Bamburgh Castle draws line in the sand with giant Union Jack beach carving for VE Day

Bamburgh Castle has marked 75 years since the end of war in Europe by carving out a supersize Union Jack into the beach below.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 10:43 am

The 1,275 metres square etching – the equivalent to almost seven tennis pitches - took castle maintenance manager Andrew Heeley hours of preparation to design and mark out the intricate dimensions, during his lockdown at the castle.

It took him a further four hours and almost 19,000 steps to painstakingly draw the Union Flag - the national flag of the United Kingdom - into the sands of famous Bamburgh beach, which is part of The Bamburgh Castle Estate.

Castle owner Francis Watson Armstrong said: “The Union Flag sand art Andrew has created is a remarkable commemoration for VE Day.

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The Union Jack sand art created for VE Day at Bamburgh Castle. Picture by Owen Humphreys.

“Although the tribute will be washed away by the North Sea tides, Bamburgh Castle’s VE Day flag will remain as a legacy in the sands of time, paying tribute to the dedication and service of the entire Second World War generation - from the British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces to those who served on the home front and the sacrifices they made.

“Our flag is also a testament to the shattering impact Covid-19 has had upon so many people around the world.

“But, like the Second World War, there will be an end to this and we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with everyone here at Bamburgh once again.”

Andrew, who is in lockdown at the castle with his partner, Jo and her daughter Mathilda, said: “It’s given me a few sleepless nights thinking about it as I like to make sure everything is just right.

The Union flag beach art at Bamburgh. Picture by Owen Humphreys.

“There was a lot of measuring, calculating and planning for it to be accurate and to scale up, as well as taking into consideration the tides which are especially high at the moment due to the super Flower Moon – and making sure I got it the right way up.”

The castle, which normally attracts around 160,000 visitors per year, is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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