Thursday, 3 July 2014

Allez allez,ey up

A press photo of Team Sky checking out the cobbles in Haworth, prior to the start
 After the most incredible build is almost here. Le grand depart, le Tour in Yorkshire....... it begins the day after tomorrow. .
Having organised hospital check ups to coincide with the Tour de France being in Yorkshire ( another “all clear”, by the way ), I have been delighted to see the preparations for this amazing event.

It's not just Kirklees, of course, but each council area that le Tour goes through has done its own thing.....this was on paving stones in Holmfirth
Estimates vary as to how many people will be in the Calder Valley on Sunday, when stage 2 of the Tour, from York, to Sheffield, will come through Hebden Bridge, on its way to Cragg Vale ( the longest, not the steepest, continuous incline in England), into Huddersfield, south through Holmfirth, across the majestic Holme Moss and into Sheffield.

Again...not my photo, this is courtesy of a friend, Gill, showing the pop up French farm that has been set up in front of Huddersfield station

The top of Holme Moss...this will sort them out. No camping is allowed on the sides of the road, no camper van parking either. I dont think that would go down well in France....well, it would just be ignored.

Yesterday someone “reliably” informed me that 250,000 people would be in the Calder valley. Today someone told me it was more likely to be 180,000. Hebden Bridge is apparently expecting 30,000.
( There were 10,000 here for the Easter Monday duck race ( don’t ask)......and that was just about grid lock )
The canal basin in Hebden Bridge
Windows are decorated, bunting ...and world record lengths of the stuff, has been strung everywhere. Yellow bikes are attached to lamp posts, telegraph poles, cranes, sides of name it, there’ll be a yellow bike there.

This decorated telegraph pole is just outside Calderdale Royal Hospital


Knitted & crocheted coverings in Holmfirth

Sid's cafe, Holmfirth..... Last of the Summer Wine fame, suitably decked out.

Another last of the Summer Wine image....
People are smiling, people are excited, people who know nothing about bike races are learning lots of French words, like peleton and boudin.

Seen in a children's clothes shop in Hebden Bridge
 There are those who moan....about road closures, about the commercialism of it all, the potential littering that will be left by the crowds, the huge crime rate they expect will come with all these “comers in” to God’s own county  and I even saw a letter in a local paper today where someone was complaining about graffiti on the road, where fans paint riders’ names.

Well, as far as I’m, concerned, these moaning minnies should all just vacate Yorkshire until Monday and leave those of us that are thrilled about it all, to enjoy every minute.

The King of the Mountains
My own preparations have been to contribute to getting the Overgate Hospice shop suitably dressed for the occasion, visiting Holmfirth, so I could compare its displays with those in Hebden Bridge, taking quite a lot of photos, even for me ! and buying appropriate T shirts for wearing on the day.

The Overgate Hospice shop display....... I personally wrapped that bike up with strips of yellow paper !

I will of course, be blogging about the day the race came to town here in Hebden, but for now, I am just posting some images of us in Yorkshire getting ready for it all. ( I will also be posting about le depart from Carcassonne in 2 weeks time....I am so spoiled, seeing it here in Yorkshire, and then again in southern France )

No Wiggo in this year's tour, but the baptist Church in Hebden Bridge have used his image to get their message across

I dont suppose it's a Banksy.....but it's very Hebden Bridge.

Not sure ift its got anything to do with le Tour, but  as Hebden Bridge Arts festival coincides with le Tour...the town is decorated anyway.

Window displays and reflections..... a Yorkshire town looking great....good old Hebden Bridge

I love this..... millstone grit, and bunting, Hebden Bridge

This is in our living room's yellow on the outside.
and this is my favourite.... The nappy shop in Hebden Bridge...... green and environmentally friendly, of course, welcomes Le Tour.


  1. Janice this is a simply brilliant post! You capture so well the sheer uncomplicated pleasure and excitement of this unique occasion, especially for someone like me who is in France without TV. I'm crossing everything that the weather will be kind at the weekend after everyone has made so much effort to get the Tour off to an unforgettable start. May the moaning minnies be struck dumb until it's all over. :-)

    1. Sorry, I meant to say how delighted I am that you got the all clear again. I know from experience just how much that means.

    2. This "all clear" was interesting.... I wasn't worried about it at all, I just expected it. A mind shift has taken place I think, although i still cant persuade the consultant to see me less often...still on 4 monthly checkups !
      As for the tour..... I am very excited, I too, just hope the weather stays fine, or just doesn't pour with rain all day on Sunday.

  2. I can feel the excitement up in Yorkshire from down here having seen several great posts and lots of yellow bikes.
    First though, so pleased that you have been given the all clear from the hospital, great news. Very astute of you to fix the appointment at the same time as this event is taking place, enjoy it, have lots of fun, and cheer them all on their journey.

    1. Thanks Rosemary. I am hoping the weather is kind for us, so much effort has been put into making the next couple of days really special in Yorkshire.

  3. Wonderful news that you have the all clear, Janice. Every day becomes a bonus now, doesn't it? Onward and upward for both of us.
    This is the first I have heard about the Tour starting in Yorkshire, and what a fantastic time it will be for the community. I can feel the excitement in your post: the yellow bikes (cute as), the pop up French farm (what's not to love), red spots and knitted covers. So much fun for everyone and the naysayers best shut their doors and hide themselves!

    1. Yes... we're both just fighting fit, and that's the way we intend to stay !
      I am amazed that the noise Yorkshire has been making about the Tour starting here hasn't reached you just by how loud it has been ! We are all very excited...except those grouches I mentioned, and you are right, they can just stay indoors all day !

  4. Hello Janice:

    How really exciting all of this is. And how wonderful to have it all happening on your doorstep, so to speak, and to be part of all the preparations and jollity attached to this event. Some of the 'decorations' which you show are great fun and highly imaginative and, by the way, we love the idea of the pop up farm which is probably unrelated.

    So pleased that you have had another 'all clear'. We go for the six monthly check next week - fingers crossed!

    1. Thanks J&L...we are looking forward to the next couple of days, hoping it will be as good as the hype ! Good luck with next week......thinking of you.

  5. Great how everyone is joining together to make it a grand occasion, love the decorations, I'm sure it will be a huge success with everyone enjoying themselves. Wonderful news too for your all clear. Have a fantastic time xcx

  6. Good news on ;your "all clear", Janice. :)

    I absolutely love this post and all the festive preparations for the race. NIMBY's i(Not In My Back Yard) s what we call the complainers you speak of. They are often the ones that complain about everything, like those today who will complain about the 4th of July parades. What a fun weekend you will all have. The bikes, the graphics, the King of the Mountain - all delightfully. Enjoy the weekend and the race, Janice.

  7. Hi Janice,

    Great news about the all clear.

    We are excited about le grand depart in such a wonderful setting. I love the knitted and crochet covered bike in Holmfirth. We'll be looking out for you. Enjoy the days x

  8. So good to read this post and get a real feel of the atmosphere through your photos.We are away in the Lakes this week.Wish I could have seen Castle Hill illuminations through our windows at home.I did manage to see on fb some photos posted of it.

    Pleased to read of the all clear.

  9. I'm so pleased you have the all clear.
    And I have to say (as a non-sporty but arty person) West Yorkshire have beaten North Yorkshire in their creative efforts for Le Grand Depart - yours are superb. And this Minnie did try to leave Yorkshire for the weekend but a family crisis put paid to that - as they do!