Comedy genius Sir Norman Wisdom will have his career captured in an exhibition in Haywards Heath from tomorrow.
His son Nick, who owns Wisdom Sports in South Road, Haywards Heath, has sifted through thousands of photographs and other reminders of the great comic’s life to set up the exhibition in the former Thornton’s shop in the town’s Orchards centre.
As well as 57 framed pictures there will be reminders of legendary Norman’s musical talents on show, with instruments such as his saxophone and clarinet displayed. There will also be some handwritten scripts and other personal reminders.
The exhibition will run indefinately and entrance will be free.
Twice-married Norman became a huge star from the late 1940s as an actor, comedian, and singer with a string of crowd-pulling hit films spanning the Fifties and Sixties, although he made his last film as late as 2007.
He was born in London, had a home in Sussex, and later in life settled on his beloved Isle of Man, where he died in 2010 at the age of 95 after suffering from dementia.
Nick set up the exhibition in his father’s memory at a cost of about £5,000 with the help of Keith Ellis of Nostalgiagraphs in The Orchards and calligrapher Gerald Fleuss from Ditchling. The Orchards management is allowing Nick to use the vacant shop to be used free of charge.
Norman, who Charlie Chaplin once called his “favourite clown” but who also did some serious acting, left a large collection of memorabilia, which Nick was keen to show at least a small part of to the public. Nick said: “There was so much stuff. The alternative was to stick it in the loft and leave it there for another 20 years. I think it’s been worth the effort, I have got a great kick out of doing it.”