SOUTH Tyneside sun seekers were quick to rise and shine to make the most of the final bank holiday of the year.
Bumper crowds flocked to the borough’s beaches and fairground yesterday, and got beside the seaside for a day of summer fun.
Soaring temperatures saw roads jam-packed with cars making their way to a host of attractions in South Shields.
Car parks throughout the town were crammed before midday, with traffic building up through the afternoon.
Ocean Beach Pleasure Park proved a big hit with all ages keen to start the week with an adrenalin rush on one of an assortment of rides.
Fairground operator Michael Sheeran said: “We’ve had a good turnout. It helps that it has been such a beautiful day.
“We’ve had a better bank holiday than we had last year. We are open until Bonfire Night in November, so we are hoping to stay busy.”
Taking in all the rides can prove hungry work – and business was brisk for the Seaview Cafe.
Staff were kept busy dishing out tasty seaside treats, including mouthwatering fish and chips, for customers.
The cafe, based at the fairground, had a line of diners queuing to get inside during the sun-packed day.
Manager Louisa Smith said: “It’s been a good day. The sun shining always brings people out.
“We’ve had a good weekend, as we had loads of people coming down on Sunday for the Soundwaves concert.
“Many of them came down here to eat before the concert started.”
Away from the frenzied fun of the fair, lots of families headed down to the beach for a spot of quiet.
Many came from beyond the borough to enjoy the delights of Littlehaven Beach.
Peter Davies, 44, and daughter Ashley Davies, 21, enjoyed a walk at the beach with their boxer dog Jake.
They make the trip to the beauty spot regularly from their home in Stanley, and headed down early in a bid to beat the crowds.
Mr Davies said: “We come here quite regularly to walk Jake.
“We came here a little bit early today with it being the bank holiday.
“It’s been a good day with the weather being so nice.”
They were joined by a number of families topping up their tans in the late summer sunshine and enjoying a soothing dip in the sea.
Youngsters built sandcastles and played on the beach on an idyllic last bank holiday date of the summer.