Tour de France: Weird and wonderful from across the district

NADV 1407016AM1 Painted Sheep. Keith Chapman with his TDF sheep. Picture : Adrian Murray.(1407016AM1)
NADV 1407016AM1 Painted Sheep. Keith Chapman with his TDF sheep. Picture : Adrian Murray.(1407016AM1)
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Reporter Laura Hill has been out and about across all week, tracking down the district’s wackiest Tour de France preperations, and painted sheep are just the start of it.

The painted sheep seen around the world

NADV 14063012AM1 Yellow Jersey. (14063012AM)

NADV 14063012AM1 Yellow Jersey. (14063012AM)

News of the Killinghall’s efforts have spread around the world after pictures of painted sheep went viral.

“In three days we have had over 70,000 likes or shares on those pictures,” said Anna Bryer, organiser of Killinghall’s Le Tour decoration efforts, “It is huge.”

Farmer

French flowers help mark Tour

Ultimate English Rob Whitehead and Product Manager, Jane Holmes, with the jersey

Ultimate English Rob Whitehead and Product Manager, Jane Holmes, with the jersey

Over 2,500 French Marigold plants went into making this gigantic yellow jersey which sits on the side of the road near Killinghall.

Managing director of Daleside Nurseries, Stuart Townsend, said the community has rallied around the Tour de France.

“People really support of the Tour, it is a huge event, it will put Harrogate on the map,” he said.

Mr Townsend first starting planning the giant floral jersey over a year ago, and it took him around four or five hours to plant.

NADV 1406302AM1 Harrogate Grass bike. NAMES TO COME Picture : Adrian Murray. (1406302AM)

NADV 1406302AM1 Harrogate Grass bike. NAMES TO COME Picture : Adrian Murray. (1406302AM)

He said: “I knew it would have to be huge, it will only be a quick glimpse on TV.”

Since putting a photo of the jersey online last week, the image has been shared over 100,000 times.

He said: “That is an example of just how huge the Tour de France is, Harrogate will be appearing around the world.

“I didn’t expect things to snowball like this, it is fantastic what people are doing to support the Tour.”

Colin Ward at Knaresborough tourist information

Colin Ward at Knaresborough tourist information

Harrogate Water Brands

has supplied 2.5million bottles for the week of the Grand Depart, after seeing a surge in demand across the country in recent days

Royal Mail is to attempt to carry on with postal deliveries on Saturday, despite the crowds and road closures.

It has warned though that deliveries may be affected by access issues, but most delivery offices will remain open for customers to collect previosuly undelivered post.

Firm has sweet idea

A Harrogate confectioners have created a lemon jersey coconut ice to wish cycling champion Mark Cavendish good luck ahead of the Grand Départ.

NARG 1406303AM3 Ripon TDF feature. Richard Mudd (Manager of Appletons) with Tom Grange, Jim Vauvert  and Pauline Horner with their bike made from pies.(1406303AM3)

NARG 1406303AM3 Ripon TDF feature. Richard Mudd (Manager of Appletons) with Tom Grange, Jim Vauvert and Pauline Horner with their bike made from pies.(1406303AM3)

The giant sweet weighs a whopping 24lbs and took The Serious Sweet Company eight hours to create.

Ultimate English will be selling their limited edition Anglo-French rivalry range at the official Fan Park from July 3 to July 6.

Managing director of The Serious Sweet Company, behind the Ultimate English range, Rob Whitehead, said: “Hosting the first two stages of the Tour de France is a fantastic opportunity for Yorkshire to showcase all of the many things which make the region such a fantastic place and its diverse range of food and drink producers is absolutely at the heart of that.”

The giant yellow jersey coconut ice weighs a whopping 24lbs and took eight hours to create.

Engineer has his work cut out

Chief engineer at Harrogate Grass Machinery Pete Robinson has had his work cut out creating a pedal powered lawn mower ahead of the Tour de France.

Pete Robinson, chief engineer said he spent a fair few hours creating and decorating the novelty mower which sits outside the company on Ripon Road.

Partner at Harrogate Grass Machinery, Victoria Waite, said: “Absolutely everyone has got in the spirit of things round here.”

Staff brush up on their français

Staff at tourist information centres have been practising their français ahead of the Grand Départ. Colin Ward said: “People are coming from all over Europe to our area, how great is that?”

The team wanted to brush up on their skills before the French visitors started piling into the district.

Colin Ward, visitor services officer at Knaresborough Tourist Information said: “I can tell people where to go to see the yellow bikes, or jaune velo.

“The excitement is palpable now, we can feel it all around, on Monday I noticed a few foreign number plates on the roads and realised people had started to arrive.

“People are coming from all over Europe to see the race in our area, how great is that.”

Both Knaresborough and Harrogate Tourist Information Centres have extended their opening hours and will open from 8am to 8pm over the weekend.

Ripon butcher creates porky pie-cycle

One of Ripon’s oldest businesses, Appleton’s Butchers, has cooked up a creative way to celebrate the Grand Depart with a ‘pie-cycle’.

The team at Appleton’s spent hours making the display which features pork pies for wheels, belly pork for brakes and a chipolata bike chain.

Shop assistant Toni Vauvert said: “We wanted to do something fun to mark the Tour and show what we are made of here.”