Sheffield. A 15 mile loop up to Owler Bar. Snow all around. Meanwhile back down in Ecclesall churchyard it was as though Spring were on the way. All Saints, Ecclesall.
Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire (Saturday 2 May 2015) saw a rich variety of churches, bellringing and community decorations.
In the 21 photos below I share images from Bubwith, Holme on Spalding Moor, Norton on Derwent and Wetwang.
You don’t have to be a cyclist to love the Tour de Yorkshire.
Listen to church bells on BBC Radio Sheffield via the link below. (1:39:15)
In 2014, church bells took centre stage in the Tour de France Opening Ceremony and all along the race route. We now have the chance to do it all again in 2015.
The 2015 Yorkshire Festival runs from 1 April to 3 May, concluding with the Tour de Yorkshire pro-cycling race from Friday 1 May to Sunday 3 May.
Click above to listen to Rod Ismay talking to Paul Walker, live on the BBC Radio Sheffield Breakfast Show. Rod’s interview starts at 1:39:15, including a recording of Yorkshire Surprise Major. Rod’s interview is preceded by the Yorkshire Festival Director, Mark Fielding, discussing the broader festival from 1:37:50
Yorkshire bellringers who participated in the 2014 Tour de France and the 2014 Yorkshire Festival had a great time. Bells captured the imagination of the public and the media.
Now we can do it again! The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire pro cycle race takes place from Friday 1 May to Sunday 3 May 2015. We have over 40 churches with bells on the race route.
We have also been accepted in the 2015 Yorkshire Festival as an event inviting people to come along and find out more about bellringing at our practice nights.
Whether you are a bellringer reading this, or a non ringer who is interested by what is going on, please click the link below to find out more. This could be exciting …..
As the venues for the Grand Departs of the Tour de France change, so does the style of the bells.
Here’s a clip for a tower near to the start of each of the last two and next two Tours.
2013 Corsica, France
St Jean Baptiste Cathedral, Bastia
2014 Leeds, UK
Leeds Minster – nice mp3 clip of their bells (ok on computer may not appear on phone)
2015 Utrecht, Netherlands
A carillon where one person can play dozens of bells from a keyboard a little like a church organ.
2016 La Manche, France
The bells of Mont St Michel.
Welcome to Yorkshire have released some cracking films on the Yorkshire Festival website. They include great memories of the Festival and of Le Tour de France 2014.
Bells, in particular, feature in “Festival Rising” – excerpts of Sheffield Cathedral and its bells around 1min20s into the film.
I love this story of bells and bikes from Holmbridge St Davids, at the foot of Holme Moss. Wonderful. Thank you Holmbridge.
Holmbridge Le Tour
The church of St David’s Holmbridge has no particular historical features, has only one bell (? Does it have two – another one for the chiming of the quarters??) and isn’t on anyone’s list of churches to visit, but last weekend, it was happy to show off its modest glories!
Their position on a tight bend at the very foot of the Holme Moss climb, meant that the church, and the cricket club and pub of Holmbridge were well placed to join together to provide hospitality to visitors and locals alike.
A last minute comment in an email from Welcome to Yorkshire, mentioning something about bells ringing on the Thursday evening at the end the end of the Welcome ceremony in Leeds led one of the St David’s to investigate further and make contact with Rod Ismay. Although we soon found that Rod’s plans were based around churches with full peals (? Terminology), we didn’t want to miss out.
With minutes to go, there were just a handful of people, but a crowd appeared from all corners, including the local scout troup – fully uniformed and on bikes, all with bells! So at the appointed hour, the church bell was joined by bikes and bells, grannies with cowbells, teachers with school bells all making a joyful noise (or deafening racket depending on your viewpoint!). The kids’ favourite was a very old handbell without a clapper, which when hit with a wooden spoon, literally left your ears ringing! Cyclists on their way up Holme Moss, dog walkers and even the bus stopped to see what was going on. Two minutes ringing, then it was all over and we dispersed for bike rides, to the pub or over to the cricket field for a run around. It was a fun and fitting way to begin the festivities for Le Tour.
For the weekend itself, St David’s provided many visitors with a welcome repose from the crowds and sustenance for the soul in a wonderful labyrinth – an exhibition that reflected on the journey of life. We also offered hospitality in the way of indoor camping and breakfasts in the hall, parking for campervans and cars and the usual best of English church tea and cake in the church itself.
Holmbridge Cricket club provided beer and hogroasts as well as large screen to watch as the race continued up over Holme Moss into Derbyshire. The Bridge Pub also had live music all weekend, and a viewing platform.
When to ring the bell? Tourmakers told us to watch for the red official car followed by a gendarmes, so the bell was rung again, welcomed by a loud cheer from the assembled crowd. The noise of helicopters overhead signalled they were here and the bellringer rushed out just in time to see the leader…..
What a weekend – and a great community event. We raised nearly £2000 for some urgent tower repairs and a donation to our partner charity, the Memusi Foundation
St Martin’s Coney Street rang out for the start of Stage 2 of Le Tour de France 2014. Watch and listen via the rooftop clip below.
The bells were played by hammers as the ringers watched the cyclists pass by. The crowds looked up at us and the TV helicopters looked down on us.
The church hosted an Open Day all day – loads of people came along to have a go at bellringing, to enjoy the wonderful refreshments and quite simply for another really welcoming part of a great day.
“Venez ici si vous voulez essayez le bellringing. Join us to ring for Le Tour de France at le Yorkshire Festival @YFest2014 #bepartofit maintenant. Allez allez allez”
Latest bellringing news – radio and TV
BBC Look North reported on the Opening Ceremony in their late night bulletin. Their coverage included Gary Verity’s reference to ringers in his hosts speech. In this news piece, BBC camera crew had filmed the Leeds Minster band ringing at the designated welcoming time of 8.20pm on the 3rd of July.
BBC Radio York. Earlier in the day, Martin Davies (Ringing Master of Ripon Cathedral) was interviewed on the Elly Fiorentini drive time show. Martin’s interview starts at around 1:35:30 on the player.
And of course, bellringing at Cawthorne, Masham, Chapel Allerton and Ossett was seen by over 10,000 people in the Opening Ceremony itself at the Leeds FD Arena. In the actual broadcast, a number of sections had to be reduced and bellringing was not therefore in the final broadcast on the evening. However, we will enquire as to whether, how and where the whole ceremony film may be shared.
“My greatest thanks for tonight is deserved for every man, woman and child who supported, encouraged and believed in our dream. As I speak, 600 bell ringers across 60 churches across the county are ringing hundreds of bells in celebration of this moment, in itself an inspirational example of what we can achieve together.
“I am certain that thousands of young people across the UK will be inspired by the champions of cycling this weekend.
“This is our destiny – you are part of history – vive la Yorkshire vive la Tour de France.”
The Tour de France riders were presented to the world’s media and to a crowd of over 10,000 in the Arena.
Bands played including Embrace, Alistair Griffin & Kimberley Walsh, Opera North and Hope & Social.
Every day folk across the county had their say on film “Bienvenue a Yorkshire”.
And the event reached a climax with an absolutely enormous standing ovation for Gary. Bigger even than the cheers for any of the cyclists. Well, we were in Yorkshire after all. A big warm welcome to everyone, but a rapturous cheer for the man whose idea and energy made this whole thing possible.
Massive thank you to ITV Calendar for filming with us – Simon, our cameraman, even started to learn bellringing. Brian never lets any into Cawthorne without a lesson on the bells.
Now, for the race. And, ahem, some bellringing. Look to…. Trebles going… #bepartofit @YFest2014 @LeTourYorkshire @LeTour