Much-loved Bexhill sculptures Salty Sam and Seaweed Sally have been destroyed in a devastating act of vandalism.
The wooden pair have sat on a log for three years below Beaulieu Road but now, Salty Sam is missing completely – presumed adrift at sea – and Seaweed Sally is smashed beyond repair.
The sculptures had become firm favourites among local residents, and even attracted people from across the UK, USA, New Zealand and South Africa. Visitors would often leave messages of love and condolences to loved ones inscribed on the pebbles nearby.
Artist Andy Sharrocks, who created the sculptures, visited the site the morning after the attack – on Sunday – after a tip-off from a friend.
He said: “I created these sculptures inspired by Sir Anthony Gormley for the people of Bexhill. They have been much-loved over their brief tenure and it’s somewhat heartbreaking to see them destroyed this way.
“They survived 90 mile an hour winds last winter but they couldn’t survive the determinedly mindless violent nature of the perpetrators of this wicked act.
“While I was there on Sunday afternoon, two ladies walked over and one burst into tears. I think this probably sums up the feeling of the whole community.
“I have had many well wishes from the local community and I would like to thank everybody. It is such a shame.”