Eh bien, le Tour de France et disparu.
We’ve waved and cheered the riders as they sped past and now it’s time to bid farewell to the colourful windows as Hebden gradually returns to what passes for normal around here. So here is the final part of my Tour De France essay.
There’s been such a surfeit of yellow in the town that it comes as a bit of a relief to see shops using different colours.
I liked the stark graphic nature of this wallpaper on display in decorating shop, Colour Yorkshire.
By and large, the biking and outdoors shops (of which we have several in Hebden) didn’t manage very interesting displays but this dotty ‘king of the mountains’ bike in Mountain Wild was a fun exception.
Nearby boutique, Amelia featured some yellow clothing but they also explored the red and white theme with these small decals.
A glittery, glamorous bike decorated with sequins and pompoms in popular bar-cafe, Mooch.
And ‘lovely things’ shop Spirals had lots of these charming, tiny bikes handmade from recycled tin.
This blue one was my favourite.
Children’s store, The Old Treehouse always have gorgeous windows and I really liked these loosely painted, white bikes. They remind me of illustrations from children’s books and evoke the freedom of summery days spent bombing about on your bike.
This was the one window that made me miss cycling; something I can no longer do because of my ME/CFS.
The Yorkshire Soap Company are another shop who always have creative displays.
This is one of my favourite shops in Hebden; a visit there is a delight to the senses and the chaps who own it are just lovely. For the tour, they had a pink bike surrounded by wheels filled with white flowers, bunting in French colours & a selection of their tour-inspired soaps and bath bombs.
And back to yellow. One of my favourite tour-inspired projects was by the reception children from Central Street Nursery and Infant School. This was on display in the Copa House cafe. The children yarn-bombed this bike and drew a delightful picture of themselves cycling down a big Hebden Bridge hill.
Check out the details in the background with the tall terraced houses so typical of this area and all the yellow bunting. Like many artists, I love kids drawings and wish I could make art as freely and confidently as they do.
I don’t have any pictures but I can’t finish without mentioning the amazing Cragg Vale Bunting, who decided to celebrate the tour coming to Yorkshire by trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest bunting in the world. They made nearly 7 miles of bunting to hang up the Cragg Vale hill, which is the longest continuous gradient in England and heard just before the tour started that they were successful in their attempt to break the record. They had a lot of help from community groups and individuals all over the region (one lady made more than a mile of flags!).
I know several of the organisers and they’ve really worked their socks off over the last two years to make this happen. Well done everyone, what a superb achievement!
Adieu Tour de France. I hope you enjoyed Yorkshire as much as Yorkshire enjoyed playing host to you.