Ripon unveils new knitting project after huge success of poppy displays
Ripon has unveiled a new city-wide knitting project to welcome the UCI Road World Championships, following hot on the heels of Ripon's hugely successful knitted poppy displays to mark the First World War centenary.
Residents are already beavering away to knit miniature rainbow jerseys ahead of the championships arriving next year, where the city will take centre stage for the men's under-23 individual time trial and the women's elite individual time trial.
More than 55,000 knitted poppies lined the route for Remembrance this year, and the project galvanised residents of all ages to get involved and commemorate the First World War.
Now, Moonglu cycle shop on Blossomgate is inviting the city to knit rainbow jerseys and make Ripon stand out as a centre for cycling.
The owner of the shop, Neil Dunkley, told the 'Gazette: "Ever since we put the idea out there, it's all gone a bit crazy. We've actually had more people coming into our shop to ask for knitting patterns than customers. We are going to end up being known as a city of knitters."
Neil's mother was heavily involved in knitting poppies to mark the First World War centenary. Neil said he was completely blown away by the efforts of thousands of Ripon residents, and he hopes that the extraordinary community spirit shown this year will continue when it comes to the UCI.
He said: "I have lived in Ripon all my life, and I had never seen anything like the poppy project - the feeling throughout the city, the community spirit, it was wonderful. The city has been a focal point for Yorkshire, it was brilliantly done. And I was staggered by how poppies people individually knitted.
"Moonglu Cycling Club is very excited about the championships, we are planning events and thinking about what we are going to do for it. And we would hope to see visitors coming from all over the world to see the championships coming through Ripon."
Initial plans include decorating shop windows with the jerseys, and lining the routes coming into the city.
The men’s under-23 individual time trial and the women’s elite individual time trial will start in Ripon on September 24, and already there has been talk of how much the championships will boost the city’s economy.