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Morecambe ( ) is a resort town and civil parish within the City of Lancastermarker district of Lancashiremarker, Englandmarker. As of 2003 it has a resident population of about 45,000. It faces into Morecambe Baymarker.

Morecambe and nearby village Heyshammarker have a combined population of 51,400.

History

Morecambe Beach looking towards the West End
1889 the villages of Baremarker, Poulton-le-Sandsmarker and Torrisholmemarker collectively became known as Morecambe, though those areas of Morecambe are still known by their original names.

Morecambe was a thriving seaside resort in the mid-twentieth century. While the nearby resort of Blackpoolmarker attracted holiday-makers predominantly from the Lancashiremarker mill towns, Morecambe had more visitors from Yorkshiremarker and Scotlandmarker. Between 1956 and 1989 it was the home of the Miss Great Britain beauty contest.

Morecambe suffered from decline for a number of years following a series of incidents that affected its tourism and local economy. Two piers were lost: West End Pier was washed away in a storm in 1978 while Central Pier, though struck by fire in 1933, survived until 1992. In 1994, The World of Crinkley Bottom attraction in Happy Mount Park closed only 13 weeks after opening and the ensuing 'Blobbygate' scandal led to a legal battle between Lancaster City Councilmarker and TV star Noel Edmonds. The closures of Bubbles, Morecambe's swimming pool, and Frontierlandmarker, a fairground, soon followed.

Concern over the decline of Morecambe's West End has led to some recent regeneration and investment in the area. The Times and the Daily Telegraph ran two-page 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 Midland Hotel opened.

Morecambe was selected by the RNLI as the location for their first operational life-saving hovercraft, (Griffon 470SAR) H-002 "The Hurley Flyer", which was made operational on 23 December 2002. After immediate complaints from local residents the RNLI was obliged to remove the craft from the beach.

5 February 2004 saw a major loss of life in Morecambe Bay when Chinese immigrant shellfish harvesters were drownedmarker.

The "Morecambe Budget"

Enoch Powell made a speech in Morecambe on 11 October 1968 on the economy, setting out alternative, radical free-market policies which would later be called the 'Morecambe Budget'. Powell used the financial year of 1968-9 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.

Governance

Morecambe is covered by three tiers of government - Morecambe Town Council, Lancaster City Council marker and Lancashire County Council.

The town is in the Morecambe and Lunesdalemarker parliamentary constituency. It is also represented in the European Parliament as part of the North West England constituency.

Economy

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 Apollo 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 National Parkmarker.

Legal and other professional services are concentrated on Northumberland Street and Victoria Street.

Education

Morecambe is served by a number of primary, secondary and tertiary educational establishments. Morecambe High Schoolmarker is a specialist Mathematics and Computing College and Heysham High School is a specialist Sports college. Lancaster and Morecambe College is a further education college.

Culture

Performing Arts

The Platform and Dome are Morecambe's two largest live entertainment venues. The Platform is a converted Victorian-styled building which used to be the old railway stationmarker. It also houses the Morecambe Tourist Information Centre.

Festivals

Morecambe hosts a number of large public festivals throughout the year including 'Catch The Wind' Kite Festival, West End Community Festival, Morecambe Jazz Festival and Tutti Frutti 1950's Festival.

Cuisine

Morecambe Bay potted shrimps are a famous local delicacy.

Landmarks

One of Morecambe's most famous landmarks is a statue commemorating one of its most famous sons, Eric Morecambe. It was created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson.

One of Morecambe's landmark buildings is the partially renovated Victoria Pavilion, also popularly known as Morecambe Winter Gardens. This was once a venue for swimming baths, grand theatre, restaurant and ballroom and even became a training camp at various times in its life.

Morecambe Library opened in 1967, and was designed by the office of the architect Roger Booth. It replaced the library on Victoria Street 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; instead, one of the Aldermen spent his money on building the Clock Tower on the seafront. The library is mentioned by Pevsner, and is one of the few buildings not connected to the seaside trade to get a mention apart from churches. 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 80s, and a larger one to the south of the station, which finally became Frontierlandmarker and closed in 1999. The only remaining landmark left on the site is the Polo Tower, left standing only because of the contract for the phone mast on top. The future of the remaining land remains uncertain.

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.

Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotelmarker is an important art deco luxury hotel situated along the seafront. It still contains interior design and art pieces by artist Eric Gill. It has undergone a £7m restoration, headed by Manchestermarker company Urban Splash.

The company has restored the hotel to its former glory and opened it for business in June 2008. New additions following the renovation include an outdoor swimming pool as shown in the building's new design.

Media

Print

Local newspapers include the Lancaster and Morecambe localised editions of The Guardian and the The Visitor.

Sport

Football

Morecambe F.C. (the Shrimps) are the leading local football team 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 2007-08, they are playing League Two. They had a successful first season in the Football League, surprising a few teams.

Fishing

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'.

Morecambe Dinghy Angling Club is at the forefront of providing exceptional launching facilities for small angling boats, and has arguably the best beach launching site in the North west.

Transport and infrastructure

Rail

Morecambe railway stationmarker has a regular rail service from , with some trains running directly from and . Trains also run to Heyshammarker, where they connect with the ferry service to the Isle of Manmarker. There is another railway station at Bare Lanemarker, serving the suburb of Baremarker. Services are operated by Northern Rail.

Bus

Bus services in the area are operated mainly by Stagecoach Lancaster. Other local services are operated by Battersby's Coaches. Direct services link the town with Lancaster where connections to Keswickmarker (555/556), Prestonmarker (40/41), Blackpool (42). Regular services up to every 10 minutes (numbers 3/3A/4) operate along the promenade to Heysham and to Lancaster Universitymarker whilst 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 Overtonmarker and Carnforthmarker. Many services (2/2A/3/3A/4/6/6A) operate using Low Floor Easy Access Vehicles suitable for wheelchair users and prams/pushchairs, whilst other services use older buses.

Twin towns



Points of interest



References

  1. Whittakers Almanac.
  2. Alan Cowell, Postcard From Ailing British Coasts: Wish You Were Here, The New York Times, April 12, 2007.
  3. Roy Lewis, Enoch Powell: Principle in Politics (Cassell, 1979), p. 69.
  4. Heffer, p. 484.
  5. Robert Shepherd, Enoch Powell. A Biography (London: Pimlico, 1997), pp. 375-6.
  6. Heffer, p. 485.
  7. Heffer, pp. 485-6.


External links




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