Thora Hird deckchair statue appeal launched in Morecambe

Dame Thora Hird outside the Midland Grand  Hotel in Morecambe.
Dame Thora Hird outside the Midland Grand Hotel in Morecambe.

An appeal to raise £92,000 for a statue of Dame Thora Hird in Morecambe has been launched.

Christine Stebbing, chair of Morecambe Heritage, based in the Arndale Centre, said it had long been her wish to erect a statue of the actress and comedian in her birthplace.

September 1969:  Actress Thora Hird (1911 - 2003) relaxing with a cup of tea in her London home.  (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

September 1969: Actress Thora Hird (1911 - 2003) relaxing with a cup of tea in her London home. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Christine, formerly the chair of Morecambe Town Team, said there had been support for the statue to be sited at the top of Victoria Street.

She said: “The city council has created a shared area for traffic and pedestrians within Morecambe named Royalty Place.

“This is directly opposite where Cheapside was located where Dame Thora was born and the site of the Royalty Theatre where she was carried on stage at eight weeks old by her actress mother and where her father was manager.

“This is the ideal place for the statue to be placed and the Chief Planning Officer and others on the Town Team were in agreement.

“The statue will be a seated Thora in a deck chair with an empty one beside her for people to sit and have a photo.

“I have sourced a sculptor, Peter Hodgkinson, who has produced (amongst others) the Tom Finney Splash statue which is erected at the Preston North End Stadium in Preston and the LS Lowry Statue in Salford.”

Christine now hopes to raise the money through crowdfunding, and has set up a GoFundMe page.

She added: “The grant applications thus far have not proved positive but I will continue to apply to relevant bodies. I have now produced a booklet which is available from Morecambe Heritage Centre in the Arndale Centre Morecambe priced £1, again to raise funds and awareness.”

The GoFundMe page is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/thora-hird-statue.

Thora Hird died in 2003, aged 91.