Fun in the sun for youngsters as sandcastle contest takes place

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A beach in South Shields was turned into an exhibition of sandcastles when almost 2,000 youngsters showcased their creative talents.

The pupils, from schools across the region, were taking part in the annual Children North East school’s sandcastle challenge on Sandhaven beach.

Elizabeth Gardner from Virgin Trains North East with Nathan Scarth from Lord Blyton School

Elizabeth Gardner from Virgin Trains North East with Nathan Scarth from Lord Blyton School

The event is now in it’s 22nd year and comommorates the first trip to the seaside which the charity organised in 1891.

This year’s theme was quayside to seaside with primary school pupils of all ages being given one hour to complete their sculptures, supported by teachers and company representatives.

Carol Taylor, Children North East senior fundraiser said: “This year we are celebrating 121 years of supporting children, young people and families. The event is fun and is a way of creating an interest in the charity and for us to raise additional funds. It’s an amazing day for all.

“This year we have had around 1,800 children taking part. It’s a great turnout and it’s good way to commemorate our anniversary year.”

“The standard and the imagination of the young people is beyond what I would have thought of.

Coun Alan Smith

The event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Alan Smith and his wife Coun Moira Smith.

Coun Alan Smith: “The standard and the imagination of the young people is beyond what I would have thought of. T amount of work that has been out in. Some people have brought little diagrams with them, some came with their ideas but changed their minds half-way through.

“Forget about national curriculum, to me this is national curriculum. The children are enjoying themselves, learning new things. They have been doing projects in school bringing what they have learned in the classroom and putting it into practice at the beach - that to me is education.”

Youngster Ava Pearson from Hebburn Lakes Primary School said: “I have enjoyed it a lot.”

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.

Annual school sandcastle competition at Sandhaven beach.