9 June 2014

Watch the ITV News report on ‘Banners Over Pool’

First banner goes up On a grey drizzly morning the banners are installed along the Tour de France route in Pool in Wharfedale. Even through the rain they look fantastic and stand out wonderfully against the tree-lined roads of Pool as well as the stone built buildings that Yorkshire is so famous for!

Watching a banner going upThe next morning, ITV Calendar News visited to finish the ongoing report they were completing for the three stages of banner production. 1 – The children’s art sessions, 2 – The coach trip to view the banners being printed, and finally, 3 – Installation of the banners.

Proud Mr P!The children were very excited, (and not only to be able to miss school for a while), but to be interviewed on TV and talk about what the project meant for them personally. Every child had already been around the village after school the previous day, parents in tow, to find their own banners, and were now chatting excitedly with each other about where their own was located.

A banner on a tree-line road We really must thank ITV for the wonderful report they put together confirming one of the main reasons for starting this project in the first place – to generate excitement throughout the whole village in a community project that will leave a lasting legacy for all.

Banner in the trees One child’s response brought a tear to my eye as I watched the TV report that teatime at home. “How does it feel to see your banner displayed through your own village?”

“I feel famous!”


21 May 2014

An incredible day for allA large coach set off from Pool C of E Primary School, just after lunch, with all those children whose artwork had been chosen to appear on the banners that will welcome the Tour de France to our village. And what a fantastic day it turned out to be!

A printed bannerThe printers, Dominion Screen and Digital Print of Bradford, had pre-organised everything to perfection. Our party was split into 4 groups of 10 and shown around the production of the banners in stages. The children behaved impeccably in the noisy, exciting environment full of gigantic print machinery and wonderful printing smells and colours.

Printing as if by magic!Everyone, in stages, were led to one of these giant printing machines to witness 3 banners actually being printed, as if by magic, right before our very eyes. All the children were excited, wanting desperately to see their own banners.

Dramatic scale of the bannersThe next stage was to view all the banners that were already printed, waiting for the finishing stage. What an amazing sight to see! Every workbench and tabletop was filled with the banners’ bright colours, and even though I myself was aware that they would be large, I was still taken aback by their dramatic scale. Imagine how the children reacted!

Banners for all!And to cap it all, something we hadn’t expected, the printers had very kindly printed out a small-scale version of every single banner, all 40 of them, to present to each and every child! What a wonderful present!

TV interviewITV television reporter, Adam Fowler, filmed all the proceedings and a few very proud children were interviewed personally.

Children hold their banners aloftLater, back at school and after all children had disembarked the coach, I watched as excited children proudly presented their equally proud parents with their own personalised banners. They hurriedly recounted their exciting and marvellous tales from the day.

So proud of our banners!Thanks also go to Pool C of E School who organised the day out, accompanied by Cllr Richard Parker, Mrs Jill Clark and Mrs Mandy Parnaby; Bay Media who organised the production of the banners; and most of all, my husband and partner in business, Tony, who has taken these fantastic photos.

Karen van de Bospoort


8 May 2014

2 Tour de France banner artworksThis project first started in October 2013 when Tony attended a presentation given by the Tour de France Cultural Festival along with local councillor Richard Parker. With the TdF passing right through Pool in Wharfedale, the challenge was to engage all primary school age children of Pool in a community arts project that could be displayed along the route. After a great deal of thought, Tony and I came up with the concept you see in the images here. Working alongside Richard Parker, the councillor in charge of events, we next applied for funding from several sources and finally, with the support of the council and our local MP Greg Mulholland, won approval and funding from Leeds Inspired at Leeds City Council. Work then started in earnest at beginning of March this year.

Karen with children at one of the art sessionsThe whole community of Pool in Wharfedale are very proud that our village has been chosen as one of five spectator zones along the Grand Depart stage 1 route. Something really dynamic was needed to demonstrate that the world’s biggest cycle race, The Tour de France, is passing through.

Briefing children at one artwork session This is why we came up with an idea that not only involves the community but creates a lasting legacy for all to see. Twenty giant double-sided banners, featuring 40 children and their artwork, will be fixed to lamp posts along the route through Pool in Wharfedale.

Children with their completed 'wheel' drawingsTo get to this stage, first involved three, very enjoyable, artwork sessions with local primary school children. These were very much collaborative workshops involving more than 80 children, their parents and a host of helpers. Each session was stage managed by us in partnership with Richard, who is very much a local hero having been an extremely popular teacher at Pool School until retiring a few years ago. The children were encouraged to be as creative as possible in their drawings to replace the front wheel of a bicycle. We didn’t want to restrict their creativity in any way; whatever they drew would be paired with a comment that could be related to a great day of events in Pool to celebrate the passing of this world famous event – the Tour de France. Every child was also photographed, using the magic of ‘green screen’, as if sitting on a real bike. As these sessions were held during school holidays they were more akin to a fun day out, and I think this relaxed atmosphere meant that we gathered together some amazing artwork from each and every child. Just incredible!

'Green screen' photographyBack to the studio, and our computers, to piece together the artwork for every banner. Photographs of the children were cut out of the green background and placed onto a sketched bike. We then applied their drawings to the front wheel, devised a relevant comment, added the necessary extras and voila! (Of course it was all a bit more complicated than this, but hopefully you get the idea!)

Interviewed live on radioNow the artwork is all ready and waiting for the next stage. As this has been a community project from the beginning, involving local press and television coverage, we are organising a coach to take the children to view their banners being printed. I shall be posting another blog after this process and the actual installation of the banners have been completed.

"Wow! I'm on telly as well!"I also wish to add mine, and Tony’s, thanks to all who have been instrumental and aided us throughout this project, especially Cllr Richard Parker.

Karen van de Bospoort

2 finished pieces of art for the wheel