Morecambe (/ˈmɔːrkəm/ MOR-kəm) is a town on
in Lancashire, England, which had a population of 34,768 at the 2011
1 Name of Morecambe
2.1 The "
6.1 Performing arts
Morecambe and Alan Bennett
6.5 Youth and Community
7.1 Midland Hotel
9.3 Rugby league
10 Transport and infrastructure
Morecambe in popular culture
12 Points of interest
13 Notable people
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Name of Morecambe
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The first use of the name
Morecambe in modern times was by Whitaker in
his History of
Manchester (1771), when he refers to the æstury of
Moricambe. It next appears four years later in 'Antiquities of
Furness' where the bay is described as 'the Bay of Morecambe'.
That name is derived from the Roman name shown on maps prepared for
them by Claudius Ptolemœus (Ptolemy) from his original Greek maps. At
this distance in time it is impossible to say if the name was
originally derived from an earlier language (e.g. Celtic language) or
from Greek. The
Latin version describes the fourth inlet north from
Wales on the west coast of
England as Moriancabris Æsturis.
Translated, this gives a more accurate description than the present
Morecambe Bay as the
Latin refers to multiple estuaries on a
curved sea, not a bay, as then the word sinus or gulf would have been
The name next crops up as early as March 1862 (before the town took
the name officially) on a steam locomotive built for the South Durham
Lancashire Union Railway. Strangely, this was one of four
locomotives in the class, and the others were each named after
existing towns; No. 162 Saltburn, 163 Morecambe, 164
Belfast and 165
Keswick, which could indicate the name was already in unofficial use
for the area.
It was not until 1889 that the necessary legislation was passed to
officially name the area as Morecambe, comprising the hamlets of
Poulton, Bare and
Torrisholme (a township for the purposes of the
Census of 1841 but shown as separate townships in the previous Census
of 1831). In 1894 the
Urban District Council was formed, thus freeing
Morecambe completely from its governance by the
Borough of Lancaster
until 1974 when Lancaster again took charge.
Before the creation of Morecambe, Poulton acquired two suffixes, 'le
Sands' and briefly 'on Sands' shown on at least one map. The reason
for these additions stems from the dearth of names of townships in
earlier times with the same name recurring over again. In the days
before free movement of people, this was not so important. As travel
became easier through first the turnpikes and later the railways, it
became necessary to differentiate between the various towns with the
same name, hence the additions.
On 3 August 1928 the name changed again when the
Morecambe amalgamated with
Urban District Council to form the
Morecambe and Heysham.
In 1846, the
Morecambe Harbour and Railway
Morecambe Harbour and Railway Company was formed to
build a harbour on
Morecambe Bay, close to the fishing village of
Poulton-le-Sands and a connecting railway. By 1850, the railway linked
Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and
a settlement began to grow around the harbour and railway to service
the port and as a seaside resort. The settlement expanded to absorb
Poulton and the villages of Bare and Torrisholme. The settlement
started to be referred to as "Morecambe", possibly after the harbour
and railway. In 1889 the new name was officially adopted.
Morecambe was a thriving seaside resort in the mid-20th century. While
the resort of
Blackpool attracted holiday-makers predominantly from
Lancashire mill towns,
Morecambe had more visitors from Yorkshire
(due to its railway connection) and Scotland. Mill workers from
Bradford and further afield in West
Yorkshire would holiday at
Morecambe, with some retiring there. This gave
Morecambe the nickname
Bradford On Sea" (or Bradford-By-The-Sea). Between 1956 and
1989 it was the home of the
Miss Great Britain
Miss Great Britain beauty contest.
Morecambe suffered a decades-long decline after a series of incidents
that damaged tourism and the local economy. Two piers were lost:
West End Pier was partly washed away in a storm in November 1977, and
the remnants were demolished in 1978; Central Pier, damaged by fire in
1933, was removed in 1992. In 1994, The World of Crinkley Bottom
attraction in Happy Mount Park closed only thirteen weeks after
opening. The ensuing 'Blobbygate' scandal led to a legal battle
between Lancaster City Council and TV star Noel Edmonds. The closures
of Bubbles, Morecambe's swimming pool, and the fairground known as
Frontierland soon followed.
Concern over the decline of Morecambe's West End led to regeneration
and investment in the area.
The Times and the
Daily Telegraph ran
features on Morecambe's revival around Easter 2006. After falling into
abeyance in the mid-1980s, the Miss
Morecambe beauty contest was
revived in 2006 by Margee Ltd, a local fashion store founded in 1933
– the same year that the second Midland Hotel opened.
Morecambe was selected by the
RNLI as the location for its first
active life-saving hovercraft. (Griffon 470SAR) H-002 "The Hurley
Flyer", which became operational on 23 December 2002, was housed in a
temporary garage next to the Yacht Club until a permanent building
could be designed and built. Work on the latter began in 2008, and it
officially opened on 12 June 2010.
On 5 February 2004, there was a major loss of life in
when Chinese immigrant shellfish harvesters were drowned.
In December 2017 a local
General practitioner stated that children in
Morecambe were suffering from malnourishment and that rickets had been
Morecambe Beach looking towards the West End
Enoch Powell made a speech in
Morecambe on 11 October 1968 on the
economy, setting out alternative, radical free-market policies that
would later be called the '
Morecambe Budget'. Powell used the
financial year 1968–69 to show how income tax could be halved from
8s 3d to 4s 3d in the pound (basic rate cut from 41% to 21%)
and how capital gains tax and
Selective Employment Tax could be
abolished without reducing expenditure on defence or the social
services. These tax cuts required a saving of £2,855 million, and
this would be funded by eradicating losses in the nationalised
industries and denationalising the profit-making state concerns;
ending all housing subsidies except for those who could not afford
their own housing; ending all foreign aid; ending all grants and
subsidies in agriculture; ending all assistance to development areas;
ending all investment grants; abolishing the National Economic
Development Council; and abolishing the Prices and Incomes Board
The cuts in taxation would also allow the state to borrow from the
public to spend on capital projects such as hospitals and roads and on
the firm and humane treatment of criminals.
Morecambe is covered by three tiers of government—
Council, Lancaster City Council (District) and
The town is in the
Morecambe and Lunesdale parliamentary constituency.
It is also represented in the European Parliament as part of the North
Morecambe's main central shopping area stretches from Central Drive
Retail Park to the Arndale Shopping Centre. This area also
incorporates two markets—the Festival Market and the Morecambe
Sunday Market—and the Reel Cinema complex.
Morecambe's manufacturing and industrial businesses are largely
located in the White Lund Industrial Estate.
Morecambe is primarily a seaside resort with a large proportion of the
local economy based on tourism, hospitality and catering located along
the seafront. It is also situated at the foot of the Lake District
Morecambe Sands in summer
Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association, which had 40 members, has
merged with the Bay Tourism Association. At a full meeting of the
Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association on Monday 8 March 2010, it was
unanimously resolved that the MHTA would join with Bay Tourism to
become one association under the name of the Bay Tourism Association
and the MHTA would cease to operate as an association. The BTA works
closely with Lancaster Chamber and organises joint promotional
ventures with other tourism associations in the region.
Morecambe is served by a number of primary, secondary and tertiary
Morecambe High School is a specialist
Mathematics and Computing College and
Heysham High School is a
specialist Sports College.
Lancaster and Morecambe College is a
Morecambe has two large live-music venues: the Platform and More
Music. The Platform is a converted Victorian-styled building which
used to be the old railway station. It also houses the Morecambe
Tourist Information Centre.
Morecambe has a number of bands playing in
the town's pubs and music venues.
Morecambe is home to community music charity More Music. More Music
was established in 1993 and is based in the Hothouse. It has extensive
experience delivering workshops, training, performances and festivals
across the district, region and beyond. More Music seeks to build
confidence and spirit in individuals and communities through the arts,
especially music. The Hothouse is now a venue for live gigs from a
wide variety of national and international artists, including Roddy
Woomble, Rae Morris and the Grand Union Orchestra.
Morecambe hosts a number of large public festivals throughout the year
including 'Catch the Wind' Kite Festival, West End Community Festival
(both organised by More Music),
Morecambe Jazz Festival and Tutti
Frutti 1950s Festival.
Morecambe is home to the popular Nice n Sleazy
Festival which attracts large crowds to the town to listen to punk and
ska music. In 2015 the festival celebrated its 10th year with great
local and national acclaim. The festival is organised by Ivan Harrison
and a team of volunteers. The local Steampunk community (Known as "The
League of Splendid") host a bi-annual festival, "A Splendid Day
Morecambe and Alan Bennett
Yorkshire playwright and author
Alan Bennett has enjoyed a long
Morecambe and has often referred to the town in his
work and writing. One of his early TV plays, Sunset Across the Bay
(1975), is about a couple from
Leeds who retire to Morecambe, leaving
their old home with the words "Bye bye, mucky Leeds!".  He based
the play on memories of the many holidays he spent in
his parents. In his essay "Written on the Body", collected in Untold
Stories (2005), he even suggests that his association with the town is
pre-natal: "[I]t had been in a boarding house that I was conceived,
sometime over the August Bank
Holiday of 1933 at
Filey." In the same collection, Bennett pays tribute to the
Thora Hird in the essays "Last of the Sun",
about the final play he wrote for her, and "
Thora Hird 1911–2003", a
memoir of the work they had done together since the 1960s. Earlier in
the book, he discusses his maternal Aunt Kathleen, who married in
Morecambe and lived there until her death in 1974.
Morecambe was the birthplace of the artist William Woodhouse
(1857–1939), who lived all his life in the town and is buried with
his wife and daughter at St. Peter's Church in the village of Heysham,
a little to the south of Morecambe.
Youth and Community
Many facilities for young people also exist in the area including
Stanley's Youth and Community Centre. The Centre is based on Stanley
Road in the West End of Morecambe. It offers the opportunity for young
people aged 8–18 to play music, cook or just use the facilities to
catch up with friends. There are also community sessions including
community meal, women's group and 'Get Connected' information service.
The Exchange, which was set up in 2015 and is based on West Street in
the West End of Morecambe, is a Community Arts CIC, offering free
creative workshops to local residents. Promoting creativity as a means
of well-being, it serves as a non-profit welcome space for all ages
and abilities. In addition to workshops, The Exchange sells the
artwork of local residents and hosts events such as the popular Soup
Morecambe Bay potted shrimps are a famous local delicacy.
Eric Morecambe statue
One of Morecambe's most famous landmarks is a statue commemorating one
of its most famous sons, Eric Morecambe. It was created by sculptor
One of Morecambe's landmark buildings is the partially renovated
Victoria Pavilion or
Morecambe Winter Gardens. This was once a venue
for swimming baths, a grand theatre, a restaurant and a ballroom.
Morecambe's current library opened in 1967; it was designed by the
office of the architect Roger Booth. It replaced the Victoria Street
library, which opened in 1928. There had been earlier proposals to
build a library in
Morecambe with Carnegie funding, but arguments
about the rates involved stalled the project. The library is mentioned
Pevsner and is one of the few noteworthy buildings, other than
churches, that are not connected to the seaside trade. The building is
formed by hexagons, with a hyperbolic parabolic roof, creating a
distinctive skyline and interior.
Morecambe once boasted two fairgrounds: a small one to the north of
the railway station, which closed down in the 1980s, and a larger one
to the south of the station, which ultimately became Frontierland and
closed in 1999. The last remaining landmark on the site was the Polo
Tower, left standing only because of the contract for the phone mast
on top.. This was demolished mid 2017. The future of the remaining
land remains uncertain, although a shopping complex is heavily
In July 2008, the local council ordered a clean-up of the Polo Tower,
and scaffolding was erected around the structure to carry out a
survey. It was demolished in sections, in July 2017.
Near the promenade is the
Heysham War Memorial which
commemorates the men of
Morecambe who lost their lives in the two
world wars and the Korean War. The memorial differs from most as
it lists the First World War as 1914 to 1919 rather than 1914 to 1918.
Midland Hotel in 2008 after restoration
The Midland Hotel is an important art deco luxury hotel situated on
the seafront. It still contains interior design and art pieces by
artist Eric Gill. It underwent a £7m restoration[when?], headed by
Manchester company Urban Splash. The hotel re-opened for business in
In March 2011
Urban Splash sold the freehold of the building to
Lancashire-based 'The Lancaster Foundation'.
Local weekly newspapers include The Visitor published on Tuesdays and
Morecambe Guardian, a localised edition of the Lancaster Guardian
published on Fridays.
A monthly publication entitled Local Choice is delivered by Royal Mail
to every household in the district.
Morecambe F.C. (known as 'the Shrimps') is the leading local football
club and on 20 May 2007 won the
Conference National playoffs to earn
promotion to the
Football League for the first time in their history.
As of 2015–16, they are playing League Two. They had a successful
first season in the Football League, surprising a few teams, and in
the 2009–10 season they reached the play-offs, only to lose 7–2,
on aggregate, to eventual winners Dagenham & Redbridge. At the end
of the 2009–10 season the team moved from its Christie Park ground
to a brand new home, the Globe Arena. The old ground was demolished to
make way for a
Morecambe Bay has some of the most varied fishing in all of Britain
and is perhaps most famous for
Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps, which are
'By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen'.
When the rugby football schism occurred in 1895,
Morecambe joined the
Northern Rugby Football Union (now Rugby Football League) in its
Morecambe played for eight of the ten seasons from the
1896–97 season through to the end of 1905–06 season. Morecambe
finished 14th of 14 in its first three seasons of the Lancashire
Senior Competition, withdrew for the 1899–1900 and 1900–01
seasons, finished 11th of 13 in the
Lancashire Senior Competition,
then finished 17th of 18, 16th of 17, 13th of 14 in Division-2, and
finally 30th of 31 in the recombined league, after which Morecambe
withdrew from the Northern Rugby Football Union.
The town still hosts a rugby league team, with
Heysham Atoms playing
from their Trimpell Sports and Social Club base. The Atoms finished
joint top of division three in the North West Counties in 2012.
Morecambe has a Commonwealth Featherweight Champion, Isaac Lowe, who
Marco McCullough in the 8th round with in one minute and 56
seconds on the Frampton Vs Quigg Under-card  World Heavyweight
Tyson Fury is often seen in and around Morecambe.
Transport and infrastructure
Destinations from Morecambe
Morecambe Bay, Grange-over-Sands
Hest Bank, Carnforth, Kendal
Bolton-le-Sands, Nether Kellet
Morecambe Bay, Barrow-in-Furness
Middleton, Overton, Sunderland
Lancaster, Forest of Bowland
Morecambe Poulton Lane
Site of former railway station
Morecambe railway station
Morecambe railway station has a regular rail service from Lancaster,
with some trains running direct from Preston and Leeds. Trains also
run to Heysham, where they connect with the ferry service to the Isle
of Man. There is another railway station at Bare Lane, serving the
suburb of Bare. Services are operated by Northern Rail.
Morecambe station opened in 1994, replacing an older
station once known as
Morecambe Promenade, built by the Midland
Railway on its North Western Line from
Skipton in Yorkshire. There was
also a station called
Morecambe Euston Road, built by the rival London
and North Western Railway, which closed in 1963.
Bus services in the area are operated mainly by
Other local services are operated by Battersby's Coaches. Direct
services link the town with
Lancaster where connections to Keswick (555),
Carnforth (5), Preston
Blackpool (42). Regular services up to every 15 minutes
(numbers 3/3A/4) operate along the promenade to
Heysham and to
Lancaster University while services 2 and 2A operate up to every 10
minutes from Euston Road to both
Heysham and Lancaster University.
Services 6 and 6A operate via Westgate (where most caravan holiday
parks are) to the
Asda supermarket and Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.
Service 5 operates to Overton and Carnforth. Most services
(2/2A/3/3A/4/6/6A) operate using Low Floor Easy Access Vehicles
suitable for wheelchair users and prams/pushchairs.
Morecambe in popular culture
Morecambe and the neighbouring village of
Heysham are the setting of
Cthulhu Mythos novel The Weird Shadow over Morecambe, published by
the writer Edmund Glasby in 2014. The title of the book is a
reference to H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Shadow over Innsmouth", which
is also set in a seaside town.
Morecambe was mentioned in an episode of the prison-based television
comedy Porridge first broadcast in 1973: "... Arkwright's old
woman said she wasn't returning, cos she was going to live with that
Maltese ponce in Morecambe.".
Morecambe is extensively written about in Bill Bryson's "Notes From A
Small Island". (1995).
Points of interest
Recent tourism initiatives have made
Morecambe a centre for bird
watchers with the Tern Project enhancing the town's heritage linked to
the extensive natural landscape of
Morecambe Bay and its diverse
The 1960 film The Entertainer, starring
Laurence Olivier and Joan
Plowright, was filmed on location in the town. Morecambe-born actress
Thora Hird co-starred.
Sunset across the Bay is a play by
Alan Bennett written in 1975 for
the BBC Play for Today strand, set and filmed in Morecambe.
Thora Hird — actress
Albert Modley —
Emma Atkins — actress
Eric Morecambe OBE — comedian, who took his stage name from the
John McGuinness — motorcycle racer
Wayne Hemingway — designer, founder of Red or Dead and Northern Soul
The Heartbreaks — band
Tyson Fury — boxer (World Heavyweight Champion 2015–16)
Graham Hicks — Strongman
Paul Hayes - Antiques Expert TV Personality
Busta Rhymes — American rapper. Lived with relatives in the town
during his teenage years.
Isaac Lowe - Commonwealth boxing champion
Listed buildings in Morecambe
^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.),
Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
^ Roach, Peter (2011), Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th
ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
^ Awdry, C. (1990), Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies,
Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-049-7.
^ "Making memories in Morecambe". www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk.
Retrieved 5 November 2015.
^ "Morecambe: The holiday hotspot that drew many from factories, mills
Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 5 November
^ "Bradford-by-the-Sea salutes the greats". www.thevisitor.co.uk.
Retrieved 5 November 2015.
^ Alan Cowell, Postcard From Ailing British Coasts: Wish You Were
Here, The New York Times, 12 April 2007.
^ Visitor Newspaper,, Visitor Newspaper, 28 July 2008.
^ "Children in
Morecambe 'suffering from rickets due to poverty'".
Lancaster Guardian. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December
^ Richards, Peter (August 2010). "Enoch Powell: Libertarian, Tory and
Nationalist". The Individual (54).
^ Roy Lewis, Enoch Powell: Principle in Politics (Cassell, 1979), p.
^ Heffer, Simon (1998). Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson. p. 484.
^ Robert Shepherd, Enoch Powell. A Biography (London: Pimlico, 1997),
pp. 375 -->–6.
^ Heffer, p. 485.
^ Heffer, pp. 485–6.
^ "A Splendid Day Out".
^ Bennett, Alan (6 September 2006). "'Untold Stories' by Alan
Bennett". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
^ Bennett, Alan (2005). Untold Stories. Faber and Faber.
^ "Home - Red Rose Collections from
Lancashire County Council".
Lanternimages.lancashire.gov.uk. Archived from the original on
2009-03-12. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
^ Cooper, Glen (5 October 2007). "Polo no-no". The Visitor. Johnston
Press. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
Heysham War Memorial.
United Kingdom National
Inventory of War Memorials. UKNIWM Ref: 3332. Retrieved 16 August
^ Adam Lord Email (2016-02-27). "
Isaac Lowe lifts Commonwealth
featherweight title with stunning stoppage win". The visitor.
^  The Weird Shadow over
Morecambe at Amazon.co.uk
^  "Morecambe" mentioned in Porridge
^ Hello (2016-02-20). "Trainer Jimmy Harrington:
Isaac Lowe will do
Morecambe proud". The visitor. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
Hatch, J.; Kaye C.; MacGregor J.A.; Sumner W. (Easter 1909).
Morecambe, Lancaster & District (souvenir of the Conference of the
National Union of Teachers, 1909). Warwick Square, E.C.: Henry Frowde
/ Hodder & Stoughton. p. 266. Check date values in:
Quick, R.C. (1962). The History of
Morecambe and Heysham. Morecambe.
Potter, T.F. (1976). The Growth of Morecambe. Morecambe: The Visitor.
Stocker, David (1988). Potted Tales (Recollections and Views of
Morecambe Bay Fishermen). Lancaster: Local Studies No.8, Lancaster
Bingham, Roger K. (1990). Lost Resort ? The Flow and Ebb of
Morecambe. Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone Press. p. 320.
Bracewell, Michael; Linder (2003). I Know Where I'm Going: A Guide To
Morecambe & Heysham. Book Works. p. 96.
Hayes, Cliff (2004). Lancaster,
Heysham (Francis Frith's
pocket album). Frith Book Company Ltd. p. 100.
Lancashire Historic Town Survey Programme : MORECAMBE - Historic
Town Assessment Report.
Lancashire County Council. February 2006 and
July 2006. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Check
date values in: date= (help)
Guise, Barry; Brook Pam (2008). The Midland Hotel: Morecambe's White
Hope. Palatine Books. ISBN 978-1-874181-55-2.
Bryson, Bill. Notes From A Small Island. pp. 271–277.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Morecambe.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Morecambe.
Morecambe Visitor Information
Bay Tourism Association
Morecambe Newspaper Morecambe's weekly newspaper and local resources.
Morecambe Citizen newspaper News and sport updated daily
Geography of the City of Lancaster
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