Public Art: Glass-look, Resin Sea Swallows

Public Art: Glass-look, Resin Sea Swallows

The Mythic Coast artwork trail in Cleveleys originally included 12 glass-look, resin Sea Swallows. As part of the original public artwork plan, these beautiful birds would alight on top of the sea wall at the end of Victoria Road West. There they would be permanently fastened, to take in the view.

Cast in three different shapes, they were to be sited in various places.

Glass look, resin Sea Swallows on the sea wall at Cleveleys
Glass-look, resin Sea Swallows on the sea wall at Cleveleys
Resin Sea Swallows on Cleveleys promenade
Resin Sea Swallows on Cleveleys promenade

The Glass-Look, Resin Sea Swallows Quickly Come and Go…

The Sea Swallows were installed on the seawall in January 2014.

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Each of them had a substantial metal rod extending from the base of the bird. This rod was set and bonded into a corresponding metal socket, set into the sea wall.

One of the birds, you can see the socket into which the bird slotted in the front of shot.
One of the birds, see the socket into which the bird slotted in the front of shot.

Very uncharacteristically for Cleveleys, six of them went missing that very same day. Presumably someone who was quick thinking realised that the time to take them was before the bonding compound had set. The rest of the birds were removed for safe keeping.

Some years later, one of the birds surfaced in a second hand shop in Cleveleys. Five of the original Sea Swallows are still missing – yellow, purple, pink and two blue ones.

The story of the Sea Swallow is brought to life through a public art trail which winds along the promenade from the Shipwreck Memorial, past the Sea Swallow and the Ogres Paddle, the Ogre on the beach and finally arriving at Mary’s Shell which sits on the sand.

You can read about all of these pieces of public art, drawn from the book of the same name, in this section.

This is the original design for the birds.

Sea Swallows at Cleveleys

One missing Sea Swallow flies back home…

A big thank you to Barbara and Nick Ward of The Bookmark book shop for finding and returning one of Cleveleys’ ‘Sea Swallows’ in September 2016.

Red Sea Swallow found and returned by Bookmark Books
Red Sea Swallow found and returned by Bookmark Books. Barbara pictured with artist Stephen Broadbent. Note the length of the metal fixing rod.

Barbara collects glass and was attracted to the red Sea Swallow which she found in the Red Cross charity shop in Cleveleys. She paid just £6.50 for the sculpture which had originally cost £1000 to make. Husband Nick recognised that it might be one of the resin Sea Swallows from the Mythic Coast Artwork trail on Cleveleys’ promenade.

The red glass-look resin Sea Swallow - how it should have looked on the sea wall.
The red glass-look resin Sea Swallow – how it should have looked on the sea wall.

“I’m really pleased that the red Sea Swallow has flown home. I think it is absolutely lovely and would have liked to keep it. I am happy that I’ve been able to give it back to Cleveleys” said Barbara.

Sea Swallow Artist says thank you

Mythic Coast Artwork trail artist Stephen Broadbent called in at The Bookmark to thank Barbara in person. He presented her with a bouquet and a copy of the Sea Swallow book. “I’m delighted to see the return of this wonderful bird and hope that the other five that were taken return soon. It would be great to have them back” said Stephen.

The other artworks at Cleveleys were also designed by Stephen.

They include the Sea Swallow sculpture at the top of Victoria Road West, the Shipwrecks Memorial and the Ogre’s Paddle, all on the on the Promenade. The trail continues on the beach with The Ogre at the groyne near Café Cove and The Seashell on the beach nearby.

The designs were based on ‘The Sea Swallow’ book specially written as part of the same regeneration project by Gareth Thompson which tells a tale of Wyre’s coastline.

Sea Swallow Story Book
Sea Swallow Story Book

If anyone knows where any of the other five birds are please get in touch with us here at Visit Cleveleys.

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