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Blackpool beach

The world and Blackpool Tower

After changes of dates and location, Claire, Jo and Tom were up bright and early to make a giant sand map helping Dan Snow explain the way that World War 1 developed.

raking on the beach

Jo raking in the countries

After a hearty breakfast in the hotel, the team headed to Blackpool’s North Pier only to be caught by a huge downpour whilst fixing the sliding door that came off it’s tracks. Thanks to Jo’s special skills with a hammer, we were back on the road for the short journey to the beach.

sand drawing

Early in the day

Thankfully the sun was shining for the rest of the day and as the film crew from BBC History set up a 40ft gimbal on the pier, we drew the outline of the map ready for the image to develop allowing Dan to reveal the geopolitics of the continent as we stood on the brink of war.

Shooting the final scene

Shooting the final scene

sand drawing on the beach

Careful now! There’s quicksand afoot!

Step by step, the countries made alliances and were shaded by Jo and Tom as Dan energetically worked his way through the continents. Thanks to Claire’s direction from the pier, we managed to correctly place Serbia on the map after accidently joining it with Austro-Hungary.

children look at beach

The crowds gather to watch the end of filming

The film crew hurried through the last few scenes as the tide began it’s inevitable journey towards our map. By 2pm the tide had washed away the world and the team headed to the nearest pub for some well deserved lunch!

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