Birstall shines during Tour de Yorkshire as community bounces back from darkest day

Tour de Yorkshire 2017 (Stage 3), Birstall. Photographer: Andrew Bellis

Tour de Yorkshire 2017 (Stage 3), Birstall. Photographer: Andrew Bellis

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SWATHES of spectators lined the streets of Birstall for the Tour’s final stage to shine a positive light on the town, less than a year on from its darkest day.

Among the thousands crammed into the market town’s narrow streets was Kim Leadbeater, sister of the late MP Jo Cox.

Kim Leadbeater - sister to Jo Cox MP - during the More in Common community event. PIC: Andrew Bellis

Kim Leadbeater - sister to Jo Cox MP - during the More in Common community event. PIC: Andrew Bellis

Last June, Mrs Cox was murdered outside Birstall Library to bring unwanted national exposure to this small corner of Kirklees.

Yesterday however, there was a positive reason for Birstall to be in the headlines.

Its narrow streets were packed to the rafters with all sections of the community and poignantly, the location of that fateful incident last June was the epicentre of the huge crowds.

Tracy Brabin, who replaced Mrs Cox as Batley and Spen MP, was also in attendance on the day.

She said the turnout and subsequent noise created will help bring positivity to a town that is in much need of a boost.

She said: “It was an amazing day and so positive.

“What pleased me was seeing so many cross-sections of the community out in force for a memorable event.”

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