Caught by the River

Brighter Later

Brian David Stevens | 30th January 2013


9. Lancashire

Brighter Later is a journey around Britain looking out to sea from each coastal county

Today I’m heading to Lancashire, Morecambe to be specific. One of the joys of this trip is being able to visit seaside Victorian railway stations, Morecambe Promenade Station is no exception; a fabulous building. Sadly the railway no longer reaches it so I alight a the new station, which looks like something out of Threads (a BBC drama about a nuclear bomb landing on Sheffield) but without the charm.

I walk through a retail park to get to the beach front and my mood improves, there is a large tower painted to look like a giant pack of polo mints. Sadly this is a minty fresh gravestone to Frontierland a once vibrant pleasure beach, a pop art memorial to happier times. There is no memorial to Noel Edmonds’ theme park ‘The World of Crinkly Bottom’ however which closed after only 13 weeks. The resulting ‘Blobbygate’ scandal led to a legal battle between Lancaster City Council and TV star Edmonds. I wouldn’t be surprised If I saw badly jumpered, bearded effigies hanging from the lamp posts as I stroll down the seafront.

But enough misery, Morecambe is on the up again. The reopened art deco Midland Hotel is packed when I pop in to take a look.

The location for the shoot is a couple of miles down the coast so I have to get a move on. The village of Heysham is reached pretty quickly and I head up to Saint Patrick’s Chapel, a ruin dating back to the 8th or 9th century. In the remains of the church yard are coffins carved into the rock, they seem so small they are almost crushingly sad.

Returning to Morecambe I go on a pilgrimage to find the statue of one of their most famous sons John Eric Bartholomew, better know as Eric Morecambe. It’s more emotional than expected probably due to the fact that Eric and Ernie’s ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ was the first dance at my wedding.

Brian David Stevens.