Magic story comes to life in Cleveleys

A giant seashell designed by artist Stephen Broadbent is in place on Cleveleys Beach.
A giant seashell designed by artist Stephen Broadbent is in place on Cleveleys Beach.

A magical children’s tale set in Wyre has finally been brought to life.

A four-metre high interactive Golden Seashell was put in place on Cleveleys beach following a two-week delay.

The sculpture, which is part of three new additions to the sea front – including a 12-tonne ogre – is one of the main symbols from The Sea Swallow children’s book, based entirely on stories and myths provided by children and adults in Wyre.

Both the ogre and Golden Seashell, along with a nine-metre Wooden Paddle installed at the beginning of the month, are part of the authority’s Mythic Coast Artwork Trail and penultimate phase of the £2.1m Sea Change Project.

The illustrated book tells the story of Mary, a fisherman’s daughter who is forced to save her town from the dangers of the sea by using the Golden Seashell. Stephen Broadbent, a public artist, designed the artwork and hopes it will be used during the summer to act out the story to families.

He said: “This isn’t artwork for a gallery, they are for people to climb on, touch and enjoy. The sculptures are not about the artists, they are about the community and if this is acted out every year it will be fabulous.

“The story and the images are owned by the community and we hope people can develop it.”

The seashell should already have been in place, but organisers were forced to delay its unveiling by two weeks when unpredictable tide times caught them out during efforts to install it on September 13.

Gordon McCann, Wyre Council’s economy portfolio holder, added: “The artwork adds and extra dimension to what we have here.

“Because the sea wall has been so successful we have been able to attract more funding so people can enjoy this. When you speak to people who are sat on the front having their lunch they will tell you how much they like the work that has already gone on here and how fantastic this all is.”

The sea ogre will now be installed in the coming weeks.

Adrian Wright, an artist from Chorley, carved the sea orge out of a 17-tonne block of stone over 700 hours.

He said: “It’s a great idea to do this. They are all novel and are quite interactive.

“The ogre is something you can go up to, climb over and touch, which is great.”

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