Villagers get together to relive summer’s spirit

'Road Closure Day' - the Tour De France in Cragg Vale last July
'Road Closure Day' - the Tour De France in Cragg Vale last July

Cragg Vale fondly remembers the Tour de France cycling through the village last year.

The spectacle, the amazing caravan of vehicles ahead of the peloton and of course the cyclists themselves.

But ask what made the biggest impact on them and you most often find them answering “the road closure and the effect this had on everyone who lives here and the visitors too.” “Neighbours near and far had space and time to talk to one another, old friendships and acquaintances were renewed and the positive effect on community spirit was amazing,” said John Jones, the chair of newly-formed Cragg15, a community group formed to rekindle the spirit of the ‘Tour’ and aiming to deliver a whole summer of fun for residents and visitors in Cragg Vale.

John explained how things started: “A number of local people were reflecting on the the impact of the ‘Tour’ last year, and the road closure in particular.

“We thought, if we could close the road again, what could we do? The result was Cragg15 forming and ideas for a summer of events, a number of which would run on ‘road closure day‘ - set to happen on Saturday, July 4 - the anniversary of the Tour de France cycling through Cragg Vale last year.”

Details for the day are still being worked on, with various cycling, running and walking events being developed. However, one event in particular is already causing excitement - Cragg15 are proposing to run a ‘soap box time trial’ from the centre of the village downhill into Mytholmroyd - something that hasn’t been seen for around 70 years. Entry criteria and competition rules to be published soon.

“We will keep the local community fully informed,” said John, “and we know that there is a high level of interest already in all events being planned, but the road closure and what we can do that day seems to have really caught everyone’s imagination. We hope it will all be exciting and fun”.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the ‘Summer of Fun and the road closure day in particular can come along to an open meeting on Monday, January 26, at the Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale, starting at 7pm

Information can also be found at Cragg Vale on FaceBook, on Twitter @craggvale2014 or enquiries can be made by email to