French connection highlighted by village's on Tour De France route

The Northern Echo: LUMINOUS: North Stainley's Monet creation lit up at night LUMINOUS: North Stainley's Monet creation lit up at night

A VILLAGE on the route of the Tour de France has turned a duck pond into an interpretation of the famous Monet water lilies painting, as it embraces French art with a Yorkshire twist.

In a week that one of Claude Monet’s paintings, Nympheas, sold for £31.7m at auction in London, the village of North Stainley, near Ripon, has revealed its own impressionist offerings.

It has created an iconic scene in the centre of the village by recreating the bridge from Monet’s Water-Lily Pond, complete with their own solar-powered lilies which glow at night.

Despite the vast sums Nypheas fetched at auction, the Tour de France group set up in North Stainley kept to a much tighter budget. The local Women's Institute branch resourcefully created their lilies from footballs bought from a pound shop and then incorporated £1 solar lights.

The bridge was hand made by resident Ian Alston, the village hall booking secretary.

Glenys Bailey, North Stainley’s recreation trust secretary, said: “We’ve just been trying to think out the box because a lot of similar things are being done for the Tour de France.

“Someone from the village made the bridge and the lilies were made from footballs from Poundland cut in half and shaped. They look effective when they light up at night.

“Quite a few people want to buy the bridge when it’s over - I think there’s a bidding war going on for it.”

Even primary school youngsters have embraced French Impressionism for the Tour de France. With the help of Rural Arts, based in Thirsk, pupils at North Stainley Primary School created 17 French Impressionist paintings with a “Yorkshire Twist”.

This included an image of Bettys in Harrogate in the style of the Paris-based arts movement and an image of flowers with a pint of Theakstons next to it.

The paintings have been enlarged and hung in the village.

Elsewhere, another village created a complex rotating 8ft high revolving sculpture made from interlocking bicycle wheels which is lit up at night.

It’s entitled Rotation Franco, after Glenys Bailey’s husband, Frank, who created it and revolves when it’s plugged into the nearby pub’s power supply.

“It generates a lot of interest,” said Mrs Bailey.

“We’ve had lots of people stopping to look at it. You can’t miss it; but hopefully the cyclists will, we don’t want them falling off their bikes here.”

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