We may not be in Beverley Hills and I’m pretty sure that “Maps to the Homes of the Stars” is a long way off, but Morecambe Bay can boast its fair share of famous folks – some more recent and others a little older. Plus there are some folks you think you don’t know but who actually made huge a contribution to our everyday life.
Take Sir Richard Owen for example; he was born in Lancaster in July 1804 and was one of the country’s leading palaeontologists. He achieved much during his lifetime but the thing he will be most remembered for is coining the term “dinosaur” – meaning “terrible reptile”. He was also one of the key people behind the Natural History Museum in London – one of my favourite places to visit when work takes me south.
Back down in Morecambe and our famous folks continue with Dame Thora Hird who was well known and loved for her comedic talents but was an accomplished straight actress too – her two performances in Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” monologues were superb, each one winning a BAFTA.
And finally, no piece about the famous folks of the bay would be complete without a mention of “Our Eric”. Eric Morecambe was born in the town and famously took the town as his showbiz surname but next time you visit his statue on the prom look a little closer and you’ll notice that he’s wearing a pair of binoculars. Eric was a keen birdwatcher and the nearby RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss named a hide after him in recognition of his support. When the statue was reinstated after someone had sawn him down his wife, Joan, took time to speak to just about everyone who had turned out to see the unveiling, despite it being a bitterly cold day. After the long winter we’ve all endured I reckon we could use a little of Eric’s magic – “Bring me sunshine…”