Ernie Wise: memories of a really 'lovely boy'

A FORMER Kinsley resident who shot to fame as a comedian has had a statue erected in his honour.

The statue of Ernest Wiseman – better known as Ernie Wise of Morecambe and Wise – was unveiled in Morley last week, close to a pavilion where he performed as a boy.

It is believed the comedian, who died aged 73 in March 1999, lived at 29 Tombridge Crescent between October 1931 and October 1935, when he moved to Ardsley.

He teamed with Eric Morecambe (real name Eric Bartholomew) when he was just 15 and it was the start of a double act that lasted more than 40 years.

The pair, who were both awarded OBEs in 1976, were famous for their Christmas specials and theme tune Bring Me Sunshine.

Eric died in 1984.

Eileen Hartley, 84, of Kinsley, remembers Ernie when he lived in the village.

She said: “I have lovely memories of Ernie. He was about a year younger than me. His dad Harry was a porter at Hemsworth railway station and he taught Ernie how to clog dance. I used to play out with Ernie and he would show us his dancing.

“I remember he lived on Tombridge Crescent, a few doors away from my granddad. He went to the old Kinsley C of E School on Wakefield Road. Then he moved to East Ardsley as his dad went to work in the mills.

“But I’d listen to him singing and dancing on Children’s Hour on the radio when he was about 10. Then I saw him on television and I followed what he did over time. He was a lovely boy.”