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Sandbuilding Competition
Saint Brévin l'Océan
Loire Atlantique - France

In 1963 I went to stay with a family in St. Brévin l'Océan in the Loire Atlantique Départment of France. St Brévin was a seaside area where many rich French families spend the summer months. My job was to look after 4 young lads ranging in age from 9 to 15 years and teach them English, tennis and sailing.

Whatever about me teaching them anything, I learned a lot while I was there. One of the things which fascinated me most was the sandbuilding competition, which was sponsored by Michelin, then the premier French tyre company.

I can't now remember what the prizes where, though I did get a free "Michelin Man" keyring puzzle for turning up, but the competition drew a huge entry.

Contestants got to work early in the morning as construction and judging all had to be finished before the tide came in and sadly obliterated works of tremendous creativity.

The competition was for children but the quality of what was produced would do any adult proud.

Some time is taken up getting the basic shape.

Left is the start of Abu Simbel on the Nile.

This was created by François, a cousin of the family I was with.

On the right is an almost finished Cathedral spire. At this remove I'm not sure which one.

In the background are what may be an abandoned effort at an Eiffel Tower and a rather basic Arc de Triomphe.

Below are some of the finished works, which include Abu Simbel, the Roman Colliseum and a French Chateau.

Compare the sand model with a picture of the Actual Abu Simbel.
A more extensive feature by Pip Wilson is here.
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