Saturday 5 July 2014

Tour de France in Yorkshire

The Tour de France starts today, in Leeds (Yorkshire).  The first stage ends in Harrogate (also Yorkshire), and tomorrow's stage goes from York to Sheffield via Huddersfield (all Yorkshire).  Then it goes somewhere else (not Yorkshire).

People around here, in Huddersfield, are very excited.  The tour route goes past the end of our road!  And we have a house full of people for the weekend who have come to see the Tour - three of them have gone to Leeds today to see the start, although the live broadcast shows that thousands of people have had the same idea, so I don't know how much they will actually get to see.

Walking around Huddersfield town centre during the past week or so, there have been signs of the Tour all over town.  There are random yellow bikes (real ones and cutouts) everywhere.

There is  Tour de France bunting along sections of the route and elsewhere, and the hanging baskets in the town centre are planted with yellow flowers.

Many shops have done special yellow window displays, including Spun, the yarn shop in the Byram Arcade.

And then on Thursday morning, a French farm had sprung up overnight in St George's Square, in front of the train station. The preparations obviously took months, but it was all kept secret until then.  There were piglets, sheep, some chickens and a cow, as well as French people pottering around ramshackle sheds, and vegetable plots set out on the paving, with some very strange veg in them.

Harold Wilson with baguette (+ necklace of chillies)
And in St Peter's Gardens, there was a wonderful display of sculptures made of woven willow (and bikes).

And today the sun is shining.  I hope the weather stays fine for tomorrow, when we shall go to the bottom of the road to see the peloton whizz past - that stretch is flat or slightly downhill, so they will be gone in seconds.  It will still be thrilling, though.  

French flag, blue sky, Huddersfield stone


  1. Sounds like great fun for all the towns and villages on the route - I shall be watching it on tv here in a rather cold Melbourne :)

  2. Did you know your angel photo has been picked up in a set of "29 fantastic ways Yorkshire celebrated the TdF" on Buzzfeed? Fame! Pam D.

    1. Thanks - someone else pointed that out too. I thought it was a bit unfair to call it 'weird' - they are all sort of human, sort of female, figures made of woven willow - not meant to be realistic! Having a pair of wings doesn't make that one stranger than the others.


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