1. ITV Report

Police investigating alleged vandalism of Redcar WWI sand sculptures

Redcar Sand sculptures Photo: ITV News

By Kris Jepson

Cleveland Police are analysing CCTV as part of an investigation into the alleged vandalism of sand sculptures in Redcar, Teesside.

The sculptures were created by sculptors from around Europe and commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

Five out of the six sand sculptures at Majuba Beach, outside the Tuned In building, were damaged at around five o'clock on Thursday morning, with nearby CCTV footage allegedly showing several youths carrying out the damage.

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The sculptures celebrate local characters connected to WWI, including the Biggles author WE Johns, who was a flying instructor at Marske, Captain John Bell DSC, the Redcar cargo ship skipper who was the first to ram a German submarine in the First World War, and Redcar Pierrot clown entertainer Billy Scarrow.

Royal British Legion at Redcar Sand sculpture Credit: Redcar & Cleveland Council

The Royal British Legion, who attended the sand sculpture inspired by London Whitehall's Cenotaph to remember those who had fallen during the Great War when the sculptures were unveiled in May, said it is a "mindless act of vandalism".

I'm disgusted that anyone could do such a thing to things that have been put up for the pleasure of the whole town. It is our history of what went on over that period in time. For mindless yobs to do this, well, what sort of punishment do you dish out?

– Eric Howden, The Royal British Legion

Redcar and Cleveland Council estimate it will cost around £2,000 to repair the sculptures, which were created by sculptors from across Europe.

If the money cannot be found to pay for the repairs, the sand will most likely be donated to community projects.

Redcar Sand sculptures Credit: ITV News

Cllr Carl Quartermain said if the sculptures are damaged for good, it will have a negative effect on the local economy.

It brings hundreds of people from all over the North East to come and see these and being the kind of event it is, people come and look at the art for so long, but then they go and spend their money in the town, which is what we're trying to achieve here, to give our traders the confidence to come here and set up their businesses as well.

– Cllr Carl Quartermain
Redcar Sand sculptures Credit: ITV News