Photographing Harrogate’s Tour de France

Multicultural Race. Picture by Mike Hudson. (S)

Multicultural Race. Picture by Mike Hudson. (S)

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Every aspect of the Tour de France in our district is to be captured on camera in a comprehensive project by the Harrogate Photographic Society.

The group of local photographers is working with the council to create a lasting legacy of the Grand Départ as it passes through our district in July. But these will not be typical Tour snaps.

These are to capture those everyday steps - potholes being covered, jumpers being knitted, and baguettes being baked, which will show the essence of the impact on Harrogate district.

“The Tour de France is going to have a massive impact on our district,” said committee member Graham Roberts.

“How are we going to preserve that for posterity?

“There will be lots of images - but not really about Harrogate where there are going to be huge celebrations.

“The Tour could be ‘here today and gone tomorrow’.

“We thought it would be really worthwhile for Harrogate to have something of lasting value.”

The impact on Yorkshire is to be well documented, but nothing until now has been Harrogate specific.

“This will be about everything from road works to park and ride centres, to setting up car parks at the Great Yorkshire Showground,” said Mr Roberts.

“The whole town is going to be closed off - here will be plenty of people walking but who else will be taking pictures of that?

“There’s going to be a huge grandstand outside of Hotel du Vin.

“We will be there, before it’s put up, while they’re putting it up, and taking pictures as they’re clearing it up afterwards.

“All of these things will be too easy to miss.”

The Harrogate Photographic Society, set up in 1922 and now the largest in Yorkshire, has 120 members.

More than 35 have now volunteered for the project, which started this week.

“It’s happening now,” said Mr Roberts. “The Tour preparations have begun. And we’re out capturing it.

“There’s a lot of knitting going on.

“They are now having to test the strings these little yellow jumpers will be strung upon to see if they are even strong enough to hold them.

“And by chance I met a jeweller who was thinking of creating a ‘Tour’ charm.

“There are all sorts of things that will go unnoticed, but it’s all happening in our town so let’s try and capture it.”

The race itself will form a huge part of the project, he added, but it would focus on the bigger picture.

“It’s about what people are doing as well,” he said.

“The breadth of fantastic projects going on will be wider than this. It’s more than the event itself.

“And if a group of people knitting journeys, we are interested in that.

“We are interested in everything really.”

The end project is still under discussion.

It could be an exhibition, an online archive, or even a printed book.

The society is now looking to hear from community groups, individuals and businesses who are preparing for the Tour and can help.

l Email tour@harrogatephotographicsociety.co.uk or visit www.harrogatephotographicsociety.co.uk for more information.