No one goes to Morecambe is what I was confronted with by a good friend of mine, slightly amused when I excitedly announced to her I was going there. It turned out she wasn’t the last person to point this out, nor were the puzzled looks.
So, why Morecambe? Read on in this post and subsequent posts to come as to why (there is literally too much to say in a single blog post to do everything justice.
Morecambe, a place of sea, sand and the most interesting tales to tell and of course the chance to see the statue of Eric Morecambe, who did actually used to have a hotel there, which he visited and met various people in. Morecambe is now the new up and coming crime literary place to go. The Morecambe and Vice Festival is one of England’s newest festivals with this year (2018) only being its second. Already they have the setting just right. The Winter Gardens Theatre is beautiful, set just across from the promenade.
I arrived Saturday afternoon, where I picked up my weekend pass that I had purchased a few months earlier and was ticked off on the register. This in itself was exciting. I had arrived and feeling suddenly more welcome than ever as I donned my badge, it all seemed very official. The organisers are all very friendly. I went alone, but already I felt very welcome and very soon had the most wonderful conversations with the staff and other festival-goers and later on with actors and directors who are now also authors.
The weekend was split into sections, after each panel had spoken, there was a very adequate interval for book signing opportunities and time to get a coffee or snack. 1 hour for lunch was also well factored in. The atmosphere is fabulous with a pianist playing at each interval and music hall music streaming through during lunch and the chatter of people.
Over the entire weekend, there were 14 different panels of speakers – 7 each day. I travelled on the Saturday, therefore unfortunately missing most of the first day, but I did catch on the Saturday afternoon:
- “Worth a Thousand Words”, which was about graphic novels. It’s not all as it first appears.
- “In Conversation with Peter Robinson, who writes D.C. Banks moderated by Elly Griffiths.
On Sunday, after taking a morning walk to explore, after unexpectedly meeting with friends (just shows, anything can happen in Morecambe). I rejoined the already started second day of the festival. I saw:
- Music to Die for about how music and writing together works and inspired authors.
- Agatha Christie on Stage about how Agatha Christie was a playwright, not just and author.
- From Page to Screen about some well known authors and screenwriters have dual lives.
- If I Were Not Upon the Stage about how life treading on the boards influenced their work.
- In Conversation with Daragh Carville
There were also panels from Northern writers and how the North is influencing their work, authors who wrote other genres but now changed to crime, how crime is crime from a panel discussing LGBT crime fiction, a panel discussing tricks of the trade and a writing masterclass to plot the perfect crime (on the page I may add. No getting any ideas 🙂
There is something really exciting happening in Morecambe. There will be a new tv drama series called The Bay set there about a crime that’s been committed. It is family driven since the writer says he likes to write about families, so he has been busy writing and filming The Bay about a family liaison officer. Lots of it is actually being filmed on the streets of Morecambe as well as the scenery, which is beautiful. The writer, Daragh Carville, had said that he looked on a map that is used to show what was filmed where and what he found was that Morecambe and surrounding area was still blank, so, although he is Irish, he now lives in nearby Lancaster and is very passionate that this area does now get showcased within the medium of drama on tv.
I stayed at the beautiful, well run B&B “Yacht Bay View”. Set on the coast, it is not far from restaurants, cafes, The Winter Gardens, the Eric Morecambe statue and the train station. I chose a sea-view room. Prices were very reasonable. The hospitality is warm, friendly and welcoming. The room I was in was comfortable with a very good stocked hostess tray of a range refreshments, including water and biscuits. It has a very good shower and comfortable bed. Breakfast has an excellent selection and is very well done and they really seem to like to feed you. You really won’t go hungry during the day. I would certainly recommend it and would happily stay there again.
So, the stage is ready, the scene is set. Please look out for more blogs in the evenings this week for more of an insight into some of the events mentioned earlier.