A few weeks ago I put up a LinkedIn post about one of the reasons I choose to live and work in this area. Amongst the positive comments, there was one comment that, being honest, got under my skin, made worse by the fact it was by someone who no longer lives here. Whilst chatting to my other half about the comment, my mind went back a good few years.
Let me set the scene…I’m a teenage girl sitting in her room watching Live and Kicking as I did every Saturday morning. One of my favourite boybands is performing and being interviewed. The band, A1 (who remembers them?!), have just performed and are going to sit on the sofa for the interview. Amongst other questions, they are asked, “Where is the most boring place you’ve been to?” Paul answered with MORECAMBE! Well, this teenage girl who was a huge A1 FAN was furious…how could he call her hometown BORING?!
“Morecambe is NOT boring” I shouted and felt compelled to tell everyone who had just heard him say it. Over the coming days, I began to draft my [handwritten] letter over lunchtimes and after school. I remember listing the things Morecambe had to offer;
- Morecambe Superbowl
- Amusement Arcades
and the fact we’d even welcomed royalty earlier that year. The handwritten letter and Eric Morecambe postcard were sent to the PO Box address.
To my utter amazement two weeks later I was watching Live and Kicking again and they began to read the letter I had sent in. Paul made a personal apology saying the reason he said was Morecambe was boring was because he had a stomach bug and couldn’t go out much. I also received their signed autographs and a Groovy Chick doll.
I’ve never really reflected on this until now. For a long time this area, most notably Morecambe, has been called names such as “boring”, “rundown”, “not what it once was” and more. For someone growing up here, this is hard to hear; it’s like those statements reflect on you. Looking back that’s how I think I felt and I know there are teenagers today that believe there is nothing here for them and they don’t have a lot to offer. Steph McGovern recently shared a tweet after some of her words were taken out of context. This final sentence is absolutely spot on…
“I want the people I grew up with and everyone from a place deemed as poor to know that they should never be held back from achieving the best in life and they should be proud of where they’re from.”
There’s a lot in the press today about my comments on class. Here is what happened: pic.twitter.com/H0rC221BGB
— Steph McGovern (@stephbreakfast) February 25, 2018
I am proud to live in Morecambe with my husband and two young children.
I am proud to run my business here and of all the other businesses that do.
I am proud of each person and community group that work hard to support us all.
North Lancashire and the people in it have a lot to offer and it’s time to we started telling the world!