THE SPIRIT of the Tour de France is alive and pedalling in Silsden.

Groups in the town came together last Saturday to show how the community had responded to the race’s arrival.

The town’s first-ever Community Showcase also highlighted what the groups are doing now and in the future.

Almost 30 voluntary groups each had a table in St James’s Church, and a steady stream of visitors went along to learn about their activities.

The event was hailed as a great success by the Silsden Town Mayor, Coun Chris Atkinson.

He said: “It was an absolutely brilliant, awesome event. I was really surprised, I didn’t know that we had so many groups building our great community here in Silsden.”

The event also included presentations to round-off Silsden’s Tour de France year.

One project by Churches Together in Silsden had seen 902 yellow jerseys, knitted by the people of Silsden and beyond, decorating the town when the cyclists raced through the town in July.

These jerseys were presented to local man Steve Loryman of Mission Direct, who will send them to Africa, where the charity works, for keeping new born babies warm.

Silsden Methodist Church handed over a cheque for £750, raised from the church’s le Bike Festival, to the Margaret Carey Foundation, a charity that works with offenders.

The offenders repair old bicycles which are then given to communities in need both in this country and abroad.

The Foundation also accepted a number of old le Tour decorated bicycles and spare parts for refurbishment.

David Griffiths, chairman of Churches Together in Silsden, said: “The unforgettable visit of the Tour de France to Silsden has reminded us what a vibrant place we live in.

“The success of the Showcase and all the town’s le Tour events confirms this.

“I am really pleased that Silsden’s le Tour Group is planning to continue to meet to discuss how we can build into the future on this year’s achievements.”

The next meeting of the Silsden (Post) le Tour Group will be on Thursday October 23 at 7.30pm, upstairs at the Kings Arms on Bolton Road. Everyone is welcome.

The Tour de France cyclists, preceded by their colourful caravan, based through Silsden from Addingham, on their way to Keighley, Haworth and beyond, on the second day of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.