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Mystery of godly eyes staring over golden sands

Gorleston Beach carvings

Sea god Neptune stares out to the waves at a Norfolk beach in a piece of artwork that is mystifying locals.

The bearded face, another figure and a fish, are carved into a wooden post at a sea defence groyne on Gorleston beach just south of Great Yarmouth.

But no-one knows whether the creations are the work of a modern day “Banksy of the Breakwaters”, or date back to when the defences were built more than 40 years ago.

They are carved with artistic skill and would have taken some time to create, but their exact origin remains shrouded in doubt.

Finding the art is part of the fun of beachcombing and exploring the sands which are at their lushest for years – and this summer have played host to two national sporting events, a schools sailing regatta and round of the UK Beach Volleyball tour.

Both events are supported by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District, which is using a £2.4m pot from levy payers to stage events, and increase marketing in a drive to attract more visitors to the area, and boost the local economy.

BID board member Kevin Huggins said: “Gorleston is on the up, and the best beach we have ever had is helping.

“The shops are buoyant and facilities are attracting the right kind of people who are saying the right things about us.

“The breakwater carvings are a mystery to me too – but are another reason to come and explore,” he added.

Mr Huggins said BID investment – including supporting the beach events, and Christmas lights – was helping the revival.

Gorleston beach sits in a sweeping bay beneath the harbour piers of Great Yarmouth, and is also a favourite spot for sailors, windsurfers, and bodyboarders.

The traditional resort also boasts cliffs, gardens, a promenade, paddling pool, yacht pond, bowls, tennis, putting, bandstand, and an historic theatre, as well as a range of eateries, shops and a small amusement arcade.

The clean and uncrowded beach regularly attracts rave reviews from visitors on TripAdvisor. Comments include: “little gem”, “a fantastic expanse of golden sand”, and “one of the best beaches I have come across.”

Picture captions: (credit TMS Media)
1 Three year old Leah Harmer has fun finding the mystery Neptune carving at Gorleston beach.