1. ITV Report

Locals work with Lego architect to make model Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro is building a new carriage made out of Lego in South Shields.

Specialist Lego architect Steve Mayes is laying the bricks at The Word, with the help of local families and children in his biggest challenge to date to help complete a a scale model of one of the current Metrocars to celebrate Metro’s history in Tyne and Wear.

Steve Mayes with his Lego model of a Metro

It will be the first Metro cart to be built in four decades, before going on display. The first Metro appeared on this network thirty-seven years ago.

It will put the Tyne and Wear Metro among the ranks of world famous landmarks which have been recreated using Lego.

Steve has already made a part of the model, and this week - from 7th to 11th August - will be joined by locals to create the rest.

Inside the Metro model

Visitors to the event taking place at the National Centre for the Written Word will be able to watch the build take shape, look at the model, find out more about the Metro Futures project including plans for a new Metro fleet, and try their hand at building a Lego model of their own.

The finished Lego model of the Metrocar will go on display at The Word until 30th September.

Steve Mayes has taken his childhood hobby and turned it into a business, using the famous coloured building blocks to recreate North East landmarks, brick by brick.

His work has featured at the Centre for Life in Newcastle at the North East Lego Landmarks exhibition, held earlier in the year. Steve has already built Lego models of St James’ Park, the Baltic art gallery, the Angel of the North and his North Shields home. He said:

"My focus as a LEGO® Architect over the past few years has been to create landmarks and icons of the North East. So when Metro approached me about recreating one of their Metrocars as a scale LEGO® model, it really appealed to me and getting the public involved in the challenge is a whole new way of working for me.

"Together with my Master Builder helpers we’ll be creating an accurate and highly detailed model, utilising some advanced LEGO® building techniques that LEGO® fans of all ages can enjoy. I'm really looking forward to the Big Build.”

– Steve Mayes
Lego Metro

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is very excited to see that its Metro trains are joining with the many other famous local and world landmarks which have been built out of Lego. Tobyn Hughes, the Managing Director of Nexus, said:

“It is fantastic that our iconic Metro trains are to be recreated in LEGO®, it puts us up there with a whole of host of world famous landmarks which have had this unique honour.

“LEGO® is more popular than ever, and a real icon in itself. This event will give youngsters the chance to get involved and play their part in immortalising the current Metrocar design that we all know and love. The Big Build will be fun and educational, which is ideal for the school summer holidays.

"Nexus is seeking to replace the Metrocar fleet as the central part of a £1billion investment programme over the next two decades. A detailed business case for has been presented to the Department for Transport (DfT).”

– Tobyn Hughes

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Communications at South Tyneside Council, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting the #BrickMetro Big Build challenge at The Word this summer.

“The sessions offer youngsters a wonderful opportunity to become mini construction workers and have fun helping to build a scale model of what has become a prominent symbol of life in the North East.

“We look forward to welcoming families to get involved in the project alongside Steve Mayes. Once the build is complete, they will get to see their recreation of the Metrocar go on display for all our visitors to enjoy.”

– Tania Robinson

The #BrickMetro Big Build coincides with South Shields Museum Art Gallery’s Little Landmarks exhibition this summer. Ten South Shields buildings, recreated in miniature by local LEGO® builder Bricks McGee are on display at the museum.