Mary's Shell in place on Cleveleys Beach
Pulling Mary's Shell into place
Pulling Mary's Shell into place
Mary's Shell, ready to be positioned on Cleveleys beach
Fastening the shell base onto the concrete foundation
Laying the concrete foundation for the shell in July 2013
Mary's Shell was delivered to Cleveleys on Friday 13 September and spent a couple of weeks perched on a trailer on the shingle beach, awaiting transportation to it's final spot on the sand.
On the morning of Wednesday 25 September in a race against the tide, it was positioned in place, with a bit of old fashioned technology, pulling and steel plates, take a look at this clip.
The shell was taken to it's new position on a trailer, which was then dug down into the beach adjacent to the base. Steel plates were welded together to fill the space between the base and the trailer, and an expert JCB driver pulled the sculpture gently off the trailer and into position in a perfectly executed manoeuvre which drew the attention of many passers-by!
It's a huge piece of public art, that's now fastened to a base which has been fixed to concrete foundations set in the beach just in front of the cafe. When the beach nourishment works were carried out in the summer of 2013, the concrete foundation was cast in the beach for the Shell.
It's 8m long and 4m tall and weighs in at 16.5 tonnes, with words from the story of the Sea Swallow etched inside. Once the tide goes out, you'll be able to climb inside and listen for the sounds of the sea and waves.
Mary's Shell was delivered to Cleveleys on Friday 13th September - which turned out to be an unfortunate choice of day because in the end it wasn't actually positioned on the beach. There were problems with the crane that was brought to site to do the lift, which wasn't suitable for use on the sand.
The original artists illustrations for Mary's Shell
The sea defences at Cleveleys were rebuilt to protect the coastline from flooding. At the same time, the fabulous new, award winning design increased the popularity of this much loved seaside town and has attracted people from near and far to come and enjoy the spectacular views and much better access to the beach.
The 'Cleveleys Mythological Coastline' project has secured grant funding through the national Sea Change project, which aims to regenerate the coast through the Arts, much of which has involved the area around the Marine Hall and gardens at Fleetwood.
In Cleveleys, the project creates a legacy to follow the sea defence works, and a story that’s Cleveleys very own for the future.
The Sea Swallow is the story, written for children but with a charm that’s unmissable, and tells a fairy tale that blends legend with local features, including sunken villages and the petrified forest which you can still see on the beach today. In 2011, each primary school child in Wyre was given a copy of the book, and then earlier in 2012 the first two pieces of sculpture were lowered into place on the promenade.
The namesake ‘Sea Swallow’ sculpture is a huge, slim white piece, that stands guard over the promenade and main high street, that you can see right from the end of Victoria Road West as you approach the town. The Sea Swallows are cut into the top, flying over the beach and soaring above in all weathers.
As you walk along the promenade, you can't miss the giant Ogres Paddle - carved in hardwood sat on the upper promenade in front of Jubilee Leisure Park.
Against the boundary of Blackpool stands the Cleveleys Shipwreck Memorial, which remembers all the vessels which came aground on the Fylde coast, back to the mists of time.
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