Oh they do like to be beside the seaside

Little Ethan Meecham, 20 months, has fun making sandcastles at the Kettering by the Sea event
Little Ethan Meecham, 20 months, has fun making sandcastles at the Kettering by the Sea event

When the sun comes out there’s nowhere better than the seaside and in Kettering hundreds of youngsters didn’t have far to go to make sandcastles and for water fun.

In the first four hours of the free Kettering by the Sea event in the town centre on Saturday (July 21) 500 children and their parents had enjoyed activities put on by the borough council.

The summer fun will run Monday to Saturday, from 10am until 4pm, until August 18.

Ian Kirtley, partnerships manager at Kettering Council, said: “We had a fantastic turnout for the first day and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

“People came at 10 in the morning and they were planning on staying all day.

“This is the ninth Kettering by the Sea event and this year it’s running for four weeks instead of two. It’s going to be the best so far.

“We’ve had lots of support from the community and local businesses and we’ve got a whole host of great events planned for youngsters.”

Tonnes of sand were transported to the town centre to turn the Market Place into a huge sandpit and there was fun for children who made a splash in the water fountains.

Ice cream and burgers were on sale and the Rotary Club had a craft stall.

Youngsters took part in a variety of games and zumba sessions and there were prizes of swimming and music lessons to be won in an air guitar competition. Later there was live music from local band Fascination.

Market Harborough Building Society donated dozens of buckets and spades for youngsters to build sandcastles and they were given them to take home.

Nina Meecham, of Thrush Lane, Wellingborough, travelled to Kettering with her children Ethan, 20 months, Andrew, nine and Matthew, seven, to spend the day at the event.

She said: “The children had great fun. It really was just like having a day at the seaside.”

Other attractions for the coming week include a visit by the Northampton Saints’ mascot Bernie on Monday, London Science Museum on Tuesday, Pantomime fun with Altered Ego on Wednesday and Olympic fun and games on Friday.

On Saturday there will be an urban beach volleyball competition.

On other dates during the summer there will be Punch and Judy shows and visits by the National Space Centre in Leicester and West Lodge Farm Park, Desborough, which will be taking along some of their animals.

There will also be craft sessions in Kettering Museum, a traditional helter skelter and dance shows.

Mr Kirtley said: “We’re hoping for a good turnout for the volleyball tournament on Saturday as this is a new event. We want everyone to come along and have some fun.”