A special yellow jersey, in homage to the iconic Maillot Jaune awarded to the leader of Le Tour, has been knitted on to the iconic figure of Edward The Black Prince on horseback in City Square, Leeds, days before the Grand Depart.
Following weeks of hard work by older people attending Holbeck Elderly Aid and Holt Park Active, the city centre bronze figure and one of the square’s nymph statues have been given woollen makeovers.
Around 30 balls of yellow wool were used for the Black Prince’s two metre-long jersey, which was lifted on to the statue using a cherrypicker this morning.
Bridget Glynn, service manager at Holt Park Active where the larger jersey was made, said: “It’s really brought everyone together.
“It’s been so exciting to think about the jersey going on The Black Prince and everyone has got a real sense of what The Tour is all about and how much it means.”
Holbeck Elderly Aid is one of Leeds’ 37 Leeds City Council-funded Neighbourhood Networks, which support more than 21,900 older people across the city.
Coun Adam Ogilvie, the council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “Hosting the Tour de France has been the catalyst for a huge number of creative ideas that have captured the imagination of people of all ages and abilities in Leeds and it’s inspiring to see some of our local older people taking on what I’m sure has been a big challenge.”
The famous bronze statue of The Black Prince was created by Thomas Brock and was unveiled in 1903 as a gift from former Lord Mayor of Leeds Colonel Thomas Walter Hardy.
The eight nymphs, which encircle City Square, each carry a light and were made by sculptor Alfred Drury.
Almost 200 of the world’s greatest cyclists will roll from Leeds’ Headrow for the Leeds to Harrogate stage one on Saturday, before the York to Sheffield stage two on Sunday.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive member for culture and skills, added: “This is a fabulous way to welcome people to Leeds and show them just how much hosting The Tour means to us all.”
A similarly eyecatching eight metre-square mosaic print, made from recycled plastic bottles, will be unveiled at a Tour de France spectator hub at Ilkley Park on Friday.
The print by Bradford firm Co2nscience aims to highlight the importance of recycling plastic bottles and is a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest mosaic print made from recycled materials.