Young Cromer entrepreneur and his sea shell business

A young North Norfolk schoolboy is making his mark in the business world with his sea shell venture.

Alfred Riddell, 10, has already been helping raise money for Comic Relief with special red nose shells, now is he looking to have an Easter range and others for special occasions, such as Mother's Day.

Alfred, who goes to Beeston Hall School in West Runton and lives in Cromer, has been using what he finds on the beach, including shells and bits of driftwood, to make his own unique characters. He has been selling them in art gallery and shop The Garden House, Cromer for nearly a year.

He first started collecting shells and pieces of driftwood from the beach two years ago when he lived with his family in Essex.

He said: 'I loved to go on the beach collecting shells and driftwood, but after a while it got a little bit boring and I wanted to excite it up a bit, so I put eyes on the shells and gave them legs and arms.'

Mum Joanna, 40, said; 'He started making the shell characters at home and they were all over the house, so he started selling them outside on a little table and people stopped to buy them.'

The family moved to Norfolk last year, and Alfred continued collecting shells and making his creations, this time asking the owner of The Garden House if he could display and sell his characters there, and they agreed.

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His mum said: 'We did not think for a minute they would sell as well as they did. He spends evenings doing them when he comes in from school; he comes up with an idea and he wants to do them instantly.'

Alfred's next idea is to create a range of themed shell characters and cards using the shells he collects.

The Garden House will be holding a Junior Art Space Exhibition from Saturday, May 7 to Sunday, May 15. They are looking for youngsters to display their paintings, craft work photography or jewellery. The event is open to children in school years five to nine.

l Call the shop on 01263 511234, or by email at