HUNDREDS of school children flocked to South Tyneside yesterday to take part in an annual sandcastle challenge.
The event, which was organised by charity Children North East, took place on Sandhaven Beach, South Shields, and had a Great North Run theme.
Imaginative youngsters formed 124 teams to create their works of art in an hour.
North-East actor Tim Healy went along to judge their efforts and the winner will be revealed next week.
The Auf Wiedersehen Pet star said: “I’ve seen some very good efforts so far, there’s a lot of imagination being used.
“I think it’s wonderful so many children have got involved with the challenge and it makes a change to see them playing in the sand instead of on mobile phones.”
Youngsters from Simonside Primary School in Glasgow Road, Jarrow, were aiming to defend their winner’s title from last year.
They had four teams entered into the challenge.
Emma Lowe, Year 1 class teacher, said: “Last year we won with our creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
“This year we have made a medal and three versions of the run’s route. So we’ve came along to try and defend our title.”
Jessica Emms and her fellow Year 4 classmates from Mortimer Primary School in Reading Road, South Shields, decided to make the Tyne Bridge out of sand.
She said: “We’re trying to make the bridge that the runners cross, it’s going quite well and I think we have a good chance of winning.”
Year 6 pupils at Lord Blyton Primary in Wenlock Road, South Shields, used images of themselves in their creation.
Joe Vassallo, 11, said: “We thought we’d make the Angel of The North and then have little cut-out pictures of ourselves running along between the sandcastles. We came up with the idea in class.”
The winners will be announced on Friday at a Sandcastle Ball in Newcastle, which will be hosted by the charity which helps disadvantaged youngsters and their parents.