If you would like to come and 'have a go' at stone carving, then get yourself to Oakwell Hall this coming Sunday. My drop in workshop will begin at 12pm and finish at 4pm. Hand tools will be provided and the session is absolutely free.
Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall, West Yorkshire WF17 9LG
THE ERNIE WISE COMMEMORATIVE SCULPTURE
The statue is hand carved from one solid block of Yorkshire sandstone. The original stone measured 3.5m x 1.2m x 0.75m ( 11' 6'' x 4' x 2' 5'' ). The stone was kindly donated by Marshalls PLC Howley Park Quarry. Ernie is carved larger than life standing more than 1.9m ( 6' 2'' ) tall. The sculpture is sited on Queens Street, Morley.
The figure of Ernie is depicted caught in the movement of a dance turn, creating an interesting contrapposto effect. To quote Ernie's wife Doreen '' Ernie saw himself as more of a song and dance man ''. He is portrayed wearing a striped blazer and raising a straw boater in his hand, to evoke his earlier career as a music hall performer. The furled umbrella he holds in his other hand makes reference to his Morecambe and Wise days and their signature tune ' Bring me sunshine ' and his famous ' Singing in the rain ' dance routine.
At the age of thirteen Ernie won a talent competition at Morley Pavillion. His statue is positioned facing towards that same pavillion, raising his hat as if in salutation to the starting place of his illustrious career in show business.
The Enie Wise sculpture was commissioned by The Morley Murals Committee, with generous support from Ernie's widow Doreen Wiseman. The site was approved by Doreen on a visit to Morley before the work of creating the sculpture began.