The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating its past and looking to the future – as more than 100 children from the region helped to put it among the ranks of world famous landmarks which have been recreated using LEGO®.
Thirty seven years down the track after the first Metro appeared on the network, Metro set young Master Builders to build the 91st Metrocar – the first new Metro to be built for nearly four decades – with the help of LEGO® architect BrickThis, aka Steve Mayes, at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields.
Tickets for the #BrickMetro Big Build sessions sold out in less than seven hours. As well as the children and families who helped build the 22,000-brick model, The Word has already seen nearly 9,000 visitors through its doors to come and watch the model take shape.
The finished 1:10 scale #BrickMetro LEGO® model will remain on display at The Word until Saturday 30 September. Entry to The Word is free.
LEGO® architect Steve Mayes said: “The #BrickMetro event was absolutely fantastic! The kids who came along amazed me with their skills and their determination to get their section of the Metrocar built. They seemed to get a real sense of achievement from producing a recognisable part of the train and being able to add it to the model. It’s a great example of how even a model as large and detailed as this one can still be built by kids if you break it down into sections – and give them some good instructions. I hope the memories of taking part will last them a long time, and I’m sure they will be proud to point out which part they built now that the finished model is on display.
“Thanks to everyone who came along to The Word to help out.”
Tobyn Hughes, the Managing Director of Nexus, said: “It has been great to see the excitement generated by Steve Mayes and the #BrickMetro event over the last few weeks and to see the final model is fantastic. His attention to detail is absolutely brilliant as he has included all of the features of our iconic Metrocar. The fact Steve has built part of the replica scale model with 100 children over five days is amazing. It has been a great opportunity to work with young people from around the region and hopefully some of them might be budding engineers for the future. We’ve also had the chance to talk to people about Nexus’ plans to replace the Metrocar fleet as the central part of a £1 billion investment programme over the next two decades.”
Cllr Gladys Hobson, Vice Chair of Tyne and Wear Transport Sub-committee said: “The #BrickMetro event has been a fantastic project for children in the school holidays. It’s great to see families coming from around Tyne and Wear to help build the model Metrocar, especially when many of them have travelled to The Word by Metro or ferry.
“All the children have really enjoyed taking part and the Lego model looks fantastic. It’s great the model is going on display at The Word, so people can come to see it and find out what else the venue has to offer and also have the opportunity to visit the Little Landmarks exhibition at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery where ten South Shields icons are recreated in LEGO®.”
Children can also take part in a colouring competition to win a LEGO® model train, built especially for them by Steve. The closing date for entries is Friday 18 August 2017. For more information on how to enter the colouring competition, including terms and conditions, visit: www.nexus.org.uk/metro/brickmetro