Tour of Britain Race 2009 //-->
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Page updated: October 15, 2009

Tour of Britain 2009 Photos page 1 of 6

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September 18, 2009 was race day in Hatherleigh, when the Tour of Britain start machine came to town for a few hours to see off the peloton for Yeovil. The weather was perfect and the Town put up a grand show of community spirit. About 80 people took part in the pre-race parades and many more helped behind the scenes, particularly the Town Council who were the principle drivers of the event.

If you missed the part Hatherleigh played in the eventual film broadcast on ITV4 at 7pm then don't worry because you can watch it again and again on ITV Player here for the next 28 days. Estimates of the crowd varied from 1000 up to 3000. The carnival procession and the big bike went down brilliantly, although the tar barrels came through 10 minutes early and at such a speed that there was no time to photograph them. The lads and lasses looked great in their blue tee-shirts so if you have any nice pix then please email them to us.

Bikes and cycling were the main theme of course. But we wanted to feature the famous Hatherleigh Tar Barrels too. The night before we were embarrassed to find that the barrels had shrunk in the sun and were too dangerous to be jumped by trials biker Andrei Burton, who had agreed to do a display in The Square after the Tour had gone.

We gave the barrels a good dosing of water overnight and they were back to normal the following morning but to be safe we fixed Andrei up with a tractor and trailer with bales of hay to jump instead. This worked well, though we were trapped at the wrong end of Bridge St by then and only got to see his final jump (see below) by the roundabout as the Carnival pulled off the race route. Later, to cap the day off perfectly, Andrei did one barrel wheelie after his display in The Square.

PS: Those bales of hay carry their own story, starting the previous evening at 8.30pm when Andrei took one look at the sorry state of the barrels and said 'no way'. We were mightily embarrassed so we pulled out all the stops to find him an alternative. A 'banger' car was Andrei's preferred substitute so we hit the phones to find one. First yes, then no, then yes again, and finally no. So, at 1am Friday morning we looked at each other and said - what about some bales of hay on a trailer? It seemed like a good idea but we knew the bales would have to be very tightly compressed and many aren't. Thus, at 7am, Andrei was approached by Rupert with the idea. He agreed, so Martin brought in his trailer. En route Martin spotted some bales that he knew would be right, so he simply lifted five out of the field. They worked, and Andrei was able to show off his skills duing the procession. Later, in the Bridge, a farmer stopped by. "That's the first time I've seen hay bales rustled," he told us. "We'll bring them back," we said ruefully. " Don't worry," he said." You can sell them and put the money into Carnival funds if you want!"

BTW: word has it that Hatherleigh was the best start in the Tour.

Quote of the day: "It was a once in a lifetime experience." Kath, 85.

Opening moves
TOWN CRIER ROS CHARD AT THE START OF STAGE 7 OF THE 2009 TOUR OF BRITAIN.
Carnival time - bikes and horses
TOWN CRIER ROS CHARD LED THE PROCESSION THROUGH THE TOUR OF BRITAIN START GANTRY HATHERLEIGH SILVER BAND MADE MUSIC

A PELOTON OF ABOUT 30 MINIATURE BIKES FROM THE COLLECTION OF PHILLIP JECKINSON OF SHEBBEAR WAS RIDDEN BY HATHERLEIGH PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS

 

BIKES WERE THE MAIN THEME OF THE START OF STAGE 7 OF THE TOUR OF BRITAIN IN HATHERLEIGH ON SEPTEMBER 18TH 2009
SHIRE HORSES FROM BEN MAY DREW THE CARNIVAL ROYALTY ANDREI BURTON, TRIALS BIKER AT HATHERLEIGH

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