The Sandcastle Challenge


Professionals from Metnor Construction teamed up with students from Kingston Park Primary to compete against 41 schools and 30 businesses today for the annual CNE Sandcastle Challenge.

A total of 1500 children and 100 professionals supported the  Sandcastle Challenge,  a 23 year old tradition which is held by Children North East at Sandhaven Beach, South Shields. The events roots stem from 1891 when John T. Lunn, one of the charities co-founders, financed a day trip to the beach for 120 inner city children. You can read his letter to John H. Watson here.  Each year, groups of children and professionals team up to construct sandcastles based on a specific theme, this year’s was ‘Great Northern inventors’.

The pupils from Kingston Park Primary had a competition to decide on the design of their sandcastle, from which two designs were chosen and developed to create a culmination of great inventions from the North: the Lifeboat (Henry Greathead,1790) and the Lightbulb (Joseph Swan, 1879).

Our professionals allocated each pupil a certain task for the build, much like on a real site, and they set about constructing their sandcastle in a sea of Metnor High-Vis vests and white hard hats. The pupils of Kingston Park Primary school’s notable team work and good behaviour was evident in the very impressive end result.

The competition was a chance for the children to win £200 prize money for their school whilst having a fun day out playing at the beach and watching a Punch and Judy puppet show. In addition, it was a great opportunity for the children to engage with our professionals and learn about different aspects of the construction and potential careers within the industry. It also gave our professionals from Metnor a great day out of the office to give back to the local community by helping with the running of the event.