Posts Tagged ‘bunting’

Tour de France- global phenomenon with a local legacy?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Here at Chiggs we love Harrogate, and we love ‘Wheels‘, so we are naturally very excited that this weekend our home town will be hosting the Tour de France!

Yellow bike at Harrogate Tourist Information centre

‘The Tour de France cycle race is a global phenomenon, televised on over 85 TV channels in 190 countries- but what will be the local legacy for an area like Harrogate  from the Tour de France Yorkshire legs? It will put Yorkshire firmly on the map (as if it wasn’t already!) with hopefully more tourists coming to visit (and cycle) our magnificent Dales in the coming months.

A bonus in these straightened financial times would be a boost to the local economy from the event itself. A couple of enterprising local ladies have been supplying local businesses with yellow, green and spotty bunting reflecting the colours of the Tour de France cycling jerseys, and local gift shops have been doing a roaring trade selling the bunting to people wanting to decorate their houses with it!

In my role as manager of a junior cricket team playing in the Nidderdale league, I’ve been driving (with my cricketing daughter!) round a lot of the route the Tour de France cyclists will be tackling this weekend, while on my way to our away matches recently. I’ve seen a lot of ads from all sorts of businesses on the route with green spaces offering camping (the hotels in  Harrogate apparently sold out within days of the announcement that the Tour de France would be coming to Yorkshire). Very entrepreneurial, and obviously fulfilling a need-Harrogate Rugby Club has a full field of tents booked- sold out! What a great boost to the finances of the sports club!

Tonight Chiglet and I are going to the Tour de France opening ceremony at the Leeds Arena which we are very excited about. Le Tour de Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France is about to start, and we at Chiggs can’t wait to be there for the ride!

Tour de Bunting knitting update

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

I thought I’d blog an update on our efforts at knitting little jerseys for the Tour de France bunting.

Chiglet and I have completed 3 little yellow jerseys, and well before deadline (at least a day or two!) we took them to one of the drop off points, a shop on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate called Baa Ram Ewe which specialises in, as you can guess, the art of knitting!

The chap in there is absolutely lovely, he gave us some great advice when we originally went in to pick up our pattern and some yellow wool. This time he was very kind about our efforts, and gave us more good advice about ironing our finished jumpers (ie don’t! Just give them a little steam! I had pressed them to within an inch of their lives, which is not the right thing to do!).

He also suggested that although Harrogate Council are no longer collecting bunting, that should not stop us keeping on knitting, and that we should make more little knitted jumpers to make some bunting to adorn Chiggs HQ. What a great idea!

Harrogate County Council originally hoped that keen knitters would knock up 3,000 yellow, white, green and white-with-red-dots jerseys, hoping also that wasn’t too optimistic. And how many jerseys have been knitted? Over 23,000!!! As you can imagine, that is going to take quite some stringing!

Earlier this year we went for a family walk up to RHS Harlow Carr, and passed by the Council nursery at the top of Harlow Hill. We were rather surprised to see a couple of lines of the jerseys hanging out- we thought they must be the experimental bunting to see how the knitting copes with the Yorkshire rain!

In the next week or so the  lines of bunting should be appearing above the streets of Harrogate- and yes, we are going to see if we can spot our jerseys but with over 23,000 we may be there a while 🙂

the Tour de Bunting for Le Tour de France!

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

I’ve mentioned before that Chiggs is very lucky to be based in the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, and this year we have some added excitement as the  Tour de France cycle race is coming to the Harrogate district.

Yes, I know it sounds a bit bizarre that an iconic French cycle race will be whizzing around the Yorkshire dales, but while the Tour de France bicycle race is primarily held in France, it also occasionally makes passes through nearby countries- and this year it will be coming to Yorkshire!

Harrogate is hosting the final stage of the first day of the “Grand Départ” on the 5th of July, and the race passes through the district again on the 6th of July. In what can only be described as a truly British idea to celebrate the cycling extravaganza, Harrogate Borough Council have launched “Le Tour de Bunting “.

They have appealed to local groups, organisations and individuals to knit little woollen jerseys to represent the colour and shape of the riders’ shirts. These will be made into bunting, and used to decorate the district in the build-up to and after the event. It’s an ambitious project; the aim is to produce over 3000 knitted jerseys!

Here at Chiggs we love projects like this, so I have dusted off my knitting needles, and I’m teaching Chiglet the basics. The colours of the shirts are bright yellow, bright green, white and polka dot (white with red dots)

Le Tour de BuntingWe have chosen to knit an iconic ‘yellow jersey’, (I’m purling and Chiglet is doing the knit rows), and I have to say it’s going surprisingly well!  We have completed one little woolly jersey, and are well on the way to finishing our second. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not perfect- we have an odd ridge on the back of our finished jersey (I think I knitted when I should have purled!) but I’m sure when the finished knitted bunting is in place and fluttering in the balmy North Yorkshire breeze above the streets of Harrogate no-one will notice!

We can’t wait for the event now, it will be lovely to look at the finished ‘Tour de Bunting’ and to think “we helped make that”

Chiggs in print!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Nursery Industry Trade Magazine

I’m very excited to have become a published author (ooh, maybe something else I could put on my business card?!) with an article in the ‘Viewpoint’ section of Nursery Industry magazine, a monthly trade mag for the baby and nursery industry.

The article ‘Can the Union Jack boost the flagging economy’ (geddit?) expresses the hope that the patriotism and pride in Britain that we are seeing so much more of this year, will lead to a change in consumer buying- with customers actively looking to buy goods that are Made in the UK.

I was driving my daughter to her cricket match a couple of days ago, in a gorgeous little North Yorkshire village that was festooned in red white and blue bunting- it all looked wonderful! As the UK hangs out the bunting to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic games, I hope that the happy patriotism helps people realise that if they buy UK made products, they can help boost the British economy.

I’m very proud that Chiggs Wheels are all printed in the UK. The envelope each is supplied with, and cellophane the Wheels are lovingly enclosed in are made very local to us, in Bradford. Even the little stickers used in the ‘handmade’ process to attach the embellishments are from a business in Shipley, West Yorkshire, just round the corner from where my husband was born. We do like to keep things local!

Just like throwing a pebble in a pond, as I sell my Wheels to the lovely independent businesses who sell baby goods and greeting cards to the public, so I place orders with my UK suppliers, and the economic benefits spead outwards. If the buying public and retailers make an effort to buy British, maybe the legacy of the summer of 2012 could be a boost for british business?

It’s hip to be square

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The Harrogate Home and Gift trade Show is over for another year. It ran from the 17th to the 20th of July, filling the whole of the International Conference Centre (and much more besides!). I’ve been attending as a visitor for the last 5 years, since I started with Chiggs, and this year seemed to be the biggest ever- they keep finding subterranean halls to open and fill with exhibitors, and I think now the whole of the underground car park has been turned into exhibitor space. I’m sure that the vast majority of residents of Harrogate have no idea about the acres of space, bustling with people, under Kings Road!

Many local hotels are also used for the Home and Gift Show, with The Cairn hosting Gitware exhibitors, and The Majestic having ‘gifts for Men’ in the hotel, a rather wonderful jazz band playing on the terrace, and its grounds filled with semi-permanent ‘marquees’ (that word doesn’t do them justice, they are better built than my first house was!)

I went to meet some Twitter friends who run businesses exhibiting there, to browse businesses supplying products Chiggs need to purchase to make our business run smoothly (display units, stationery, packaging, embellishments etc ) and to check out the trends in the greeting card and gift market (if  ‘bunting’ is the new ‘cupcakes’ I wonder what the new ‘bunting’ will be?!)

Another trend that struck me is ‘square’ greeting cards. Now, I didn’t set out to design only square cards, the dial that makes the cards so useful and unique, in many ways, dictated the size and shape of Chiggs Wheels.  While some greeting card publishers have a variety of shapes and sizes in their ranges (including a few square cards), I noticed a few companies exhibiting at this year’s trade show whose entire range was square. It’s hip to be square!

More info:-Chiggs Wheels are approx 13cm x 13cm square, supplied with a white envelope and sealed in a cellophane wrapper with a printed insert. They are available to buy from the Chiggs online shop, from a variety of independent retailers, and at trade and wholesale rates exclusively from Chiggs.