Tour shows world that Sheffield knows how to celebrate

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It’s been said before but we Brits know how to put a party on.

We actually do know how to run a booze up in a brewery, so to speak.

Stage Two of the Tour De France 2014 'York to Sheffield 06-07-14'Cycle fans fly the flag for Britain on Jenkin Hill

Stage Two of the Tour De France 2014 'York to Sheffield 06-07-14'Cycle fans fly the flag for Britain on Jenkin Hill

The Olympic Games, royal anniversaries, memorials, sporting events galore come and go with immaculate timing and production.

The Olympics Games of 2012 was almost flawless and left a huge well of goodwill for the country from the world and, more importantly, from ourselves.

And so it should be in Sheffield now.

The Tour De France came and we did good.

We know our ‘hard-done-to’ British split personality is always delighted when things go wrong.

How often on a day out or a big occasion in the city do you hear: “What does thy expect, this is Sheffield!” whenever there’s the slightest glitch in proceedings.

We love to tear ourselves down if we think we might be doing well. We almost can’t bear success and feel we have to deflate our ambition before anyone else can do it for us.

Even now people are tweeting and Facebooking about the trams not running afterwards - which was a pain, lessons to be learned there - and complaining because the Tour didn’t go through the prettiest parts of Sheffield.


You can bet the same people would be asking if we are ashamed of the rest of the city if the route had only gone through Dore, Millhouses and Ecclesall.

Sometimes you can’t win.

But this actually was not one of those times.

Sheffield did win.

Be as cynical as you like about money spent, the ‘over-hyping’ of the Tour and Sheffield not really being interested in cycling - especially French cycling - this was a day to remember.

When did the people of the city turn out to whoop and cheer on the streets in such numbers before?

When ever did so many people visit the city with money to spend in such a friendly and celebratory atmosphere?

Probably never, and maybe never again.

People came to our party and had a good time.

It won’t transform the city and our problems are still with us but you can’t wait for the world to be perfect before you allow yourself to have fun.

That day will never arrive.

But Sheffield’s day did arrive on Sunday and it’s one that no-one who turned out will forget.