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Morecambe memories film a hit on YouTube

John Freeman
A film from a Morecambe resident is gathering a following on online video service YouTube.
Beauty Surrounds Health abounds - a Memoir of Seaside Entertainment is an abstract musical portrait by Sonja Campbell of a town whose industry and unique importance have dwindled over the years.

Filmed entirely in the seaside town of Morecambe, it takes us on a meander through derelict theatres, hotels, and underused ballrooms and into the lives and living rooms of retired entertainers.

Employing a narrative which interlaces ethereal sequences and documentary elements punctuated with visual metaphors - the film tells the story through dance, music, and photography.

Showing people in the here and now, juxtaposed with Morecambe's depleted townscape, the film challenges the invisibility of ageing, and prompts the viewer to question convention and confront stereotypes.

The film, which makes the  most of personal memories of the town, uses the ebb and flow of time as a motif; issues of abandonment, loneliness, and tedium are addressed and contrasted with upbeat frivolity, to show the importance of pleasure and joy to the human spirit.

Morecambe once thrived on a culture of entertainment and pleasure seeking. Physically, very little remains of this hedonistic past. Yet, despite the efforts of both the real and metaphorical wrecking ball, many of those people who worked as entertainers are still here to allow us a glimpse into their unique and fascinating lives.

It's well worth watching for Councillor Ron Sands' rendition of "Bring me Sunshine" alone - but the kick boxing lady and some stunning images of Morecambe are just part of this fab film that is a sheer joy to watch - and will make younger folk think twice about "little old ladies"!

Watch the film on YouTube