Not quite one million pebbles

Through The Ranger’s inbox this week came an appeal from a visitor to Southsea Beach, Hampshire. A gentleman was on the beach with his granddaughter when the young lady found a curious pebble.

This intriguing object was the cause of much electronic debate up and down the Solent, as it was passed around the Solent Forum. A mystery to be sure – a seemingly normal pebble bearing a stamped number. Eventually, some clever Solent Forumer unearthed a link to an arts project which started around about 1998 called One Million Pebbles. Artist Pete Codling undertook a city wide art project in Portsmouth, making clay pebbles with the public. They were personalised, number stamped and fired in a kiln. Then they were thrown into the sea at Southsea beach for others to find in the future… evidently that bit of it works. Pete Codling said on his website in 2005:

I have reached half a million so far.

It’s not clear whether or not Pete is still making the pebbles (he is – see below), but what a nice idea, and an interesting puzzle for a child on the beach, her grandfather, and a host of bored local government officers. Update: Pete Codling reads The Ranger’s Blog – see his comments below.

69 thoughts on “Not quite one million pebbles

  • 22nd July, 2019 at 6:04 pm
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    I found a stone, 379246.. out walking the dog with my wife& daughter… Hayling Island along from the ferry boat pub…. just wondering if it’s the first one to travel that far?????
    Stu

    Reply
  • 25th March, 2018 at 4:40 pm
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    My 8 year old daughter just found one on Stokes Bay in Gosport! Number 200225. She’s very happy to have solved the mystery of where it came from.

    Reply
  • 17th December, 2017 at 12:45 pm
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    32226 found 16/12/2017 at Stokes Bay

    Reply
  • 14th June, 2017 at 8:34 pm
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    Billy

    235480 with smiley face found today 14/01/17 by on the beach by the Pyramids!

    Reply
  • 6th October, 2016 at 5:05 pm
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    Found pebble number 006897 on Wednesday 5th Oct 2016 at the southsea beach.

    Reply
  • 18th September, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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    17th September 2016 we found pebble 200170 at stokes bay

    Reply
  • 10th August, 2016 at 6:09 pm
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    Found pebble number 398443 on the 9th August 2016 on Southsea beach.

    Reply
  • 2nd May, 2016 at 7:25 pm
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    2/5/2016,while walking on southsea beach with my daughter i found pebble number 014545 my daughter found it quit amazing and after googling it i found these comments a truly ingenious idea..

    Reply
  • 16th March, 2016 at 6:20 pm
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    We found number 436610. It’ll be flying home to Scotland with us

    Reply
  • 5th July, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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    Are they worth any money?

    Reply
  • 25th May, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    Just found 195856 on southsea beach 25/05/2015

    Reply
  • 8th May, 2015 at 6:22 pm
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    Found stone 020075 yesterday (07/05/2015)

    Reply
  • 22nd March, 2015 at 5:56 pm
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    Hello we found pebble number 382647 on Southsea beach today near the pyramid buildings. My son was happy with his find and what an amazing project we discovered when looked it up online.

    Reply
  • 13th July, 2014 at 7:16 pm
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    We have found two of the pebbles on Southsea beach in the last 18 months numbers 283028 and 301804. This was a great surprise as both my daughters and I were part of the project and we each made our own pebble. It would be good to find our own pebbles but as it was so long ago we can’t remember what design we did on them 🙂

    Reply
  • 16th June, 2014 at 11:52 am
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    I have 2 pebbles on the beach about 18 months apart! Years ago. Couldnt find anything about them until now. 419086 and275619. Not sure about last no.as stone is spotty and hard to read!

    Reply
  • 8th April, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    i have found pebble numbered 312421 with a smiley face on the back.

    Reply

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