Hucknall cheers for the Tour of Britain

The Tour of Britain 2017 flies past Hucknall marketplace
The Tour of Britain 2017 flies past Hucknall marketplace

Rain began to fall in Hucknall, moments before the Tour of Britain 2017 raced through the town centre - but it couldn’t dampen the excitement of the crowds thronging the route.

And just as abruptly it stopped in time for the race leaders to whoosh down the High Street and disappear up Annesley Road, escorted by a procession of police riders and support vehicles.

Toddlers from Tiny Tots in Hucknall turned out with homemade flags

Toddlers from Tiny Tots in Hucknall turned out with homemade flags

Shopfronts were brightened up with yellow bunting, bicycles and messages of support for the riders.

“It’s great for Hucknall,” Tina McHargue said. “We have never had anything like this before. It’s really exciting - especially after the Tour de France. We have got two Olymipians riding.

“It’s a shame the the kids are in school. My daughter is going to miss it. She will be gutted.”

Toddlers from the Tiny Tots nursery had made their own flags to wave the riders on, while keen cyclist and charity fundraiser Kevin Duffield cycled all the way from Chilwell to meet his dad

Lynnette Scott, owner of Bliss Boutique, won first prize for her Tour of Britain window display

Lynnette Scott, owner of Bliss Boutique, won first prize for her Tour of Britain window display

“It’s been good for Hucknall,” decided Ria Cash, of Hank Marvin’s on the High Street. “It’s good for the community spirit. Hucknall always seems to be left behind. It just shows we’re on the map!”

Bystander Steve Elliot said: “I enjoyed it. We watched it on television until it went through Eastwood and then we thought we had just enough time to come down.

“It’s good the country, it’s good for cycling, and it’s good for Hucknall. People have done a lot of work for just a few minutes.”

Peter and Brenda Shaw enjoyed the spectacle of the race and praised the organisation.

“It was brilliant, I loved it,” said Brenda.

“People were well behaved,” said Peter. “Sometimes you get an idiot running across the road.”

The excellent display put on by Lynnette Scott, of Bliss Boutique, took the top prize in a competition run by the Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group.

Lynette, 36, said: “Everybody has put loads of effort in. I think it is a really important occasion for Hucknall and Nottinghamshire. And it’s great for the children to get inspired.”

Lynnette’s nine-year-old-daughter Amber-Lea helped with the fabulous window display, while her husband reached up “to do the high bits”.

Watnall Road florist Bob Terrza, 76, said: “It’s brought a little bit of brightness to the town. People are stopping and chatting to each other.

“After all the slowness of the alterations people have started coming to the town.”

Despite the enthusiastic turnout, which saw hundreds of people line the street, ITV4’s television coverage chose to cut to an advert just as the riders went through the town centre of Hucknall.