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Escrick Schoolgirls Celebrate Tour de France on Penny Farthing

Bike Ride 210514

1:15pm 21st May 2014

Girls at Queen Margaret’s in Escrick, York, are gearing up for their own version of a tour de Yorkshire to raise funds for charity with a very special mascot for their journey: a Victorian Penny Farthing on loan from the York Castle Museum.

The girls are also raising awareness of a special weekend, to be held at Queen Margaret’s, to celebrate the Tour de France.

After a very successful 210-mile journey that raised nearly £3,000 in 2012, a group of Year 9 girls will be completing a 180-mile trip on the Yorkshire Dales route of the forthcoming Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

Meanwhile the school is opening its doors from July 3 to July 7 for fans of the world’s greatest cycle race.

The School will provide swimming sessions for adults and children and live action from the Tour de France in the school’s theatre. The theatre will also screen a number of classic films throughout the weekend, whilst the school’s dormitories and cottages will be available as accommodation. Special buses will be provided to take everyone into York to watch Le Grand Depart.

Dinner at the school will be available from July 3 to 7 inclusive, while breakfast and supper will be served for people camping and caravanning in Escrick Park by the school from July 3-7 each day.

Queen Margaret’s is organising this special weekend in conjunction with its neighbour, the historic Escrick Park Estate.

Charlie Forbes Adam of Escrick Park explained: “Le Grand Depart is an historic occasion and it is tremendous that it is taking place in Yorkshire. It will be the first time Le Tour has visited the north of England, having previously only made visits to the south coast and London and we want to celebrate this.

“The combination of the rolling acres of our picturesque Escrick Park estate and the first-class facilities of Queen Margaret’s, one of the leading independent girls’ schools in the country, provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy the weekend of Le Grand Depart.”

Dr Paul Silverwood, the headmaster of Queen Margaret’s said: “Le Grand Depart leaves from the Knavesmire in York at 9.20am on Sunday July 6 and that will be the centrepiece of our weekend. We will be arranging transport into York for this once-in-a-lifetime event and extending the school’s facilities to all our guests through the rest of what promises to be a very special four days”.

Meanwhile Quentin Sands, Head of Theatre Studies at Queen Margaret’s, will be leading the girls on their cycling expedition.

He explained: “This is an incredible opportunity for the School as girls will not only be raising funds in aid of The Theo Trust, but also getting to be part of history in the making as they ride on the same route used by the Tour de France cyclists.’’

The Theo Trust is a charity supporting Russian children in orphanages by providing them residential, educational and holiday experiences in the UK. Two Russian girls who participated in the first trip are spending this term at the School and will be joining the team on the forthcoming ride.

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