The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe who is president of the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) visited Calderdale to take part in CFFC’s Grand Départ tour of Calderdale.
The tour organised by the well-known local charity CFFC who help individuals, families, entrepreneurs, companies, charitable trusts and public sector bodies connect with, support and invest in Calderdale, also included a lunch reception at St Michaels in Mytholmroyd with over 100 guests, from both the charity and business sector in attendance.
The tour that has taken place in previous years most recently in 2011 started its journey at Eureka the National Children’s Museum, the party of twenty included High Sheriff Virginia Lloyd and husband Clive Lloyd, and the Chief Executive of Calderdale Council Merran McCrae.
The tour party boarded the mini bus supplied by Community Transport Calderdale and made their way to, Handmade Parade Hebden Bridge; the community interest company brings artists into communities to create parades, festivals and stunning celebrations. The organisation is made up of professional carnival artists, puppeteers, makers, musicians, stilt walkers and performers all based in around Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. The Lord Lieutenant was treated to a tour of the work shop and a sneak peek at the new range of puppets being worked on.
Next stop was Calrec Audio Ltd, celebrating fifty years of dedication to excellence in audio. The Lord Lieutenant was given a brief history of the business by Managing Director Roger Henderson, followed by an interactive session where the group were shown an Apollo broadcast console and encouraged to mix a football match just like Sky, who are one of Calrec’s customers. Roger Harvey of Harveys Department store, who was one of the tour party said, “Calrec has a fantastic set up, it’s no wonder the company is expanding & building more production space on the site. I have really enjoyed the visit; I mean how often you get to play with this kind of high spec equipment? He continued Calrec should earn the Queens award for industry due to its huge export business.”
A short walk down the road was stop number three, Hebden Bridge Town Hall, home every Tuesday to not-for-profit creative arts company Verd De Gris. Verd De Gris has been working with older people through intergenerational projects and health and well-being work for over ten years. It was here the tour party took part in a session with the creative dementia group, a session catering for people with dementia and memory problems. The group read, sang and became a part of an uplifting and inspiring group event.
Next was lunch, with well over 100 local businesses and charities in attendance at St Michaels Church Hall. Lunch was provided by the catering apprentices from the Maltings College, who secured sponsorship from Southdale Homes, Snowflake Media, and Social Progress to cover the costs of the food meaning that they could gain on the job experience of catering for a large number of people.
Guests heard from the Lord Lieutenant & Gary Verity Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire who shared his experiences of bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire. Gary Verity later said: “It was great to be involved in the day and meet so many people during the tour. There is a real sense of excitement ahead of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ in the area, which is wonderful to see.”
The speeches were concluded by Dave Nelson who had composed a special piano piece for the 5th April when a team of cyclists and pianists will take part in The Grand Departs, an epic musical and physical feat of strength and endurance that will answer the question – How many cyclists does it take to pull a grand piano up a hill?
After Lunch the tour party left the church hall and walked to Mytholmroyd Station Partnership where Hebden Royd Mayor Karl Boggins unveiled a new piece of art work by local artist Michelle Campbell.
Then it was on to Working Wonders Ltd who were staging time trials up the Cragg Road, the longest incline in Britain, which also forms part of the route of the Grand Départ route in Yorkshire.
The Lord Lieutenant & Gary Verity joined in with the event, hopping aboard an adapted borrowed bike from Ravenscliffe School, and setting off.
After the excitement of a bike ride the Tour party moved on to Craggs Energy, where owner Chris Bingham explained the ethos of the business park that now has 35 tenants, some of whom the party visited whilst touring the business park.The final stop of the day was The Greetland Academy. On arriving at the school the Lord Lieutenant and party were warmly welcomed by the year three children, all waving cycling themed flags that they had made.
The tour party then enjoyed a very special school assembly. They heard how the children had taken part in an all-day static cycling event, together cycling the distance of the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France
The Principal, Mrs Amanda Bennett said, “Today’s visit has been a special moment for the school. The Lord Lieutenant and fellow visiting party members have made a lasting and highly positive impression upon everyone at the Academy. The year six children were particularly lucky to have an informal meeting with our visitors after the assembly. We are very grateful to all of our guests for their time and generous interest in the life of our school.
Today has been a truly inspiring launch to our countdown to the Tour De France.”
As the Tour came to a close The Lord Lieutenant Ingrid Roscoe commented “the children asked me lots of good questions about being a Lord-Lieutenant and then presented a cheque to Steve Duncan for the charity Working Wonders ltd. What a wonderful day it has been. I leave with my admiration for all CFFC’S charitable activities, renewed yet again”.