Nostalgic images relive city’s Grand day out ten years on: Black Prince TDF

31 May 2024

Nostalgic images relive city’s Grand day out ten years on

Tourism Libraries Arts

A collection of nostalgic images is putting Leeds back in the saddle ahead of the ten year anniversary of the city hosting the world’s biggest cycling event.

The stunning selection of photos recalls just some of the once-in-a-lifetime memories created when Leeds was the setting for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France a decade ago.

And people in Leeds are being asked to add their own photos and memories of the occasion to an online archive in the run-up to the official anniversary in July.

The gallery is being displayed on the Leodis website, run by Leeds Libraries, and includes unforgettable images such as the iconic Black Prince statue on City Square dressed in a huge knitted yellow jersey.

The jersey was the result of weeks of hard work by older people attending Holbeck Elderly Aid and Holt Park Active as a tribute to the famous yellow jersey worn by TdF winners for more than a century.

Around 30 balls of yellow wool were used for the statue’s two metre-long attire, which was lifted into place before being carefully stitched on.

Other images featured include some of the huge crowds of eager spectators, who gathered on Briggate and The Headrow to catch a glimpse of the riders, as they set off outside Leeds Art Gallery.

An estimated 230,000 spectators packed into Leeds city centre on July 5, 2014, to watch what is regarded as one of the most successful Grand Departs in the long history of the event.

Images of the riders themselves, lined up with tense expressions ahead of the race getting underway, are also included, with stars Alberto Contador seen next to Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome at the forefront.

And impressive images of Leeds Town Hall, dressed for the event and lit up by a spectacular fireworks display during a celebration evening, are also included in the gallery.

People across the city are now being encouraged to cast their minds back and add their own memories of the 2014 TdF to the Leodis website or submit photographs to to help build a permanent archive of the day.

Councillor Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “The 2014 Grand Depart was an occasion the city will never forget, when people all across the city in different communities came together and made some incredible memories.

“It’s fantastic to relive some of those moments a decade on, and it will be wonderful if we can build a photographic archive of this momentous event which captures what it meant to the city and which we can share with future generations.”

Leeds will also mark the ten year anniversary by hosting Legacy Ride, a mass participation cycling event taking place on Sunday, July 7.

It will visit some of the most scenic spots in the Yorkshire Dales in between a start and finish at Leeds’s Roundhay Park. The event is being organised by leading cycling events company Struggle Events with support from Leeds City Council and sponsorship from Leeds-based advanced digital delivery consultancy Axiologik.

To view the Grand Depart 2014 gallery and add your comments and memories, visit : Curated gallery photos - Leodis


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team