The world feels depressing sometimes, doesn’t it? Brexit’s a mess, party politics is messier, and the blissful summer we needed – and let’s face it, deserved – has been so cruelly snatched away, leaving us barely able to make out our Mr Whippys through the driving rain and pining for last year’s unbeatable heatwave.
But all is not lost. Not for Morecambe Winter Gardens at least, which is experiencing a decidedly sunnier outlook having spent the past 40 years thinking it had lost hundreds of historic theatre seats only to find them pop up out of the blue on eBay. The long-missing seats were removed by the Lancashire theatre in the late 1970s and their subsequent whereabouts had remained a hotly contested mystery ever since.
According to the BBC, the theatre had thought the 400 seats had either been destroyed or, for reasons not entirely clear, sent to Australia. Quite the opposite it turns out – the seats had been residing just 35 miles up the road in a masonic hall all along. Eagle-eyed bargain hunters spotted them listed on eBay, and the Winter Gardens is now planning to buy them back.
The theatre is coincidentally in the midst of a major restoration project to return the building to its former glory, so here’s hoping some of this fortuitous timing can be replicated in time to find that proper summer we seem to have misplaced.