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In top gear for Tour de Yorkshire weekend

Thousands lined the streets of the district for the exciting final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race and Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir played its part in what was hailed a huge success. The choir and Deepcar Brass Band kept the crowds in Bolsterstone entertained throughout the afternoon of Sunday April 30th before the riders, preceded by dozens of assorted vehicles, took the sharp corner by the Castle Inn after a gruelling climb from Deepcar, and sped through the village before descending towards Wigtwizzle on the final leg of the race. As the last rider passed through the village, a coach took us into Stocksbridge in time to see the leaders heading towards the finishing line in Fox Valley. After the prizes were presented in the packed shopping centre, we wrapped up the three-day spectacle – which had been watched by a record 2.2million roadside fans – by singing Jerusalem with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. We then moved on to a reception at which Dransfield Properties MD Mark Dransfield presented Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme and Yorkshire tourism chief Sir Gary Verity with Fox umbrellas, after which we sang The Rose and I Dreamed a Dream. The request to lead the singing of Jerusalem had come late in the day and the entertaining of the guests at the reception came at the very last minute after Mark Dransfield and his wife Deborah had attended our concert the night before at St Mary’s. The bells of St Mary’s – which are in need of restoration – were rung to greet a large audience to the concert which was introduced by the Vicar of Bolsterstone, the Rev Hilda Isaacson. A warm reception was given to the choir, Deepcar Brass Band and Deepcar Junior School Choir. Choir chairman Mick Siddall, who with Mike Bradshaw had attended planning meetings at Fox Valley over several months, said: “We had an amazing weekend and were pleased to take part in a stunning event which put Stocksbridge and District firmly on the map. The lads in the choir are brilliant. Nothing fazes them.”