Why:

Stephen A Gee (Andy Gee to my family and friends), proprietor of a premium furniture studio and small to medium family business in Harrogate’s town centre. Son of Alan Gee (a former member of Leeds Kirkgate cycling club).

Last year the Kirkgate’s lost a stalwart member, when Alan Gee passed away after a long battle against Cancer. Cycling and The Kirkgate’s gave Alan a lifetime’s fulfilment in the world of cycling, he would have been very proud if Stephen could give something back. The Tour de France Grand depart on the 5th July is a unique platform to raise funds for a good cause and an ideal opportunity to use a unique venue to embrace The Tour of 2014.


The Idea:

At Poliform North are to embrace the spirit of The Tour alongside RedHouse Originals art gallery and artist James Straffon, to host a series of events at their luxurious town centre showroom, within 250 yards of the 2014 stage one finish line.


Audience:

Cyclists of all shapes, sizes and abilities
Veteran Cyclists – a special bunch of people
Local residents
Tourists
RedHouse Originals – Client & supplier d-base
Stephen Neall Group – Client & supplier d-base
Media


Yesterday’s heroes of cycling:

Poliform North @ The Factory (part of The Stephen Neall Group) are to curate an incredible collection of original artefacts focusing on the “diehard and dedicated” heroes of cycling.  With the help and support of a select group of veteran cyclists, the “heroes of cycling” collection will include photographic images of cycling in the 50’s and 60’s, digitally enhanced to run on screen and projection.  Original vintage national and international championship jerseys.  An extraordinary group of vintage bicycles including replica or actual examples of bikes used by:- Tommy Simpson, Brian Robinson, Ken Russell, Barry Hoban, Maurice Woodrup and a gem of a Ron Kitchen bike.

www.woodrupcycles.com/


Today’s heroes of cycling:

A selection of cutting edge bikes will be exhibited alongside the originals, demonstrating 100 years of advancement in cycling technology.


Carbon, Sulphur and Paint:

Artist,  James Straffon has created 42 original artworks focusing on the unrivalled heritage of the world’s greatest cycle race – the Tour de France.  Drawing on the rich and vibrant history of the tour and its affinity with Yorkshire, a selection of the specially created portraits of the greatest riders on the tour can be seen alongside some of the biggest names in cycling today.  James’s work will be exhibited extensively at RedHouse Originals, with a satellite exhibition at Poliformnorth.  Carbon, Sulphur and Paint will also explore the legend of Harry Binns, seen by many to represent the “Spirit of the Tour”. James Straffon will explore the man behind the myth posing the eternal question: “Who Is Harry?”

www.redhouseoriginals.com/
www.james-straffon.co.uk/
www.harry-binns.co.uk


The Ale:

In collaboration with RedHouse and James Straffon, Roosters Brewing Co have created an exclusive ale to commemorate Carbon, Sulphur and Paint along with the legend of Harry Binns.  Roosters, renowned for their pioneering approach to brewing, have worked with James Straffon in designing the stunning artwork and branding to compliment this unique moment in time.

www.roosters.co.uk/


Mural:

In collaboration with James Straffon, Poliform North have created a unique large scale mural on the side of the The Factory building in the centre of Harrogate, the mural will showcase iconic images of cycling heroes including, Jacques Anquetil, Tommy Simpson, Brian Robinson, Barry Hoban, Mark Cavendish, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and of course Harry Binns. The public will be able to view the mural from all inward and outbound trains, from Station Bridge and from Victoria Avenue in the town centre.

“ It will be my final body of work focused on this unrivalled sporting spectacle. So I feel honoured to mark this closing chapter of my artistic career with the race coming to Harrogate. The Grand Depart represents a unique moment in time, and this show celebrates that.  I have come to understand that this epic story has a place for every person who takes to the open road. And that, perhaps, is the heart – legacy.”   James Straffon

Born in London in 1966, James Straffon is a visual artist who creates artworks across a broad range of media.  His creations owe much to the obsessive eye of the collector. With it, an appreciation of the erstwhile and endangered media which litter our heritage – the printed paper form, letterpress typography, film-shot photography, hand-painted objects and the forgotten allure of scrapbook assemblage. He has close connections with both the traditional forms of artistic expression, and the more cutting edge oeuvre of street art. He works between these genre, allowing for experimentation and interplay.  Straffon worked as a Graphic Designer within the creative industries for clients including The Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, EMI, and The Royal Academy of Arts before turning his focus on the fine arts.  He exhibits on a regular basis with past collections at Paul Smith, SNAP Galleries Piccadilly, The London Design Festival and various other London galleries. He has created commissioned work for clients, and has worked with a variety of organisations on specific street-based projects.  In 2012 he founded the Turnpike Art Group - a north London based initiative set up to create a free urban gallery experience; inviting international street artists to create work, as well as curating ongoing exhibition programs and introducing his own intervention artworks into the urban environment. The artist lives and works in London.

www.james-straffon.co.uk/


Fundraising:

Throughout the duration of our event, we will be focusing our efforts on raising funds for a charitable cause.  The chosen benefactors are to be The Dave Rayner Trust Fund and Yorkshire Air ambulance.

November 2014 will mark 20 years since Dave Rayner passed away. Since then his name and memory has been kept alive by the very existence of the organisation that bears his name; The Dave Rayner Trust Fund. The Fund was established in 1995 in order to help young riders go abroad to live and race, just as Dave had done.  Since then more than 300 season long funding packages have been offered to over 150 different riders. The requirements are simple: under 23 category and willing and able to live and race abroad for a full season with enough ability to obtain results and enough desire to continually improve. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is an independent charity providing a life saving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across Yorkshire. Flying seven days a week, 365 days a year, covering a vast landscape that not only do we includes major cities and motor ways, but also rural and isolated locations. The charity needs to raise £9990 per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s Air Ambulances maintained and in the air.

www.daveraynerfund.co.uk/
www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk/


Special event (Invitation only)

Saturday 5th July, RSVP to showroom@poliformnorth.co.uk

To celebrate stage one of the Grand Depart 2014, The Stephen Neall Group are hosting a Grand De-Party. Highlights include safe house for some veteran masters of cycling, pre-finish brunch, vintage bike display, a history of cycling on screen and fundraising events. / A 250mtr stroll to the finish line to witness the peloton crossing the line at 4.45pm / Post finish party with the days stage one replay on screen, a chance to meet some veteran masters of cycling face to face, music, cocktails and live cooking, vintage bike display, a history of cycling on screen and fundraising events. A talk by some of Yorkshire’s legendary cycling veterans, live cooking and fundraising events.

www.thestephenneallgroup.co.uk
www.poliformnorth.co.uk

To register your interest please contact  Andy Gee or Sam Haigh

Poliformnorth The Factory, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate North Yorkshire HG1 1DX

www.poliformnorth.co.uk  +44 (0)1423 521288     sag@stephenneall.co.uk   sh@stephenneall.co.uk