I, with help from friends in Morecambe Bay Movie Makers, filmed most of the major events throughout the year and this unique dvd has been made so that in years to come people will be able to see how things began to change. For the many thousands of people who were there, or took part, it is a chance to see themselves again. The town has been in the doldrums for many years whilst other resorts such as Blackpool and Southport have forged ahead.
The year begins with the horrendous storms which fired boulders over the promenade and created extensive flooding.
Events such as the revived Morecambe Carnival attracted at least thirty thousand people with nearly one thousand local people taking part. It was organised by local people and financed by local businesses without any help from Morecambe Town Council.
The Catch the Wind Kite Festival organised by More Music again filled the promenade with people and it was agreed that it was the most successful one so far. On a bright sunny day the sky was filled with a vast array of kites ranging from flying cows, mermaids, scuba divers and children’s kites to a superb guardsman’s tribute to our armed forces.
Wayne Hemmingway staged a Vintage by the Sea festival for the second year and the wide diversity of sub events taking place were again captured on the dvd. Over the two days in excess of forty thousand people filled the town.
The big story of the year, and which was seen in many news broadcasts around the world, was the vandalisation of the town’s iconic Eric Morecambe statue. Everyone who visits Morecambe has to pose to have their photograph taken. I was there to film the whole episode from its removal, its repair at the foundry in London to its reinstatement two months later. There are interviews with the sculptor, Graham Ibbeson, the Cabinet Member for Tourism Ron Sands, and members of the Eric Morecambe family.
The video also captures a major fire which destroyed one of the town’s main tourist attractions, The Megazone. The cameras were there to record the superb efforts of the firemen who attended although their union had called a strike that day.
Cedric Robinson MBE is recorded receiving the Freedom of the City of Lancaster in this the most traditional of ceremonies.
When the tenth anniversary of the dreadful Chinese Cockling disaster happened this year a special event called The Sigh of the Sea was held in the evening on the beach. A very moving torch lit night was beautifully captured for the video.
An event took place which will, in future years, have a major impact on the area… the start of the building of the Heysham-M6 link road. We take an aerial look at the progress.
An iconic building, for which many local people will have fond memories, was demolished, the Broadway Hotel. Only to be replaced by what looks like an office block!
We see the fledgling Morecambe Heritage being formed and its first archaeological dig behind the Morecambe Hotel. The poorly attended local authority organised Waterfest is also shown and Greg Lambert from The Visitor newspaper reviews what the paper covered throughout the year.
Finally the dvd ends with the various Christmas celebrations ranging from switching on the lights in the Arndale Centre, Father Christmas arriving and the funfair and Coca Cola Christmas lorry behind the Festival Market.
Filmed in high definition this dvd will be seen by families for years to come. Watch the two-minute promotional video.