up because many moons ago I’d worked on a Visitor campaign to raise funds for the sculpture. A huge amount of work went into the campaign and many local people donated money in memory of loved ones.
The mutilation and alleged theft of the sculpture had resulted in the council having to move it to a safe place.
And on Sunday all that was left of the popular sculpture of Morecambe’s most famous son was a solitary boot.
People were taking photographs non stop. Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook were buzzing with comments and freshly posted pictures of Eric’s lone boot.
Chances are Eric would have seen the funny side. One deadpan onlooker quipped: “Look, it’s my left foot!” Another joker chipped in: “No it’s not. It’s his right foot, silly.”
Former Visitor editor, Glen Cooper, turned the situation on its head by dressing up as Eric and having his picture taken ‘standing in for him’.
Anyway, Eric, who famously liked to have a false leg sticking out of the boot of his Rolls Royce, might have raised a little smile at the alleged theft.
I hope ‘Eric’ will soon be back in his rightful place on the prom. The sculpture has brought so much happiness to people and it has been a massive success in terms of tourism.
I urge the authorities to return Eric to his podium as soon as possible.
And to the culprit, all I can say (in the words of Eric) is: “Rubbish!”