Wednesday, 6 November 2013

MORECAMBE



Halloween may be over, but that's no reason not to share a good ghost story.  The Midland Hotel in Morecambe was built in 1933 in the art deco style.  During World War II the hotel was used as a hospital for officers of the RAF, and its cellar was used as a mortuary.  This may explain the ghostly occurrences that have manifested themselves within its walls.  There have been reports of a misty figure which apparently has the ability to operate the lift.  The figure would emerge from the cellar and float towards the lift, whereupon the lift doors opened, allowing the figure to enter.  The doors then closed again and the lift ascended complete with its nebulous passenger.  It is said that these events caused the hurried resignation of several members of hotel staff.

Over the years following the post-war period the hotel, along with the resort as a whole, went into a decline.  In fact Morecambe deteriorated to the point where it was included in a book called Crap Towns about some of the most dismal locations in Britain.  However, the authorities have made sterling efforts to turn things around.  TheMidland Hotel was renovated and reopened in 2008, still retaining the artworks by the controversial artist Eric Gill which graced the original building.  His work called "Odysseus Welcomed from the Sea by Nausicaa" has pride of place behind the main reception desk.  All of which is fitting treatment for a hotel which in its early days was frequented by the likes of Coco Chanel and Noel Coward.   Another listed building is the MorecambeWinter Gardens, aka the Victoria Pavilion, which is being looked after by a preservation trust.  Meanwhile, the promenade has been enhanced with the addition of public artworks such as sculptures of the Morecambe Bay birdlife.  Another point of interest on the seafront is the statue of Eric Morecambe of comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, whose original surname was Bartholomew but who renamed himself after the town of his birth.

The leisure activities on offer in the resort are many and varied.  Active types can enjoy a round of golf at the Golf Club, learn to sail at the BaySea School or take a guided Cross Bay walk across the treacherous sands of Morecambe Bay.  Morecambe is also the eastern terminus of the Way of the Roses CycleRoute, the other end being Bridlington.  There are open top bus tours of Morecambe Bay and the WackyWarehouse for the kids.   The Winter Gardens offers ghost hunts along with its other more conventional entertainments.

Map of the area. 

File:Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Lancashire, England-31Aug2010 (1).jpg
Midland Hotel. Photo by Tom Heyes, via Wikimedia Commons

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