Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
8:10 AM 19th June 2014

Bell-Ting Idea For Yorkshire's Opening Ceremony

Ambitious plans are under way for every bell across Yorkshire to ring out as part of the Team Presentation Opening Ceremony of the Tour de France.

The final wave of tickets have been released for the July 3 event which will be the biggest in the history of the Tour, featuring the stars of world cycling alongside live entertainment including headline act Embrace, Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and Opera North among many others.

Organisers are inviting everyone to ring a bell - from church bells to bikes bells - for two minutes at the same time just after 8.30pm when Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, and Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, take to the stage to mark the official start of Yorkshire's Grand Départ as part of the live Opening Ceremony at Leeds Arena.

Pictures of mass bell ringing will be beamed onto screens and the big ring is designed to be a symbolic bringing-together of the entire county as it heralds the beginning of Yorkshire's Grand Départ ahead of Stage One of the cycle race starting in Leeds on July 5.

Dozens of churches are already set to take part and Rod Ismay, from The Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers, can't wait. He said: "Yorkshire has some stunning churches and cathedrals. They will be landmarks along the race route and we are going to ring their bells to make the loudest most joyful noise to officially welcome the Tour de France to our county. We've already enjoyed being part of the wonderful Yorkshire Festival and we are really excited that our communities can be part of the Opening Ceremony. In fact, anyone with a bell would be most welcome to ring it loud and join us for this momentous occasion."

Welcome to the World

The final wave of tickets for the huge show at Leeds Arena have now been released for sale for the event which has a theme of 'The People of Yorkshire Welcome the World'.

The show's Executive Producer, Martin Green, who staged the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic Games, said: "This is a groundbreaking event for the Tour de France - never before in the history of the race have they seen an opening ceremony like this and encouraging bells across our county to ring out together on the evening of July 3 truly will be the signal for the whole of the county to welcome the world."

For more on the big ring including timing updates, show information and to buy tickets for the Leeds Arena event see

Highlights from the televised show will be shown in countries around the world.

The show will see Yorkshire welcome 22 of the world's best cycling teams in a glittering ceremony showcasing some of the county's top entertainment talent.


Yorkshire band Embrace will headline the event and Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will join York singer/songwriter Alistair Griffin to perform The Road - the official anthem of Yorkshire's Grand Départ 2014.

Band Hope & Social from Yorkshire Festival 2014 will bring the Tour of Infinite Possibility featuring 100 performers to sing the festival song 'The Big Wide' and the orchestra and chorus of Opera North will perform music specially created for this event throughout the ceremony, conducted by composer Philip Sheppard, who composed music for London 2012.

It's also been announced that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will all be attending Yorkshire's Grand Départ on July 5.

Yorkshire's Grand Départ will see riders race Stage One from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5 and then race Stage Two from York to Sheffield on July 6. A third stage will race from Cambridge to London on July 7.