Sandcastle competition in Old Hunstanton attracts young and old alike, plus a few dogs

Scenes from the 2016 RNLI Sandcastle competiton on Hunstanton Beach. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the 2016 RNLI Sandcastle competiton on Hunstanton Beach. Picture: Matthew Usher.

It's an annual treat that mums and dads love taking part in just as much as toddlers.

Scenes from the 2016 RNLI Sandcastle competiton on Hunstanton Beach - Winner Jack Joyce (10) jumps f

Scenes from the 2016 RNLI Sandcastle competiton on Hunstanton Beach - Winner Jack Joyce (10) jumps for joy. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Old Hunstanton RNLI sandcastle competition is held every August, the date depending on the tides, and raises awareness of the work the Hunstanton lifeboat carries out. It also gives holidaymakers and locals the chance to spend some quality time with loved ones, while lapping up the sun's rays.

Yesterday's? event attracted about 80 competitors, who each had 45 minutes to build their sandcastles.

They were cheered on by beachgoers and passers-by, with several dogs watching on. Onlookers included Margaret Bullen, president of Hunstanton Lifeboat Guild, which raises money for the RNLI.

Competitors could use anything they found on the beach, including shells, feathers and stones, to decorate their entries.


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And one young lad had even brought along a paper plan of what his masterpiece was going to look like.

Sandcastle entries included volcanoes, squid, octopuses, heart-shaped love symbols, lifeboats, and castles, and winners were announced for three age groups – from two to seven, up to 12, and 12-plus.

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The standard of entries made it a tough job for Stormy Stan, the RNLI mascot, to pick the winners.

The youngest winner was Mae Fleming, four, who was helped by her mother Nicola Fleming, who said: 'She likes stones and feathers.'

They were from London but staying with relations in Old Hunstanton.

The middle group was won by Freya, 11, and Keira Herring, seven, from Romford, who were also staying with relations in Norfolk.

And the 12-plus category was won by Jack Joyce, 10, and sister Grace Brown, 12, from Leicester, who were staying with relatives in Stanhoe.

The winners received vouchers for the RNLI shop.

Andy Carr, Hunstanton boathouse attendant, said: 'The competition gives children a bit of fun on the beach, and it's also about education, and our respect the water campaign, as we are trying to reduce the number of drownings.

'Before it starts, RNLI volunteers come down and mark out the squares for the participants to build their sandcastles on.

'Some of the competitors come year after year.'

What special event are you holding to keep everyone happy on the beaches this summer? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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