Burglars target Eric Morecambe’s widow’s Harpenden home

Eric Morecambe with Joan and two of their children reading the Herts Advertiser

Eric Morecambe with Joan and two of their children reading the Herts Advertiser - Credit: Archant

While she was away celebrating a new statue in tribute to her late husband Eric Morecambe and his comedy partner Ernie Wise, the Harpenden home of Joan Bartholomew was broken into and jewellery was stolen.

Mrs Bartholomew, 89, had been in Blackpool with her son Gary and daughter Gail for the unveiling of the statue of the two men - a ceremony which was highlighted on social media and on news bulletins.

While she was away her home in Redbourn Lane was broken into some time between 10.30am last Thursday, October 13, and Saturday, October 15, and various items of jewellery were taken.

Her son Gary told a Lancashire paper that he believed social media might have alerted thieves to the fact that the house was empty and added: “My mum is a very realistic person; she doesn’t like to make herself a victim. It’s just the way it is.”

He stressed that the burglary had not spoilt his mother’s delight at the 8ft tall monument of the Morecambe-born comedian and Ernie Wise, who died in 1999. It was created by Graham Ibbeson who also sculpted the Eric Morecambe statue on Morecambe seafront.

Eric Morecambe lived in Harpenden from the 1960s until his death in 1984 and Mrs Bartholomew has continued to play an active part in the life of the town including having a long-standing involvement as president of the Harpenden branch of Save the Children and becoming one of the first patrons of the A-T Society.

Police have appealed to anyone with information about the burglary to contact St Albans Local Crime Unit on the non-emergency number 101.