Banksy-style murals will greet Tour de France crowds

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: One of the 'Banksy'-style graffiti works on a wall of the Cross Roads Inn which depicts David Hockney on a bike. One of the 'Banksy'-style graffiti works on a wall of the Cross Roads Inn which depicts David Hockney on a bike.

BANKSY-STYLE street art has been popping up mysteriously along the route of the Tour de France.

The life-sized stencilled artworks, which depict Yorkshire icons riding bikes, are the handiwork of a London-based artist who goes by the name of 'Stewy'.

They have so far cropped up in Haworth, Cross Roads and Keighley as well as other parts of Yorkshire.

In both Keighley and Cross Roads, an image of Bradford's David Hockney has appeared. The art legend is pictured on a traditional push-bike, ringing his bell and smoking a cigarette.

Meanwhile the Bronte sisters have all piled aboard a cycle rickshaw, in an image spotted in Haworth.

Artworks which have appeared elsewhere along the route include Jarvis Cocker in Sheffield, Alan Bennett in Leeds and Sylvia Plath in Hebden Bridge.

And they're not the only arty creations cropping up along the route to welcome the Grand Depart on July 5 and 6.

People driving through Silsden may be forgiven for thinking they’re seeing things, as the metal balls protecting the sides of the road near the town are being given a Tour de France make-over.

The balls, which are on part of Stage Two of the Grand Depart, are being painted yellow, green and white with red polka dots, to represent the different coloured jerseys awarded to riders.

Bradford Council have been putting up yellow banners in Bradford city centre and Keighley, and a clock on the Big Screen in City Park will be counting down the days, hours and minutes until the cyclists set off.

Colourful bunting is going up in the towns and villages along the route.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for culture, said: "The Tour de France Grand Depart is a great opportunity to show off the district to its best advantage.

"Preparations have been going on for months in readiness for the millions of people arriving for the Tour.

"Now we are just a few weeks away the banners, signs and artwork will remind people that the event is just around the corner."

Meanwhile, ticket prices for a gala night to celebrate the Grand Depart passage through Keighley have been slashed.

To help encourage more families to make a night of it at Victoria Hall on July 4, the cost of a single adult ticket has been cut from £10 to £7.

The cost of concession tickets — for children under 14 and people over 60 — has been cut from £8 to £5.

Staff and pupils at schools which have been involved with the Tour de France Spartacus Project will also receive a special rate of £5 entry for adults and £3 for children.

Cycling enthusiast Frank O'Dwyer, who came up with the idea of holding the gala night, said: "We've got a 480-seat hall to fill and I'd rather have it full and cut the profits a bit.

"I had thought the original prices would be a bit high for families, so we've pulled those prices down."

Proceeds from the night, which will begin at Keighley's Victoria Hall at 7pm, will go towards Manorlands Hospice.

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