Minster welcomes Tour de France with sunflowers

The Northern Echo: SADDLE UP: Sarah Atkinson and Sue Edwards of St Leonards Hospice pictured with the sunflower cycle at York Minster. SADDLE UP: Sarah Atkinson and Sue Edwards of St Leonards Hospice pictured with the sunflower cycle at York Minster.

TOUR de France fever comes in all shapes and sizes – as visitors to one of the region’s greatest icons are now finding out.

A giant racing bike has appeared in York Minster, carefully created out of more than 1,000 cut-out sunflowers.

The colourful bike has been constructed to mark the imminent arrival of the great race and to let people know about the work of St Leonard’s Hospice in York.

The cut-outs were all prepared and decorated by pupils from local primary schools and will remain in the Minster’s north transept until May 19.

Sunflowers are the symbol of the national hospice movement, and every year since 1996 St Leonard’s Hospice has involved local schoolchildren in a sunflower display in the city.

As well as displays in the Minster in previous years venues have included the Eye of York, the National Railway Museum, the City Art Gallery and the Theatre Royal.

Community fundraiser Sarah Atkinson said: “With the Tour de France’s Grand Départ from York this year, we thought our sunflowers should mark the event by taking the shape of a bike this year.

“We are very grateful to all the children who have coloured the sunflowers for us, and we hope that everyone who sees the display will enjoy them and think about the value of hospice care.”

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