Harpenden history: Herts Advertiser reader recalls “Eric Morecambe owned my Triumph!”
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 January 2017
A former Harpenden school caretaker has revealed a link with one of the town’s famous sons, national treasure Eric Morecambe, who brought him sunshine in the form of a powder blue convertible.
Colin Foster, who until 2015 was resident caretaker at St George’s School in Sun Lane, has recalled buying the Triumph Herald in 1968/69 from a yard in Harpenden, before the comedian became famous.
He said: “I saw it advertised in the Herts Advertiser. It was a long time ago, when I was young and handsome!
“The car was a Triumph Herald convertible and powder blue – I thought ‘what a lovely car’. I imagined myself driving it in summer. Eric was the previous owner of the car, but his wife used to drive it.”
However, Colin did not realise the vehicle’s connection with the comedian until he started seeing him appear increasingly on television.
He explained: “I bought it before he was just starting to become famous in the 1970s.
“When I saw him on TV, I knew the name, as it was in the logbook as John Eric Bartholomew [his stage name was Eric Morecambe]. I had the car for about one year.
“I polished it up and it looked like a dream. It was my first car and people used to whistle at me.”
Colin added: “I sold it because it was just a car – they come and go – plus, I needed a family car.
“But I feel that it is quite unique, to have owned Eric’s former car before he and Ernie Wise became really famous stars.”
According to Harpenden History’s website the town is rightly ‘proud’ of the fact that Eric Morecambe made his home there.
People have shared their memories about him on the website, recalling him as a keen birdwatcher and amateur photographer.
One man noted that Eric and his wife parked their “Rolls or maybe their Bentley near the old Barclays Bank building on the High Street. He got out, did a ‘Morecambe’ jiggle dance all around the car to let his wife out. It was very funny. Lovely bloke.”