The Shell, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire

Located at Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire 'The Shell' is one of a series of pieces which together form The Mythic Coast project - part of the regeneration of Wyre's waterfronts.

Wyre's Mythic Coast Artwork trail brings a magical element to the Cleveleys seafront. Striking structures have brought to life The Sea Swallow* - a specially commissioned children's story book that combines local folklore, myth and legend about Wyre's coastline.

All the artworks were designed by North West artist Stephen Broadbent of Broadbent Studios and were funded through the Sea Change regeneration programme.  

The aim of the project was to develop a narrative for the seafront from Cleveleys to Fleetwood that will draw people along the coastline and connect communities. This is being achieved through creating stories, illustrations and public art works that will create a mythic story that can be enjoyed in print publications, through online engagement, community celebrations and as festivals along the 'People's Promenade'- and beyond.

Working alongside talented artist and designer Stephen (Broadbent), Chris Brammall was responsible for the design development of an 18m Shell. The complex Conch shell is made from stainless steel with a blast finish and weighs a staggering 17ton.

The project was particularly complex as the finished sculpture is placed 30m out into the sea meaning at times it is covered by the tide. This proved quite a challenge when fitting.  

The Shell has become a much-loved landmark by the local people and a popular place to visit and for children to play at the beach.  

*The Sea Swallow story is the fourth book to be written by children's author Gareth Thompson. His story brings together the project's aims: to reference landmarks across the Wyre; be appropriate for staging or outdoor performance; have contributions from the local community; include educational and geographical reference points; be adaptable for website and other multi-media follow-ups and open up themes for large-scale sculpture and public artworks.
http://www.wyre.gov.uk/info/200405/coast_and_countryside/781/mythic_coast_artwork_trail

Chris re-visited the sculpture in April 2019 - as you can see from the photos The Shell is weathering really well.

Fast Facts

Design: Stephen Broadbent

Design Development: Chris Brammall

Materials: 20mm marine grade stainless steel ribbons, 30m in length

Dimensions: 9m x 4m

Weight: 17tons

Foundation: 52 tons

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