April 29 Letters: Raising a toast as pub gets in the Tour spirit

From: Simon Bray, Wheatlands Road East, Harrogate.

I READ with interest your article regarding The Black Hat in Ilkley and the renaming of it as the “Sir Gary Verity” (The Yorkshire Post, April 23).

I admire and support any initiative that brings Yorkshire to the fore, and this is indeed a great example of a local business expressing the views of many.

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I recall not quite 12 months ago, when the Tour came through Harrogate, the Coach and Horses pub in the town became for a while The Cavendish and Horses. This was in support of Mark Cavendish, wishing the rider well and in the hope that he would triumph. That day did not finish in quite the way Mark would have hoped, yet his courageous completion of those final yards, obviously in great pain from the crash, was an inspiration nevertheless.

Mark did pop into The Coach a week or so before the race, an unannounced and low-key visit, away from any publicity machine. Closer to the time I believe the pub featured on Twitter feeds across the world and the landlord was interviewed on Sky Sports, one of the more bizarre moments of a most memorable weekend.

Here’s hoping that this coming weekend is a great success; that the pub and everyone in Ilkley has a great time.