The Queen brings sunshine to Morecambe, boys will be boys, and introducing the real Darth Maul - a look back at Lancashire stories and pictures of 1999

Class 3 pupils, Charlotte Hunter, eight and Robert Cox, eight, from Woodlands School in Ribbleton, Preston, celebrate after the school was promoted as a karate grade A  school after a personal safety promotion
Class 3 pupils, Charlotte Hunter, eight and Robert Cox, eight, from Woodlands School in Ribbleton, Preston, celebrate after the school was promoted as a karate grade A school after a personal safety promotion
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A light-hearted look at life in Lancashire in 1999

Queen unveils a slice of sunshine

The stars came out to see Eric Morecambe finally get the ultimate recognition he surely deserves as the Queen arrived in Morecambe to unveil a statue in his memory.

The comic - who was born John Eric Bartholomew - took the name of his birthplace as his stage name in a show business career which saw him link up with fellow comedian Ernie Wise and become one of Britain’s top comedy acts.

The song which became the Eric and Ernie theme tune - Bring Me Sunshine - was played over loudspeakers as fans watched the Queen unveil the statue.

Around the outside of the statue are the names of the 103 guests who appeared on their hit TV show and inside is a scroll of the words to the tune.

His widow, Joan Bartholomew and their children, Gary, Gail and Steven, were overwhelmed by the tribute to the comic who died in 1984 after collapsing on stage with a heart attack just after his 58th birthday.

The lifesize statue to Eric is set in an outdoor arena on the rejuvenated prom.

Eric’s grandson, Adam Jarvis, 19, said: “It’s very impressive and the Queen coming is an honour in itself.”

You’re nicked lads - your toys need taxing and insuring

Boys will be boys - even if it lands them in trouble with the law!

A bunch of likely lads from Burscough, near Ormskirk, were enjoying a trip down memory lane as they relived their childhood on shiny new scooters.

But police in Preston did not share in the sense of nostalgia and they nicked the lads for illegally driving in the town centre.

The four friends bought the 22cc motorised Go Boards for £450 each and brought them to Preston to show off their new wheels. But they soon realised that childhood days are long gone when officers pulled them in and started taking details.

Terry Shepherd and his friends Stephen Hadicot, Paul Horton and Mark Blease - all in their early 20s - are now down in the dumps thanks to their new toys.

Terry says they were all done for driving without tax and insurance, two for going through a red light and Stephen could end up in court charged with driving without due care and attention.

Terry said: “The police were a bit harsh. To be fair, we probably were being a bit of a nuisance in the town centre, but they could have let us off with a warning.”

All are facing at least a fine and points on their licence.

Paul turns to the darker side of Darth!

The name is Maul - Darth Maul.

The job description is evil sadistic warlord - and cinema manager!

Preston Star Wars fanatic Simon Capeling has legally changed his name by deed poll to become the baddest baddy in the universe, named after the villain of the new Star Wars movie.

Darth, the deputy manager at Warner Cinema in Preston, now officially shares a handle with the nastiest piece of work this side of Saturn.

Understandably, Darth’s new devil incarnate persona came as a bit of a surprise to his friends and family.

He said: “My mum didn’t believe it when I told her.”

He’s even been practising his new signature in readiness for his first bank card purchase - as well as for autograph purposes!