Tour of Britain hurtles through Hucknall!
Hundreds of people lined the High Street in Hucknall to cheer on the riders as the Tour of Britain flashed through the town this Saturday.
Bars and cafes did brisk business in the run-up, as people flocked into town to take part in the celebrations and share in the excitement.
On the market place children were duelling with balloon swords, expertly folded by stilt-walker Joe Saville.
But as 3pm neared, people drifted away to gather along the route, clutching cameras, flags and balloons.
Rain began to fall and brollies were unfurled just as the first police outriders appeared at the bottom of Annesley Road.
But that did nothing to dampen spirits, even though several Mexican waves fizzled out by the zebra crossing.
The MC on the stage thanked Trevor Middleton and the town’s Rotary Club for marshalling the High Street.
At 2.48pm the lead car informed us the four lead riders had just passed the level crossing at Newstead.
Moments later, just as the rain stopped, the High Street erupted into cheers and the studious framing of camera phones.
Festivities continue at the market place until 6pm.
Paul Kirk was enjoying a pint when he spoke to the Dispatch.
“I’d like to see them more than once but you can’t be in more than one place at the same time,” he said. It’s nice to see the area get involved in it with all the flags flying. It’s all good for the town.”
Mark Dickens had biked over from Bank Hill with fellow cyclists from Ilkeston Cycle Club where they had been marshalling the King of the Mountains section at midday.
Even though the club has only been going for one year it has already 375 members, a quarter of whom are women, aged from eight to 80.
He said: “We run social rides, training rides, mountain bike rides, there’s something for everyone.
“We have people recovering from heart attacks and strokes and they have been overwhelmed by the inclusiveness. Our policy is never to leave anyone behind.”
Darren Crossley was on the High Street with Matthew, eight, and Niamh, five. He said: “It’s good for the town. It’s got a real buzz and it’s really vibrant. We’ve been listening to bands in the market place and going on the fairground rides. We’ve really enjoyed it.”
Matthew said: “I like the motorbikes best. The pedal bikes aren’t fast enough.”
Niamh’s favourite however was the stilt walker...