‘The Forgotten Portion’ missed out on televsion

The Tour of Britain passes through Wooler. Picture by John Tuttiett.
The Tour of Britain passes through Wooler. Picture by John Tuttiett.

A community enterprise which aims to promote and develop cycling tourism in Glendale has criticised the coverage of the area during the Tour of Britain.

A significant portion of the prestigious race’s Stage Four, on Wednesday, September 9, took place in the area as the cyclists crossed the border at Cornhill before heading through Ford and Wooler, the former hosting a King of the Mountains section.

The decorated bikes in Wooler, in preparation for the Tour of Britain, which passes through the village on Wednesday, September 9.

The decorated bikes in Wooler, in preparation for the Tour of Britain, which passes through the village on Wednesday, September 9.

But in a letter signed by Wooler Cycle Hub’s chairman Beth Mills and secretary Kevin Malloy, the not-for-profit group has expressed its disappointment with the TV coverage afforded to the area.

It reads: ‘We had been led to believe that it was a live stage, the helicopter would be flying overhead and the camera in front of the race would be picking up pictures of the route as it went. A big part of the effort that went into the decoration was to show to a worldwide audience the importance of cycling and the Tour of Britain to the area.

‘With the River Tweed, the castles of Ford and Etal, beautiful rural scenery and Wooler nestling against the backdrop of the Cheviot Hills, there were enough points of interest to keep the cameras happy in the entire Borders and north Northumberland section.

‘So why were the first helicopter pictures and commentary after crossing the border, about Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle, neither of which were anywhere near the Tour of Britain route?’

It adds: ‘It’s well known that one of the terms for Northumberland is The Secret Kingdom. Perhaps this area of north Northumberland should be called The Forgotten Portion or The Overlooked Region.’

However, the letter does acknowledge the Tour’s worth in terms of inspiring schoolchildren and helping to bring communities together.