Monday, 14 July 2014

Clive Siddall ....Making the TDF better!

I think we all felt that the London 2012 Olympics were a sporting highlight but afterwards I regretted not having volunteered to be a Games Maker as one of my friends had done.

When I found out the Tour de France Grand Depart was going to be in Yorkshire and volunteers were being used I was determined not to miss out again.

I went through the application process organised by ASDA and once chosen attended both an orientation event and job specific training in Leeds to make sure I had the knowledge I needed to do the job properly.

Put briefly I was told I needed to be as helpful as possible, chat to visitors and smile a lot.

The big day for stage 1 arrived and I was deployed to Ben Rhyding station on the outskirts of Ilkley.  I was in position by 6.45 am and then the long wait began. By 9am very few people were about and I was beginning to think it was all a fuss about nothing.

The first train from Leeds was delayed but soon after one arrived and a big crowd got off it. Soon after another train arrived with the same happening and then another and another and so on until this little part of Yorkshire was very busy indeed.

We showed people where to go, answered lots of questions and got through hundreds of “bonjour’s” and “ca va’s”

The caravan of advertising vehicles came and went and then convoys of our police and French gendarmes  came through and then all of a sudden the riders were upon us and then gone again.

Spectators dispersed and our job was done. We’d been involved in our own little bit of history in the making.

For stage 2 the following day I walked to a section near where I live to witness the whole thing as a fan. Both days were fantastic I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and hopefully the tour makers played a small part in making it all go so well.

Monday morning was certainly  a feeling of “post TDF blues”        
By Clive Siddall


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