Teenager’s dream to bring back Morecambe illuminations

Callum Henry.
Callum Henry.

Its been nearly twenty years since the resort was last illuminated but the glowing spectacle could soon return thanks to one determined teenager.

From 1949-1996 Morecambe illuminations attracted thousands to Happy Mount Park and the promenade but were cancelled due to funding and competition from the bigger resorts like Blackpool.

You see all sorts happening at Blackpool and you think why doesn’t that happen here? It is a shame

Callum Henry

Callum Henry has set up a campaign to bring back the illuminations, which at their height used more than 40,000 coloured bulbs and attracted 100,000 visitors.

The fifteen-year-old hopes to bring back the beloved scenes that were cherished by his mum and grandma who grew up in Morecambe.

He has been in talks with Lancaster City Council and artists in the area to try and get the ball rolling.

Callum said: “I have spoken to the council they seem interested but at the end of the day it is due to funding.

“My family and friends are backing me all the way with this, some artists, like Chas Jacobs, said they would back it if we get the community involved.”

Callum has always been interested in art and has often wondered why events in Blackpool cannot be done in Morecambe.

He said: “You see all sorts happening at Blackpool and you think why doesn’t that happen here? It is a shame.

“Morecambe is getting more popular, you can’t do something as magical as this in Blackpool.”

As well as coloured bulbs Callum also wants to use projections on boards to play around with the light and has also thought about fancy dress characters.

As with all illuminations, celebrities were called upon to switch on the lights at Morecambe. Morecambe and Wise did the honours (twice - in 1969 and 1975), as did Roger Moore (1965) and Noel Edmunds (1993 and 1994).

Callum said: “We will try our hardest to get celebrities on board in Morecambe.

“It would be great to get it back next year.”

Coun David Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for council parks and open spaces, said: “Although Callum Henry’s ideas to reinstate the illuminations in Happy Mount Park are very much appreciated, it is with regret that due to cuts in Government funding and much work still to be done to deliver the masterplan for Happy Mount Park, the council is not in a position to consider this idea further at the present time.

“However, if a group of local residents wish to join Callum in setting up a project group and presenting the council with a deliverable project plan which is financially viable in the long-term, the council would be more than happy to discuss this idea further.”

To join the campaign visit https://m.facebook.com/morecambeilluminations