Beside the Seaside

My father was from Hunmanby in the East Riding of Yorkshire and summer holidays as a young child were spent on the stretch of coast from Bridlington to Scarborough. We got there by steam train and double decker bus (dome roofed, dark blue). Sand in castles and sandwiches, donkey rides, rock pools, knickerbocker glories, prickly coconut mats on the helter-skelter, Filey Brigg and steep iron ladders up the cliff face. Good stuff. As submissions to World Beach fast approached the 1000 mark, I recently enjoyed one of the best education days ever on the beach at Filey. Invited by Blackgates Primary School, Leeds to run a World Beach Project day with them, 20 children ages 7 – 11, staff and myself headed for the coast. Installation artworks from Marl Hole Project for British Ceramic Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent, October 2009 This was the first time I have had the pleasure of working with a school directly related to this project. I loved it. From the moment we set foot on the sand the children were engaged and focussed. I was impressed with their discernment, attention to detail and particularity in decision making – totally fascinating to witness their creative process in action. We found fossils, talked time, design and geology, felt the sun and breeze, moved stones around till our arms ached, walked steeply back uphill and ate ice creams… Installation artworks from Marl Hole Project for British Ceramic Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent, October 2009 It is a sad reality of our times that many great websites are blocked to schools including sometimes, it seems, the V&A… The brilliant thing is, that despite this, teachers all over the world are discovering World Beach and choosing to take their children out into this fantastic environment to create, learn, play, have a jolly good time and join in our project. We have had entries from a school group (I suspect the whole school) on a remote peninsula on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, from the Falklands and from Pakistan… It has been a real joy to see and think of these nuggets of activity all over the globe. I’ll be highlighting these and many more in the next few postings.

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