I’d seen an online photograph of Mary’s Shell at Cleveleys and, since Cleveleys is less than an hour’s drive from home, I decided to travel up in time for a sunset shot when weather permitted.
I wasn’t sure that tide conditions would be best but opted for a day when there would be a low tide. I know now that it would have been a good idea to return when there is a high tide so that I could see the sculpture floating close to its anchor. I’ve since learned that it was damaged by rough weather in 2020.
Cleveleys is a small seaside resort, on England’s North-West coast between Blackpool and Fleetwood. Mary’s Shell was easy to find on the beach near where I’d parked my car.
The Shell is 8 metres long and 4 metres tall, so it was also easy to see – big enough to climb inside. It was completely visible because the tide was out, but the setting Sun made some of the shots difficult despite my lens-hood and, as a result, there were colour aberrations on some images.
Another sculpture, one that I hadn’t previously known about, was The Ogre – at the sea end of a stone groyne. It features in the two photos below I believe that both of these public sculptures have something to do with Cleveleys’ folklore and coast trail: there is a specially commissioned story book – The Sea Swallow – that combines these myths and legends.