Tour build-up gathers pace across Nidderdale

Preparations are well underway across Nidderdale to prepare for the Tour de Yorkshire
Preparations are well underway across Nidderdale to prepare for the Tour de Yorkshire

Excitement is building across Nidderdale for the Tour de Yorkshire as communities come together to plan a series of unique festivities when banners and Yorkshire flags are unfurled for the arrival of the cyclists on April 29.

Businesses across Pateley Bridge are proudly displaying wooden bikes in their shop windows and outside their shops after a Chamber of Trade initiative which offered a chance for the bikes to feature the names of local shops. Live music, performers and a giant bike display will also be on hand to greet the riders as they pass through the high street.

Keith Tordoff, Chairman of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade in Pateley Bridge said:”Its something these businesses will be able to keep afterwards that the Chamber of trade put together and they will be able to continue advertising themselves afterwards.

“There will also be a 10 foot by five foot high bike that we are hoping to have on the street, although we may have to mount it to a building because of the sheer size of it.

“We have secured the services of the Dacre and Summerbridge Silver Band who will be playing on the day and we are in talks with a singer for a live performance. There will be street performers for the kids and more.

“A great banner is also going to be set up on the street to welcome the riders to Pateley Bridge when they come round the corner.”

It is hoped that the Tour de Yorkshire will leave a lasting legacy for the area, with enthusiasts following the route as in previous years.

Tim Ledbetter, owner of Sypeland Outdoors in Pateley Bridge said: “We still keep getting people coming back and cycling the last route and we want to help this to continue. Its been fantastic to see the whole town getting behind this.”

A Harrogate Borough Council grant of £510 and support from the AONB will mean students at Kell Bank Primary School in Healey will be able to produce a piece of land art, depicting a pheasant, that will be made up of children’s hands print and will be set up at the school. Joanna Swiers of the AONB said: “We wanted to help the kids celebrate that they live in this area that is so fantastic for wildlife and help raise their profile, and it is a great way for us to be involved in the preparations for the arrival of the tour.”

Headteacher Kathleen Allison said: “The children are really excited about the prospect of the Tour de Yorkshire passing in front of the school and wanted to do something to mark the occasion and celebrate the day. We hope that people will visit us on the day, and enjoy a range of activities while they wait for the races to zoom past.”

Voluntary group Nidderdale Plus is coordinating a blooming floral display for the riders when they pass it’s forecourt on the high street.

Debbie Grassam, Partnership Manager at Nidderdale Plus said: “We are planning to use our community car that we normally have our volunteers use to collect vulnerable people from isolated areas to the shops that will be placed on the forecourt near where the cyclists will be going past on the high street.

“A local florist, Swish Flowers, will be filling the boot with yellow and blue colored flowers to mark the arrival of the tour.”

Yvonne Kitchen, owner of Swish Flowers said: “The whole community is getting involved and we are working together to celebrate the tour. Debbie was mentioning ideas of how we could celebrate it and I thought this would work with the car. We are going to be using blue hydrangeas then a mix of yellow lemon chrysanthemum, sun flowers and more.”

Visitors to Summerbridge will find the village blanketed in Yorkshire flags and can look forward to a day of good food and drink.

Martin Scott, Landlord of the Flying Dutchman Inn in Summerbridge said:”The town is going to be covered in Yorkshire Flags and bikes are getting painted to put up on the front of shops. MSC Gardens have been setting up flower baskets and helping put the buntings throughout the town in the blue and yellow colors of the tour.

“Summerbridge School will be putting out food, with coffee and cakes on offer and will be decorated, and there will be a BBQ held on the day in the village itself.

“We have got some more to do but over the weekend we have people out putting up flowers in baskets to liven up the village. MM Embroidery have been putting together more hats and shirts for the day as well.

“The Parish Council should be thanked for the efforts, including Coun Tom Watson, Barry Thornton and James Thornton.”

Are you organising something special for the Tour? Email me: alexander.beard@jpress.co.uk