Here's why Queen guitarist Brian May was in Selsey today

Selsey residents flocked to the beach today as guitarist and astrophysicist, Dr Brian May, unveiled the first of five 'amazing' sculptures celebrating the town and it's heritage.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 6:59 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 2:36 pm
Brian May, the new sculpture dedicated to Sir Patrick Moore, and art student Megan Masters
Brian May, the new sculpture dedicated to Sir Patrick Moore, and art student Megan Masters

The five seals, designed and created by Chichester College students, form part of a 'seal trail' through the town.

The project is a joint venture between Selsey Town Council, Chichester College and Jago Developments which built the fibreglass structures.

One of the seals has been dedicated to world-famous astronomer and former Selsey resident, Sir Patrick Moore - complete with his iconic monocle.

Brian May among some of the 'amazing' students of Chichester College

Speaking to this newspaper, Brian May an old friend of Sir Patrick, said: "It's very nice. I think he would be amused and very much in favour of the spirit of what's going on here today.

On what he thought of the artwork on the sculpture, he added: "I think it's amazing. It is beautifully painted and I know they all are because I have seen pictures of all the seals and they are all really beautifully done.

"There is a lot of thought an inspiration that has gone into it - I'm all for it."

Art student Megan Masters, 17, from Hayling Island, had her work praised by Brian and spoke to him about what different parts of the design represented.

Carleigh Barker, 21, from Maudlin, with her piece dedicated to some of the town's fauna

She said: "I painted the front bit. I took some inspiration from Sir Patrick Moore's show. I didn't know much about him before."

Fellow art student Ruby Moffatt, 16, from Portsmouth, said: "I did a remembrance seal and I was part of the team for another one. It was amazing and I liked being able to add a personal touch and to Selsey because it played a massive part in World War One and World War Two.

"At first it was stressful but painting it and everything - the whole experience was amazing."

She added: "Meeting Brian was beyond my wildest dreams."

Media student James England, 18, from Rustington, was part of a team of students who were working to make a documentary about the day's events.

He described the opportunity to take part in filming as 'absolutely fantastic' and said of the 70's rocker: "A lovely man and he was brilliant in Queen and I didn't know he was a scientist so it was lovely learning about that."

The seals will also serve a purpose in the town, providing seating, a bike rack and even a bug hotel

Over the years, Brian May has been a regular visitor to Selsey when he used to visit his friend Sir Patrick Moore.

"There's a good spirit in this town. I miss it and I miss Patrick being here of course. It was an escape from what is normal life for me. It's just a completely different world surrounded Patrick and we all miss him greatly. I'm sure we always will."