Harrogate Tour de France murals fetch £50,000

Tour de France murals on the side of The Factory, on Victoria Avenue. (S)
Tour de France murals on the side of The Factory, on Victoria Avenue. (S)

Murals of some of the world’s best loved cycling heroes that were fixed to the side of The Factory on Victoria Avenue have raised £50,000 for two Yorkshire charities.

The artworks, by James Straffon, were displayed during the Grand Depart and were commissioned by interior design company the Stephen Neall Group at the company’s Poliform North building.

Featuring Harry Binns, Tommy Simpson, Brian Robinson, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Eddy Merckx, and Fausto Coppi, the murals were auctioned and bought by Dransfield Properties Ltd. The company will display the artwork at their Fox Valley development in Sheffield when it opens in spring 2016.

Before they could be delivered, director of The Stephen Neall Group Stephen Gee, went on a 1,760 mile journey to get them autographed by the cyclists, going as far as Ghent in Belgium where Mark Cavendish signed his mural.

The £50,000 raised will be split between The Dave Rayner Fund and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Stephen said: “We were set the challenge by Mark Dransfield to get the murals signed by each surviving or current cyclist which was a logistical challenge in itself when you consider the shape and size of the pieces.

“It really has been a fantastic journey to have been on and to sit down and meet these cycling legends and explain what we are doing has been an amazing experience.”