Seaside fun for youngsters as annual sandcastle competition is held in South Shields

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.
Patron Tim Healy
Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition. Patron Tim Healy
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It was buckets and spades at the ready as more than 1,500 youngsters took part in South Tyneside’s annual sandcastle competition.

The event, now in its 24th year, is organised by the charity Children North East and attracts primary schools from across the region.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.
Westoe Crown Primary pupil Olly Carr

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition. Westoe Crown Primary pupil Olly Carr

The lack of sunshine failed to stop the beaming smiles of youngsters as they ran back and forth to the sea for water in which to create their masterpieces.

Youngsters had one hour in which to complete their sculptures. This year’s theme was North East inventors.

The event was supported by local business and Northumbria Police’s Cadets.

Higher level teaching assistant at Westoe Crown Primary, Deborah Peacock, said: “The pupils have been so enthusiastic and enthralled with this project.

“The designs are fantastic. You can tell they have really put time and effort into their plans.”

Coun Olive Punchion

“They have all been taking part in research ahead of the day and have played to their strengths by taking on various roles, including builders, water carriers and designers.”

Westoe Crown Primary School pupil, Maisie Gallant, seven, said: “It has been exciting. I have been running up and down carrying buckets of water and helping with the cannon ball. I’ve been having lots of fun.”

Each sandcastle is marked by a team of judges, which included the charity’s patron actor Tim Healy. Winning schools are awarded £200.

Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, who attended the event alongside Mayoress Mary French said: “It’s great to see the kids coming down to the beach and enjoying themselves.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

“The designs are fantastic. You can tell they have really put time and effort into their plans.”

Alex Wells from Robertson Facilities Management, one of the businesses supporting the event, said: ““We have all been impressed by the preparation the pupils have put in. They have worked really hard. It’s great to see the ideas they had in the classroom being made a reality.”

Gail Williamson, Year 3 teacher at Cleadon C of E Academy said: “The pupils were quite impressed with how many inventions have been created in the North East.

“It’s been a great project and it’s enabled those who may not be that academic but are great in other areas like art, a chance to shine.”

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Winners were: Beacon Hill Primary School, Cramlington; Holystone Primary School, North Tyneside; St Mary Magdalen Primary, Seaham, Westoe Crown Primary School and St Oswald’s RC Primary School, both South Shields.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.

Annual Sandhaven Beach sandcastle competition.