Weymouth's Sand Sculptors - Past and Present
Since the 1920's one of the beach attractions has been the summer exhibitions of sand sculptures. This was started by a guy called Fred Darrington and evolved from a local custom of lads drawing pictures in the sand as the tide retreated in the hope of earning a few coppers from passersby - a bit like modern "pavement artists". Fred took it one stage further and began creating 3-dimensional sculptures and instead of using the beach itself, with its tidal fluctuations, began making his creations on the promenade and mixing a sand and water "dough" for their construction.
This proved to be quite a successful little enterprise and Fred developed an international reputation and was invited to exhibit all over the world. He continued with his Weymouth sculpting until he retired in 1996 at the age of 86 but had already trained his "Master in Waiting".
The present day sand sculptor is Fred's grandson, Mark Anderson, who began as Fred's summer tea boy when he was just 11 years old. At age 22 Mark became a sort of formal apprentice and as well as doing the mixes and generally assisting was slowly allowed to create his own pieces. Mark, on the website, rather poignantly points out that the day he knew he was accepted as the heir to the master's throne was the day he turned up to find that the stall sign had been changed to "Sand Sculptures by FG Darrington & Grandson".
Some good stuff on the website and defintely well worth having a butchers in reality.
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Despite are strong resistance, the town like many others in England, seems to be getting swamped by the Chav and chav culture. Kitted out in there burberry caps worn at an impossible angle, the thick gold chain on the outside of their tracksuit jackets; the adidas track trousers tucked in to the white socks over which are their sparkling, almost blindingly white Reebok classic trainers. These are Weymouth's pondlife. Approach with caution!
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