So far on my project, I have been amazed how generous people have been with their time and knowledge. During my last visit to Morecambe this was not any different.
I met up with the lovely artist, illustrator and ice cream entrepeneur Kate Sundae (Kate Drummond) who lives in Morecambe. As her name suggests, as well as her various creative practices, Kate has a fantastic vintage ice cream business that encompasses her love of faded seaside glamour and all that is vintage. The Everyday is Like Sundae van travels to festivals, events and can also be seen on the Morecambe seafront.
Kate was really helpful giving me her opinion of the existing 1930s architecture and changing environment in Morecambe, also interestingly in relation to her other experiences of living in Glasgow, London and Brighton. Kate was on ‘The Friends of the Midland’ committee that helped to bring about the renovation of The Midland Hotel, finally through Urban Splash, and was really useful in pointing me to some passionate individuals who spearheaded the campaign to restore this iconic piece of architecture.
Kate also very kindly took me to Brucianni’s, a local sea front ice cream parlour that was built in 1939. Built in ‘street deco style’, it still boasts much of its internal fittings such as wooden wall panelling, door fittings, lighting and formica tables. The business has always been run by an Italian family. I would like to go back and explore more, it is a fantastic interior.
Kate also talked about three site specific paintings in Morecambe she had been commissioned to do for the Vintage by the Sea Festival in 2014, produced by Decopublique. The legacy artworks were funded by Arts Council England.
The first painting ‘Trip the Light Fantastic’ is painted upon the electricity sub station on the promenade in front of The Midland Hotel. This is the area of the area of the former promenade bandstand which has been demolished.
The second painting is ‘Take the Plunge’ in the area of the former Super Swimming Stadium, which has also been demolished and is now a wide open space. The imagery on the wall painting is taken from the swimming stadium design, and the text below is from the swimming test document, which to pass learners must have been able to ‘swim unaided and self-propelled from deep to shallow’.
You can watch a lovely video of cine film movies of the Super Swimming Stadium set to an instrumental piece Lido by Darren Hayman here – it is beautiful, I really encourage watching it!
The third painting by Kate Drummond and Shane Johnstone was a repainting of the Palladium Cinema ghostsign (above), which you can read further about on her website here.
Although built in 1897, Kate also directed me to the Winter Gardens, which is currently being managed and renovated by Friends of the Winter Gardens, which I would like to visit on a future trip, to get more understanding of how the town would have functioned as a whole when The Midland was built. The Gardens have open days and various events on to have a look around the interior.
Kate also directed me to the two retail businesses on the shore front, one being the former Woolworths, that were most likely built in the 1930s.
I have to say Morecambe is a beautiful and interesting bay, and often when I discuss my project involving research in Morecambe, people can be quite snobbish about it as a place to visit and its reputation. Already, I am won over as an advocate for Morecambe! Go visit…