Midland cinefilm shows 1950s Morecambe life

MID Film Rare cinefilm depicting Morecambe life in the 1950s is now on show at the iconic art deco Midland hotel in Morecambe.

The film gives a fascinating insight into life in a sunkissed Morecambe in 1959.  It features a packed seafront of happy go lucky holiday makers enjoying the summer sunshine, with children playing in the outdoor swimming pool and enjoying a traditional Punch and Judy show on the beach, and even tall ships moored by the pier.

Historic Happy Mount Park is also featured with its gardens, mini train and even a small zoo with seals, pelicans and bears.

The footage was discovered by chance at a car boot sale by the parents of one of the architects involved in the redevelopment of the property.  It was then digitally converted to DVD by staff at English Lakes, which runs The Midland, and there was a surprise for IT Manager Harvie Rollins when he spotted his parents and elder brother in some of the footage.

Harvie says: “I was just checking the film to see if it was in the correct format for digital conversion and was only about 30 seconds in when by chance I spotted my family in one of the scenes on the seafront.  It was a nice surprise and struck a chord as my Dad was a keen cinefilm buff and amateur film maker.”

The film is now showing to guests in rooms at The Midland. Matt Stanaway, the manager of The Midland says: “The Midland has such a wonderful history, and to be able to show guests the film of Morecambe as it used to be is a nice addition to the rooms.  No doubt there will be some other people – locals and visitors – who will spot family members in the film.

“I'm sure some local people will also have similar footage and if so we’d love to hear from them.”

The film was also used as inspiration for the redevelopment of the hotel.  Still frames were used as prints in each room and the colour schemes of the rooms is based around the stills.

Originally built in the 1930s, the art deco inspired hotel helped to make the town fashionable, with celebrity guests including Coco Chanel, Wallace Simpson and Lawrence Olivier.

The Midland overlooks the uninterrupted coastline of Morecambe Bay with views across to the Lake District.