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Wandering artist Dr Geebers is at work on Hunstanton Beach

Dr. Geebers is making a giant snake  on the beach at Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt.

Dr. Geebers is making a giant snake on the beach at Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2011

A homeless artist is walking all the way around Britain’s coastline, stopping to make sculptures along the way.

Working under the adopted name of Dr Geebers, the 35-year-old rough sleeper - whose says his first name is George - pitched up in Hunstanton earlier this week.

Yesterday he refused to give his surname, as he scoured the beach near the West Norfolk resort’s Oasis Leisure Centre for the red and white stones he has been using to create a giant striped snake.

“I don’t know how long it will take, how long’s a piece of string,” he shrugged. “It depends on the weather, the tides - and how far I have to walk to get the stones.”

Sunshine might have been in short supply, as the wind whipped in off the North Sea. But there was no shortage of stone within walking distance.

People living nearby brought cups of tea and food to help fortify the beach’s new artist in residence against the chill.

But a coat left on the Prom for people to donate loose change hasn’t gone down too well with the council - although buskers are tolerated elsewhere in the borough.

“I’m not really collecting, this is not a charity thing, but I do need to survive,” said Dr Geebers.

“It’s a homeless awareness thing, it’s all over the web now. I want to write a book and have the proceeds go to help homeless people when I’m done.”

Dr Geebers has a Facebook page, with more than 1,000 followers. It says: “Dr Geebers is a poet/pebblestone artist who does everything with the love of life. all he wants to do is help where the people don’t want to and hopefully create, inspire and develope what he loves into something that contributes to society.”

Dr Geebers hails from Ballymena in Co Antrim, in Northern Ireland. He said he ended up on the streets in Brighton, after losing his job with a record company.

“I know I’ve messed up in my life and done stuff one the streets,” he said.

“Now I’ve got my life back together I want to help everyone else out on the streets in this country.”

After setting off from the Sussex seaside town after a fringe festival, in May 2009, Dr Geebers reckons to have clocked up 4,900 miles on foot and shifted more than 2,000 tonnes of stone by hand.

He has left pebble sculptures ranging from ice creams to seagulls on beaches as far afield as Sidmouth, in East Devon to the shores of Loch Ness, in Scotland.

When it is complete towards the back end of this week, the giant stone snake he is working on will stretch for 30ft or more across the famous sands.

After that, Dr Geebers will shoulder his rucksack and resume his lonely trek by sand and salt marsh in the direction of Wells and Cromer.

Once he leaves town, his work of art will have to take its chances with the tides and the elements - not to mention the annual summer invasion of holidaymakers.

And Dr Geebers - or George - isn’t the only stone shifter currently at work in Hunstanton.

Further up the beach, retired engineer Michael Kennedy, 73, can sometimes be seen collecting rocks along the shore.

Instead of making sculptures like Dr Geebers, he neatly sorts the stones into piles of red and white.

Then he places them at the foot of the famous candy-striped cliffs, to protect them from coastal erosion.


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