With almost two weeks having passed since the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the competition is now in its midpoint in France. The effects of the competition’s visit to the North of England have certainly not departed with the tour’s passage to France. More cyclists are to be seen on the (still) bunting clad roads, which, flapping in the wind, bear a tawdry air similar to that of Christmas decorations remaining up in January.
The event was so successful in Yorkshire that other places in the UK are trying to wager for next year’s competition, including Manchester it was announced in the MEN. Thousands of people cheered on the cycling elite at the competition’s route in Rochdale, resulting in a £1 million economy boost!
It’s been a bumper year for some, especially those in tourism and hospitality. However, many small businesses reported losses, for example a garden centre business from Otley. This was not so for Lishman’s of Ilkley, a local butcher who adapted fast, making sausage and bacon butties for the excited viewers in the sunshine.
However, many Yorkshire locals are questioning ITV’s live television broadcasting of the event, as they were surprised to see adverts on their television sets when instead they expected the familiar streets of Keighley, West Yorkshire. Although, oddly Keighley’s live coverage was broadcast in several countries abroad
Many residents of Keighley had made particular effort to decorate their streets and were disappointed when their town was not featured. Enthusiastic Frank O’Dwyer had pioneered the Spartacus project, in which he collaborated with Keighley College and local schools to create 16 foot cycling figures which would have looked stunning from the aerial shots.
The word on the street is that, well, there was a word written on the street. Many have put this down as the reason Keighley were not featured on Britain’s live coverage. Although this hasn’t been verified.
Whilst doing some digging, I found a video of the live coverage of Keighley we would have seen (featuring what could possibly be some clever cuts and filming tricks to prevent the cameras from seeing the road’s surface). And Frank’s Spartacus project is visible in its full grandeur!