Metro train set to be reproduced by Lego in South Shields

Children are invited to get involved in the project.
Children are invited to get involved in the project.

Children in South Tyneside are being invited to help put the blocks in place for a special Lego project next month.

Tyne and Wear Metro is calling on young builders to help build the 91st Metrocar - the first new Metro to be built for nearly four decades - as part of a summer holiday challenge.

Steve Mayes has been building the first part of his Brick Metro in his workshop.

Steve Mayes has been building the first part of his Brick Metro in his workshop.

Children aged five to 11 are invited to The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in Market Place, South Shields, to help Lego architect Steve Mayes construct the Metrocar in his biggest challenge to date.

When completed, the scale model will become the latest landmark to be recreated using Lego.

Children are invited to sessions between Monday, August 7 and Friday, August 11, with youngsters given a section of the Metro to build, along with full instructions and assistance.

Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said: “It is fantastic that our iconic Metro trains are to be recreated in Lego.

The model will be on display at The Word.

The model will be on display at The Word.

"It puts us up there with a whole of host of world famous landmarks which have had this unique honour.

“Lego is more popular than ever, and a real icon in itself.

"This event will give youngsters the chance to get involved and play their part in immortalising the current Metrocar design that we all know and love.

"The Big Build will be fun and educational, which is ideal for the school summer holidays."

Steve Mayes has been building the first part of his Brick Metro in his workshop.

Steve Mayes has been building the first part of his Brick Metro in his workshop.

The 'Big Build' sessions will run every day at 10am and 2pm, and parents whose children would like to take part need to sign up in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brickmetro-big-public-build-tickets-35004153365

Tickets are free, but there are only limited spaces available and tickets will be limited to one session per person.

Architect Mr Mayes has recreated North East landmarks brick by brick, and has his work has been featured at the Centre for Life, in Newcastle, at the North East Lego Landmarks exhibition, held earlier this year.

He has already built Lego models of St James’s Park, the BALTIC art gallery and the Angel of the North.

He said: "My focus as a Lego architect over the past few years has been to create landmarks and icons of the North East.

"So when Metro approached me about recreating one of their Metrocars as a scale Lego model, it really appealed to me and getting the public involved in the challenge is a whole new way of working for me.

"Together with my Master Builder helpers, we’ll be creating an accurate and highly detailed model, utilising some advanced Lego building techniques that Lego fans of all ages can enjoy.

"I'm really looking forward to the Big Build in August.”

The finished LEGO® model of the Metrocar will go on display at The Word until September 30.

Tania Robinson, head of marketing and communications at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the #BrickMetro Big Build challenge at The Word this summer.

“The sessions offer youngsters a wonderful opportunity to become mini construction workers and have fun helping to build a scale model of what has become a prominent symbol of life in the North East.

“We look forward to welcoming families to get involved in the project alongside Steve Mayes.

"Once the build is complete, they will get to see their recreation of the Metrocar go on display for all our visitors to enjoy.”

Visitors to The Word will be invited to watch the build take shape, have a look at the model, find out more about the Metro Futures project including plans for a new Metro fleet and try their hand at building a Lego model of their own.

Children will also be able to take part in a colouring competition to win a Lego model train, built for them by BrickThis.

The #BrickMetro Big Build coincides with South Shields Museum and Art Gallery’s Little Landmarks exhibition this summer.

Ten South Shields buildings, recreated in miniature by local Lego builder Bricks McGee, are on display at the museum until Saturday, September 30.

The exhibition is free and includes creations of the newest cultural additions to the South Shields skyline, including The Word.