FROM THE Last Supper to E.T., a variety of sand sculptures have appeared on Weymouth’s seafront in years gone by.

Whilst a number of sculptors have taken advantage of Weymouth's 'special sand', the work of Fred Darrington and his grandson Mark Anderson can't be ignored.

Fred began sculpting just after the First World War in the early 1920s. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 91, but Mark has continued following in his footsteps and co-founded Sandworld.

With the help of Mark, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite pieces to have graced Weymouth Beach.

The Loch Ness Monster

Dorset Echo:

Photo: Mark Anderson

A 21-year-old Fred stands next to Weymouth’s own Loch Ness monster.

It was in the early 1930s that sightings of ‘Nessie’ started to crop up and Fred was quick to take advantage of the euphoria surrounding it.

Mark said: “Around that time, the stories of Nessie started to come out and just out of fun he made one out of sand. As a kid in the late 1960s, I remember he would still be doing a Nessie.”

Bread and fruit

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Photo: Mark Anderson

Butter, flour and yeast didn’t feature as part of Fred Darrington’s bread recipe. He preferred to use water, paint, sand, a simple knife, a little patience and a steady hand.

Of course, this bread wasn’t for eating. It was one of Fred’s favourite designs, according to Mark, and he’d make the piece ‘nearly every year’.

Mark said: “I can’t remember him not doing it. So many people would say that it’s not sand. He’d throw a piece of fruit up to them and it would crumble.”

The Sea Horses

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Photo: Mark Anderson

Fred designed and sculpted Weymouth’s sea horses on a number of occasions.

This particular sculpture was constructed in 1995, according to Mark.

He said: “That was one of his favourites. There was a painting hanging in his dining room of the horses. He started most seasons with the sea horses.”


Dorset Echo:

Photo: Mark Anderson

Further exploring the sands of time, we found Fred paid homage to Tutankhamen in 1972 after an exhibition opened at the British Museum.

The exhibition itself was widely acclaimed and received an overwhelming public reaction. Fred sculpted a pyramid and the famous burial mask as part of his design.

Mark said: “He had a lifelong interest in Tutankhamen. I think he went to see it in London in 1972. It was very topical.”

The Last Supper

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Photo: Mark Anderson

Believe it or not, Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper has been recreated out of salt and chocolate syrup. Fred decided to make his version out of sand.

It was a piece Fred often recreated, with this photo taken in 1973. The painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples.

Mark said: “It is just a fantastic piece of work. He loved Leonardo and his work and that is his favourite piece from Da Vinci.”

The Muppets

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Photo: Mark Anderson

It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to sculpt the Muppets out of Weymouth sand tonight.

Fred designed this piece in 1978. This was just after The Muppet Show debuted on our TV screens.

Mark said: “He loved the Muppets. He always managed to pick very popular themes, something which I’ve tried to stick to. It is not about trying to create new art.”

The Jungle Book

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Photo: Mark Anderson

Fun and friendly characters appear to have been a mainstay feature of Fred and Mark’s designs over the years.

In this particular design, sculpted in 1978, we can see a scene depicted from the Disney adaptation of The Jungle Book, featuring Mowgli, King Louie, and Bagheera.

Mark said: “He always loved animals. It was the perfect thing. When he was growing up in 1918, Rudyard Kipling was extremely popular. It was one of his childhood memories.”

Windsor Castle

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As part of a royal visit to Weymouth’s seafront in 2009, Mark and his team were requested to make a special sculpture close to home for the royal guests.

The Queen and Prince Philip admired a 20ft-wide sculpture of Windsor Castle on Weymouth Beach as part of a royal visit.

Mark said: “Prince Philip said, ‘Shouldn’t you have done Sandringham?’ He was very funny. When I was talking to him he was pointing out the rooms.”

London Olympic 2012 sand castle

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Perhaps a controversial choice but Mark’s giant sandcastle on Weymouth Beach to mark the 100-day countdown to the Olympics certainly made headlines.

The castle took four days to build but was knocked down immediately after photographs were taken because of safety fears.

Mark said: “I was asked to do something which would celebrate the Olympics in Weymouth and Portland. As a sand man, it was obvious to me do a sandcastle.”

Welcome to Weymouth

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Photo: Jim Linwood (Flickr)

Since the new Sandworld viewing area was established on the Esplanade, Mark has used a number of ‘fun, friendly characters’ as part of a design to welcome tourists to Weymouth. This has included Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc., ET and Ironman.

Following Andy Murray’s Wimbledon success in 2012, Mark paid tribute by sculpting him into the design. Unfortunately, vandals later destroyed part of the sculpture, which left Mark devastated.

Despite this act of vandalism, Mark said: “People are very appreciative of the work we do. People come to Weymouth to enjoy a holiday.”

If you can think of any other designs we've missed out on this occasion, comment below and let us know.