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Basingstoke in Hampshire has many nicknames amongst the locals, including Amazingstoke and Blazingstoke. Rich Spence, Mark Wilson and Billy Smith got in the Sand In Your Eye sand sculpture van and headed down to find out more. 

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The weather on the day was hot and sunny so they ticked the Blazingstoke box immediately. The boys were there to make a sand sculpture replica of the Willis Museum, this Victorian building used to be Basingstoke’s town hall and stands on the site of where Jane Austen used to go to dances.

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Alongside this sand carving, Mark and Billy would run sand sculpting workshops for families and visitors to the Malls Shopping Centre. The team were able to drive the van into the shopping centre to unload at 7am, Rich thought this was Amazingstoke.

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The family workshops proved very popular, with shoppers and passersby of all ages having ago. Mark showed his sand sculpting techniques and Billy provided enthusiastic support. Rich spent the day on the table top sculpture of the Willis Museum, adding windows, carvings, mouldings, porticoes, and porches as featured on the original building. The porch at the front at one point started to collapse, but expert sand sculptor Rich managed to rescue it and it looked as good as new. 

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Thanks to Basingstoke Together, they were super organized, which really helps and made our job so much easier. We had an amazing and a blazing time!

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