Fireworks and sunshine for scorcher of a weekend

Sunlight glinting off brass - Todmorden Community band entertained at Todmorden's Tour De France Party In The Park
Sunlight glinting off brass - Todmorden Community band entertained at Todmorden's Tour De France Party In The Park

Music, fireworks and some beautiful bright sunshine made for a memorable two days as Todmorden celebrated the Tour De France.

Spearheaded by the Tour De Tod steering group, the town had already enjoyed a Fantastical Cycle Parade as one of the Yorkshire Festival events in the 100 days leading up to the Tour De France coming to Calderdale and the Calder Valley.

And with special events at Centre Vale Park and Bramsche Square, a three-day Two Counties Market and town festooned with bunting and sculptures, Todmorden was as ready as anywhere else in the county to celebrate the big race, in Yorkshire for the first time.

On Saturday night there was the addition of a good few midges too, but regardless of them there was good music to be enjoyed by around 500 people at the Party At The Park, two sets by Todmorden Community Brass Band being punctuated by some powerful singing from the Three Valleys Gospel Choir, before a grand fireworks finale as darkness drew in.

The Two Counties market had already seen yellow T-shirted traders opening to 7pm, and on Sunday they were on hand to supply a good choice of food and drink to those at the viewing hub in Bramsche Square, which included a big 16 metres screen. Many early arrivals enjoyed a picnic at Pollination Street and the numbers swelled to around 200 as Le Tour closed in on Calderdale.

The good weather meant many stayed on for a while after the race had ended, and youngsters - who had also been catered for with some entertainment at Todmorden Town Hall - enjoyed a screening of the Disney film Frozen.

l Television, media and music stars were a surprise arrival for people in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Pecket Well last Wednesday.

ITV and sports charity Join In partnered the Tour de ITV which saw the celebrities ride the 60 miles from Coronation Street’s Rover’s Return to Emmerdale’s local Woolpack pub as part of the nationwide ITV Local Heroes campaign, an initiative launched earlier this month that encourages volunteering in local sport. The route, for stars who included Nicola Wheeler (Nicola King in Emmerdale), James Hooton (Sam Dingle in Emmerdale), Gaynor Faye (Megan Macey in Emmerdale), Jamie Shelton (Robbie Lawson in Emmerdale), Calson Smith (Craig Tinker in Coronation Street), Good Morning Britain’s Laura Tobin, Darren Jeffries (O.B. in Hollyoaks), Matt Littler (Max Cunningham in Hollyoaks) and 911 boy band members Lee Brennan and Jimmy Constable, took in our area.