Pupils collect beach stones to create new pathway for Sunderland’s oldest building

L-R Luca Trulli, 7, Daniel Armstrong, 8, Miss Siobhan Carton, Rebecca Fowler, 8, Artist Simon Watkinson,Cllr Kelly, Scott Robson from Specialist Castings, Nathaniel Barnes, 9, Kevin Johnson, landscaping team,Madeleine Greenwell,6 and Chloe Parkin age 8.
L-R Luca Trulli, 7, Daniel Armstrong, 8, Miss Siobhan Carton, Rebecca Fowler, 8, Artist Simon Watkinson,Cllr Kelly, Scott Robson from Specialist Castings, Nathaniel Barnes, 9, Kevin Johnson, landscaping team,Madeleine Greenwell,6 and Chloe Parkin age 8.
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CHILDREN are helping to cobble together a pathway for a historic city site.

Primary School children in Sunderland are taking part in the £1million project by Sunderland City Council to landscape around St Peter’s Church, Wearmouth.

To create a cobbled pathway, youngsters from St Mary’s, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Northern Saints, Seaburn Dene and Broadway Junior Schools visited Roker beach to collect 500 pebbles and then inscribe religious or symbolic messages on them.

The idea was developed by artist Simon Watkinson, who said: “The pupils collected the cobbles from Roker Beach in red and white striped bags to add a local touch, and it also references the striped walls that lined part of the original monastery walls.”

Siobhan Carton, deputy headteacher at St Mary’s RC Primary School, said: “The children really enjoyed collecting and decorating the pebbles. The trip to the beach was good fun and they’ve put a lot of thought into the messages. We’re looking forward to visiting the church when it’s all complete to see the completed pathway.”

The redevelopment of the churchyard includes landscaping and a permanent outdoor footprint of the original Wearmouth Monastery, built in 674AD, which is where the Venerable Bede lived and studied.

The pebbles were collected from the schools and taken to Specialist Castings Ltd, Hendon, which will use them to make a mould, which will be filled with molten aluminium to create the path.