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Cotton Pod Goes to 'Another Place'

Posted by Sharon Oldfield on

Well, we have been having some interesting 'Spring' weather here lately. Blue skies one minute, then hail storms the next. We even woke up to two inches of snow three days ago! This extreme weather reminded me of a trip we took during the Easter break, as the weather was also rather extreme that day too!

One 'fine day' in April, my friend and I bundled five children, with all their winter woolies and wellies in to her 'bus' (as my girls call it) and headed to the North West coast of England. We had been planning our run out to the coast for a few weeks by now and nothing, not even the British weather was going to stop us in our tracks. However, when we arrived at Crosby beach we quickly decided we would be having our butties in the car, sand free and not anywhere near the beach and the hoolie blowing outside.  So once we had fuelled everyone's bellies and donned our layers we headed excitedly, towards the gap in the sand dunes.

I had heard and read so much about Crosby Beach, from my friend and various other sources. I had been looking forward to visiting it and viewing the 'Another Place' installation for quite some time. Nothing had, however, quite prepared me for the scale of it. As we walked through the gap in the sand dunes the vast expanse (and the gale!) completely took my breath away. 

I would not describe the beach as breathtakingly beautiful, but I can say the scale of the place, with the addition of Antony Gormley's sculptures and the industrial architecture in the background, was breathtakingly spectacular. It has a distinct, unconventional, beauty of it's own.

There are 100 cast iron, life-sized, sea facing, figures of Anthony Gormley scattered along the coast for 3 kilometres, they apparently stretch one kilometre out to sea too, but we did not wade in to find out!

There was naturally lots of wading though, the children found the puddles irresistible,

 there was a great deal of running around....,

there were plenty of shells to collect....,

.....and pictures to be drawn in the sand. I love how the wind transformed my daughter's picture of the sun, in very little time.


The sea, sand and elements have, as Anthony Gormley intended, transformed the sculptures over time. Barnacles have moved in, seaweed too, sand has drifted and the iron has oxidised making each cast of his body take on a different set of characteristics.


I am not sure Anthony Gormley ever intended his sculptures to be wearing a crocheted hat, but I am told the sculptures can be found wearing all sorts of clothing and paraphernalia throughout the year. 

I am sure that there are plenty of photos like this too.....



Crosby beach is a great day out, whatever the weather (I hope to return on a blisteringly hot day, to experience the contrast in light), the children enjoyed the vast space and braved the powerful wind for much longer than we expected.

However, once the little one had dramatically lost his wellies, we knew it was a sign to turn back, cobwebs well and truly blown away, and return home, rosy cheeked and full of awe and wonder at the world.


(Thank you, friend and your fabulous boys for a great day out).


Just in case you are wondering, Anthony Gormley's hat is designed by DROPS Design. It is made from soft and cosy DROPS PeakYou will have the hat made in one sitting and the yarn is super soft, itch free, cosy and available in lots of fun colours.



Follow this link for more info about 'Another Place'.





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