Valley Bowl a hit as businesses boosted by race

Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 - French stilt walkers entertain the crowds at Don Valley Bowl
Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 - French stilt walkers entertain the crowds at Don Valley Bowl
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It wasn’t just Sheffield streets which were packed with spectators – a family fun day event saw crowds soak up the Tour de France buzz in the sun at the Don Valley Bowl.

A host of activities were put on at the green space near the Attercliffe finish line, including a fairground, an adventure playground, a big screen showing the race and deckchairs for spectators. A Poetry Takeaway Service desk was manned by Sheffield’s Matt Black, offering poems for customers and a quick rhyme of advice for the riders.

He said: “If you want to get a medal, pedal, pedal, the beginning, eat lots of Yorkshire pudding!”

Alan Devonport, an exhibitor at the venue from the South Yorkshire branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association, said: “It’s been a lovely, lovely family-orientated event. 
“There must have been about 4,000 or 5,000 people at Don Valley Bowl today.

“It’s absolutely brilliant and the organisers of this part of the event have done a great job.”

But it wasn’t just stalls at the finish line doing a roaring trade – businesses across the city felt the Tour de France boost.

Jordan Bray, manager of the Arena Square pub opposite the finish line, said: “We have had a lot of people through the doors today

“It’s going to do the reputation of the area proud and it’s great to see the boost it is bringing to so many great businesses in the area.”

Claire Beecroft, landlady of The Cock Inn in Oughtibridge, said: “It’s so exciting. We didn’t know what to expect.

“We had hundreds in last night and our takings doubled.”

Jim and Mal Cork, originally from Sheffield but now from Nottingham, were in Bradfield.

They said: “It’s fantastic to have this in Sheffield and such a boost to the local economy.

“Everyone who was at the Old Horns pub last night said it is the busiest it has ever been.”

Jasper Sharpe, aged 40, from Woodseats, said: “The Tour de France is the third biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the World Cup and the fact it is in Sheffield is just brilliant.”