Tour de France: Knaresborough is Yorkshire’s best dressed town

NAKP 1406301AM13 Knaresborough TDF feature. The Mayor of Knaresborough Tony Hadley. Picture : Adrian Murray (1406301AM13)
NAKP 1406301AM13 Knaresborough TDF feature. The Mayor of Knaresborough Tony Hadley. Picture : Adrian Murray (1406301AM13)
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It should not be a surprise to anyone that Knaresborough has been named as the best dressed town in Yorkshire ahead of the Tour de France.

Almost every shop in the town has hung up bunting and the Mayor of Knaresborough has gone completely dotty for the Tour, covering his house in the King of the Mountain spots.

NAKP 1406301AM10 Knaresborough TDF feature. (1406301AM10)

NAKP 1406301AM10 Knaresborough TDF feature. (1406301AM10)

Mayor Tony Handley has been working tirelessly with the volunteers in the Le Tour Knaresborough group which has brought the excitement of the Tour de France to town.

“It’s fab it really is. It has been a town effort. The reaction from people visiting town has been great. Everywhere I have looked, somebody, somewhere has been taking a picture.”

Andy Grinter, owner of Art in the Mill and Le Tour Knaresborough stalwart said: “It really makes you appreciate having independent shops, and what they can do to make the place look good.”

His wife Elaine added: “Everything you see has been the people of Knaresborough doing it for the people of Knaresborough. It is a huge undertaking, but we love to decorate and have a good time here in Knaresborough, just look at the Bed Race.”

NAKP 1406301AM11 Knaresborough TDF feature. Andrew Grinter  and Elaine Grinter of Art in the Mill. (1406301AM11)

NAKP 1406301AM11 Knaresborough TDF feature. Andrew Grinter and Elaine Grinter of Art in the Mill. (1406301AM11)

Sisters Hazel Bennett and Brenda Dawson have been dubbed ‘the bunting ladies’ after the duo whipped up yards and yard of Tour de France bunting for businesses in Knaresborough and beyond.

Brenda said: “We must have made over two miles of the stuff! We’ve had so many orders, it has gone crazy.”

Hazel added: “It is not just businesses, people are decorating their houses too.”

Cloud 99 in Knaresborough have been selling yellow cycle vinyls which can be spotted on shop windows across the town. Scott Butcher said: “I didn’t expect Knaresborough to look as amazing as it does. With all the yellow it just looks fantastic.”

NAKP 1406301AM12 Knaresborough TDF feature. the Mayor of Knaresborough Tony Hadley with The Mayorees Lori Hadley and Amy Gould. (1406301AM12)

NAKP 1406301AM12 Knaresborough TDF feature. the Mayor of Knaresborough Tony Hadley with The Mayorees Lori Hadley and Amy Gould. (1406301AM12)

Jo Newton, owner of Bojangles salon said: “My husband is a massive cycle fan so I have been hearing about it for months. I think the Tour de France is great and it has really brought businesses together.”

Beverly Cavanagh from Zig Zag gift shop added: “Hopefully this will bring more awareness to Knaresborough. The Tour could really put Knaresborough on the map and bring in more visitors.”

Alexandria Macleod from Giraffe boutique on the Market Place has painted yellow dots on the shop’s front.

“We had put the bunting up a whole ago and I was starting to get a bit bored and wanted something else. After we saw Tony’s house I though we might as well join him and I got the paint out!

NAKP 1406301AM2 Knaresborough TDF feature. (1406301AM2)

NAKP 1406301AM2 Knaresborough TDF feature. (1406301AM2)

“I grew up in France so we know how big it is, it is just marvellous.”

Giraffe will be serving Pimms and cocktails out in the Market Place where a a Foodie Festival will take place.

Harvey Nichols will roll into Knaresborough in a vintage french Citroën van, pulling up at the Castle top spectator hub to serve prosecco, cocktails and strawberries and cream.

John Clark, owner of Picallili deli on the High Street has helped organise the street food festival. He said: “We are thrilled we have got Harvey Nichs coming. People are getting excited now. We have made sure to have lots of different food stalls on offer, there will be something fore everyone.”

The Castle top is set to become a spectator hub with capacity for 4,000 people, views of the race and big screens showing all the action.

NAKP 1406301AM4 Knaresborough TDF feature. Hazel Bennett and Brenda Dawson.(1406301AM4)

NAKP 1406301AM4 Knaresborough TDF feature. Hazel Bennett and Brenda Dawson.(1406301AM4)

NAKP 1406301AM5 Knaresborough TDF feature. Andrew Willougby and Blind Jack.  (1406301AM5)

NAKP 1406301AM5 Knaresborough TDF feature. Andrew Willougby and Blind Jack. (1406301AM5)