The promenade at Cleveleys north of Blackpool was upgraded around 2010 with a modern concrete stepped design. As part of this refurbishment some statues were introduced, taken from the child’s story The Sea Swallow by Gareth Thompson. There is an Ogre statue, a large Ogre’s paddle and most notably Mary’s Shell a 17 ton sculpture that sits on the beach and is periodically covered by the incoming tide. Taken together, the statues and promenade design provide many photo opportunities, particularly looking west at sunset.
Location and Parking
Post Code: FY5 1DW
There is a small Pay And Display car park right on the front Cove Cafe, and a larger car park at Jubilee Gardens across the road.
The promenade at Cleveleys has numerous sweeps and bends that provide excellent leading lines and lots of composition arrangements. The following images were taken late on a Boxing Day afternoon, with a little editing to isolate the figures.
Mary’s Shell is a large sculpture positioned in Cleveleys beach just a few feet from the promenade. At high tide it is mostly covered with water, and makes a good photographic subject, especially in long exposure shots that give a minimalist view the sculpture. Mary’s Shell was installed in 2013, weighs 16.5 Tonnes and is 8m long and 3m tall. There is plenty of room to explore inside, and it is worth taking a closer look as the inside is inscribed with extracts from the Sea Swallow.
Mary’s Shell makes a good subject for Mono images. In this image a moderately long exposure has been used to give some blur to the sea. The cloud blur has been enhanced focus attention on the Shell.
As Cleveleys beach faces towards the west, Mary’s Shell is a good subject for sunsets. These images were taken in late May.
Close by to Mary’s Shell sits the Ogre, which is another character from The Sea Swallow. He sits close to a breakwater and is a bit further out than Mary’s Shell, so he gets completely covered by water at high tide. The best time to photograph the Ogre is therefore when the tide is out.