Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival 2012
27th June 12
Some 4,000 tonnes of sand has been dragged along the beach for the annual event, which runs from 1 June until 9 September and attracts crowds of around 60,000 who pour in to see sculptures made purely of sand and water, the largest of which are almost eight metres high
This year's giant sand art display, created by 15 international artists on the theme Fun and Games includes a giant teddy bear by Jill Harris and Thomas Koet, a classic seaside Punch and Judy by Zara Gaze and sponsored by Leisureplex Hotel Group a dolls house by Johannes Hogebrink and a circus by Micahel de Kok. July and August will see the unveiling of special Olympic-themed sculptures.
The festival opened on the Queen's Jubilee weekend, which was marked with the unveiling of a special Jubilee Sculpture of the Queen. Seen here sat next to our very own Queen of the Anchor Head, hotel manager Janet Day.
Councillor Felicity Baker, from North Somerset Council, said: ”This is a really successful event - last year almost 60,000 people visited and once again there was media interest from around the globe”.
Weston-super-Mare is the perfect venue for the event because the resort’s sand grains have the right sort of sharp edges needed for sculpting. The sand is mixed with plenty of water and compacted into a dense mass; this is done by building pyramids of sand using wooden frames which are removed before sculpting begins. The sculptures are surprisingly robust, if it rains the rainwater drains into the sand and evaporates when/if it stops raining, if the rainstorm is severe the horizontal surfaces of the structure might get slightly dented when the raindrops hit them, but this is easily repaired as could be seen from the recent storms. When the sculptures are completely finished they are sprayed with an environmentally friendly screen solution which adds a thin skin to the surface of the sculpture and repels some rain.
Hotel Manager Janet Day said "It's great to welcome back the Sand Sculpture Festival for its 7th year, it always creates a great atmosphere amongst both locals and visitors and we are very proud to be supporting it".
The Anchor Head Hotel is splendidly situated between Weston’s two piers and close to the boating slipway and a small beach; the promenade walk starts right next to the hotel. There are magnificent views of the bay from the TV lounge, restaurants and many of the bedrooms.
The Leisureplex Hotel Group has been championing the Great British seaside and operating its own seaside hotels for a generation. Each of the 20 unique properties (many of which are listed buildings) are situated in the best possible positions within their resorts and are close to numerous famous attractions.
For more details on any of the Leisureplex hotels go to www.leisureplex.co.uk
For details on coach holidays go to www.alfatravel.co.uk