Leeds Tour de France landmark to be auctioned off

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A LANDMARK from along the Tour de France’s route in Yorkshire is being sold off to give a lasting memento for the race’s hugely successful Grand Départ in the region.

A model of the Eiffel Tower which put a West Yorkshire village on the map during the weekend of July 5 and 6, which saw the race start in Leeds. The 7.5m tall timber structure, which has become a landmark in the Burley in Wharfedale garden, attracted a bid of £100 within the first 24 hours of being placed on an online auction site.

It is hoped as well rasing money for a new scout and guide hut, the sale will help to boost awareness of the need for the facility.

Mike Wild, a Burley in Wharfedale parish councillor, said: “It is a thriving unit there. The trouble is they have a really old hut in the village. The hut itself is in need of repair. We have 150 children on the waiting list for scouts and guides. With 300 already on the books it’s not big enough. What we need is to raise the visibility of the need and attract a generous sponsor. We have the ground space, we have the leaders. What we don’t have is the funding.”

Burley in Wharfedale was catapulted to new heights when images of the model were captured by media covering the race through the village. The handiwork of Guides, Scouts, Brownies, Cubs and Beavers groups, the tower took three weeks to build. Banners welcoming cyclists and spectators to the village have also helped to support the campaign.

“A lot of those were liberated as souvenirs,” said Mr Wild. “We then sold off the remaining banners and that has gone into the funds.”

The mementoes are part of a growing band of memorabilia from the tour which is finding a new home. In Leeds the yellow jerseys used to decorate Edward The Black Prince on horseback and one of the nymph statues on City Square which were knitted by the public are to be cleaned, framed and placed in the reception of Holbeck Elderly Aid.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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