Iconic Leeds statues are dressed to impress ahead of Tour de France

Local News

Two historic statues will have visitors to Leeds in stitches after they were dressed in specially-made yellow jerseys ahead of this weekend’s Grand Départ.

The iconic figure of Edward The Black Prince on horseback and one of the nymph statues on City Square, were fitted with their new attire on Monday, June 30.

The jerseys are the result of weeks of hard work by older people attending Holbeck Elderly Aid and Holt Park Active, who took up the challenge to create something memorable to welcome visitors to the city.

Around 30 balls of yellow wool have been used for the Black Prince’s two metre-long jersey, which has been made using measurements taken from the statue and which was lifted into place this morning.

Bridget Glynn, service manager at Holt Park Active, where The Black Prince’s jersey was made said:

“There’s been a core group of around six who have worked on it for the past four weeks or so.

“But lots more people have pitched in and done bits here and there and it’s really brought everyone together.

“It’s been so exciting to think about the jersey going on The Black Prince and everyone has got a real sense of what The Tour is all about and how much it means.”

Leeds City Council’s Holt Park Active wellbeing centre opened in Dec 2013 and is a base for a range of activities and sports facilities for older people and the wider community.

Holbeck Elderly Aid is one of Leeds’ 37 council-funded Neighbourhood Networks, which support more than 21,900 older people across the city.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“Hosting the Tour de France has been the catalyst for a huge number of creative ideas that have captured the imaginations of people of all ages and abilities in Leeds and it’s inspiring to see some of our local older people taking on what I’m sure has been a big challenge.

“The positive impact of The Tour has crossed every generation, and the hard work and enthusiasm that has gone into making these jerseys is one of many examples of older people using their knowledge and experience to make a great contribution to what will no doubt be a landmark day we can all be proud of.”

The famous bronze statue of The Black Prince was created by Thomas Brock and was unveiled in 1903 as a gift from former Lord Mayor of Leeds Colonel Thomas Walter Hardy.

The eight nymphs, which encircle City Square, each carry a light and were made by sculptor Alfred Drury.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“The statues on City Square are some of our city’s most recognisable landmarks so this is a fabulous way to welcome people to Leeds and show them just how much hosting The Tour means to us all.

“People from all kinds of groups and organisations have pitched it to help get us ready for The Grand Départ and when the eyes of the world turn to Leeds on Saturday, I’m sure all that hard work will pay off as millions of people get to see what a fantastic city we live in.”

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