Tour de France 2014 - Photographs and Testimonials
"We have all had the most amazing day here in Bainbridge. Some of the local people tell me the village has never experienced anything like it before. Obviously the weather helped (eventually), and folks were fairly late to arrive which worried us a little, but we have never seen so many people on the village green by lunchtime. Two people who really made a difference were Graham and Linda from the District Council. They cleaned the village top to bottom ready for our visitors, and have spent 12 hours cleaning and bagging waste and recycling. All of the above done with a smile and good banter - true examples of public service at its best. Our thanks go to you all - we've had a ball!!"
Hazelbrow Farm, Low Row:
"How proud are we to be in the Richmondshire District Council region. We opened a pop-up campsite for the Tour de France and had the best experience possible with the help of the council's dedicated team. Absolutely epic effort especially when you take into account the fact that the whole event was a first for us all. A great big thanks from all of us."
"May we say a big thank you to all involved in the organisation of the 1st Stage of the Tour de France. My husband and I, daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren drove to Leyburn to witness the spectacle, and what a spectacle it was. We encountered no hold-ups on the well organised road network and parked on the Wensleydale Showground. Leyburn was a delight, crowds twenty deep by lunchtime, and everyone in festival humour. This was a sight that at 60+ years of age, I am unlikely to see again. Brilliant. Mr. Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire, deserves the accolades for bringing this tour to Yorkshire, but Richmondshire D.C. gets a big thumbs up from this family for putting the plans in place and making the Day a once in a lifetime experience. Well done and well done too to the Yorkshire Folk - we certainly showed them southerners what we were made of."
East Witton Community - Richard Wells:
"I want to put on record my sincere thanks to all at Richmondshire DC for their contribution to a perfect day on Saturday. Everything worked like clockwork, the crowds turned out, everyone had the most fabulous time and Yorkshire has made a marvellous impression throughout the world. It could not have gone better and you should be praised.
To give you what I consider to be a great example of what I am talking about ... at 6 o'clock this morning I was woken by one of your rubbish trucks going up the green. I quickly realised I had not moved the Tour rubbish from behind the village hall to its official collection point. I rushed out in my PJs (not a pretty sight) grabbed the first 2 of 8 bags and ran to the truck to be met by two smiling faces who said they would collect the others. They too had been overwhelmed by the events of the previous day. 'I am still buzzing' said the male member of the duo. 'We were in Bainbridge and it was a pleasure to be working', said his female counterpart. And this from two of your colleagues out working at 6am on a Sunday. What better advert for RDC and Yorkshire. Well done and thank you."
Jim Bellinger - Stage 1 Route Manager, TdF Hub 2014 Ltd:
"I'd like to congratulate all of the staff at Richmondshire District Council for their hard work and dedication during the planning, preparation and delivery of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart. It has already been said that the event was the best Grand Depart in the history of the Tour de France and you were all part of making it the success that is was. You are a credit to the people, businesses and communities that you serve. I'm pretty sure Richmondshire and Yorkshire are now well and truly on the places to visit for a great many more people around the world. It has been a pleasure working with you all over the last 8 months and I wish you all the very best for the future."
"Thank you and your staff who did such a sterling job for the weekend - we had a very successful weekend on the camp site, those who came were so excited and up for The Tour, many coming for the first time and will come again.
My family are in The Bainbridge and District Motor Club who had a food stall on Bainbridge Green. It was a great day and having the big screen after the bikes had gone through, hundreds settled to watch the rest of the race. The atmosphere was electric with everyone having such a good time.
There were two litter pickers who worked hard all day!
Just a huge thanks for the very good organisation of the event."
"I would like to thank YOU and everyone involved at the Council for all the hard work involved behind the scenes for the TDF. It was such an unknown event, you must have had the heart of a Lion to take it on. We thoroughly enjoyed watching it and the atmosphere was amazing. Congratulations and thank you again."
Tony Clark, Managing Director, Richmondshire District Council:
"When I was told that the Welcome in Yorkshire bid for the Tour de France to be staged in Yorkshire had been successful, and included a section through our District, my initial reaction was sheer delight, given that it had not been backed by Central Government which had supported the Scottish bid.
My euphoria lessoned over the following months as it became clear that winning the bid was one thing, but its delivery was something completely different, especially when it became clear what was expected of a small local authority like Richmondshire. As a Council we had never been called upon in our history to support the delivery of an event of such magnitude – the biggest free annual sporting event in the world no less.
As the weeks and months went by the scale of what was expected by ASO, the French organisers of the Tour de France, and how this filrtered its way down to the local planning processes sometimes became almost overwhelming for the small band of individuals who were pressed into supporting the event. We quickly realised that for us to stand any chance of doing ourselves justice as an organisation, we would need some assistance and appointed a Project Officer to supplement the organising staff, and established a Project Team to assist in the co-ordination of our local response and actions, which I chaired.
The six months running up to the 'Grand Départ' were extremely challenging for the small group of officers as, in many ways, the 'eyes of the world' were on Richmondshire for that few hours on Saturday 5 July – and none of us wanted to disappoint or let the rest of North Yorkshire, Yorkshire, or England down.
I worked closely with my fellow Chief Officers in Craven District Council and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and we met regularly throughout the preparatory stage to discuss how our respective Teams were working together, and to ensure that we were supporting each other and being consistent in our approaches to the numerous issues that were cropping up across 'the Dales' patch of the route. The strong relationship that clearly existed between us all led to a joking discussion about the three of us tackling the route of the event through our respective 'geographical patches', which ultimately became a bit of a challenge. I am proud to say that after a six week intensive period of training, I completed the physically demanding 48 miles of the Richmondshire section, with my work colleague Colin Dales on Monday 9 June, accompanied through the National Park by the Chief Executive of the Park Authority, David Butterworth, and Nick Cotton, one of his Members on the Authority (they didn't quite follow the spirit of the challenge as they used electric bikes to undertake the journey!)
I also attended a host of meetings held regionally in Leeds and York aimed at co-ordinating the events across both stages 1 and 2 of the route. This gave me a real insight into the magnitude of what a large element of the public sector in Yorkshire had committed in terms of time, effort and resources to delivering the event.
I did not sleep well on Friday evening before the Race, partly in anticipation of the day ahead and partly because of the large amount of rain that was falling. I had been regularly watching the weather forecast in the seven days before the Race, knowing that the biggest risk to success was bad weather.
Eventually, the day arrived and whilst I was a 'Gold Commander' for the District Council, my services were not required in any of the Regional or Local Control Centres, but I had to be contactable – just in case something really bad happened on the day! So, with some local government friends from Hull, I based myself outside the Police Station in Leyburn to share the experience of the thousands of other people drawn into the District.
It was a long wait from 7.30am until the peloton arrived at about 3.45pm, and it was over in a flash of brightly coloured lycra – 15 minutes later they had left the boundary of Richmondshire on their way to Harrogate. The crowds did not seem disappointed as like me, somewhat sun-burned and exhausted from standing all day, we made our way home. I had not been contacted throughout the day – that was good – no major incidents, I thought, and so it was, our planning and preparations had worked a treat. Why had I worried?"
"I just wanted to write to you to let you know about our wonderful time in Hawes. We came for the day to watch the tour, we couldn't believe how much Hawes had embraced the tour. Yellow banners, painted bikes it was terrific. We loved it so much we stayed the night in Hawes Youth Hostel, we genuinely didn't want to leave. As a fellow council worker here in North Wales I know compliments are rare, but the bins, road closures, signage everything was perfect. Thank you Hawes we will be visiting again!"
Image © Welcome to Yorkshire