Firmly back in his rightful place, Morecambe’s favourite son brought sunshine to a wet and windy coastline yesterday.
Nine weeks after being damaged in a hacksaw attack, the landmark statue of comedian Eric Morecambe was reinstalled in its original location, and inspected by his widow Joan, son Gary and daughter Gail.
The family travelled to the resort in Eric’s restored Rolls Royce, on what would have been his and Joan’s 62nd wedding anniversary.
Sculptor Graham Ibbeson, the man who originally created the piece in 1999, has been supervising the statue’s repairs at a London foundry. Lancaster City Council removed the landmark following the attack which saw Eric’s legs sawn off.
He said: “He’s as good as new, in fact he’s better than new. Everything is spot on. The colour of Eric is better than it originally was.
“As Eric would have said, you can’t see the join.”
Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, said: “Morecambe hasn’t felt quite the same without Eric and it’s as if Christmas has come early.
“He’s looking brand new and our thanks go to Graham and the foundry for making the repairs so quickly.
“You really are unable to tell that any damage was caused and that’s a testament to the skill, expertise and attention that Eric has been given while away on his travels.”
There was no official unveiling yesterday. Instead Lancaster City Council are organising a major event to celebrate the statue’s return on March 14, 2015, timed to coincide with Comic Relief the day before.
“I think we’ve all realised just how lucky we all are to be associated with Eric Morecambe and it’s important now that we celebrate all he has brought to his home town,” Coun Sands added.
“Eric was voted the funniest person of the 20th century so what better way to honour his legacy at an event that celebrates the good that comedy can do for society.”
Morecambe MP David Morris said he was “delighted” to see the statue back in place. He said: “It has not been the same in Morecambe since Eric’s statue had been removed and I am pleased he is back before Christmas.
“I will be tabling a parliamentary motion to thank the council for their hard work in getting Eric repaired so quickly.”