Yorkshire maypole cut down to help make way for Tour de France
Safety experts found that it was rotten, but locals are 'quite upset' by the removal
Thursday 26 June 2014
A 75ft maypole that stood in the Yorkshire town of Otley for at least 50 years has been cut down – partly because of the Tour de France.
Believed to be the tallest permanent maypole in Britain, it was removed without warning to the horror of local people.
Safety experts cut down the pole after an assessment — ordered because the Tour de France will pass by next week — found that it was rotten.
But local councillors in the town, which is within Leeds metropolitan borough, complained its sudden removal had left some local people “quite upset”.
Ryk Downes, a councillor, told The Daily Telegraph: “To bring the maypole down was the right call.
“However to do it this way, with no consultation or planning is a disgrace. What would have been a tourist attraction, helping put Otley on the map and in the minds of tourists from around the world at the Grand Depart [of the Tour] is now nothing more than a shaved stump.”
Mark Dobson, an executive board member at Leeds city council, said that “extensive decay” had been found at the base of the maypole, saying that it had “posed a serious risk to members of the public in what is a busy area of Otley”.
“It was simply not acceptable to put the public at risk by delaying action to deal with that situation,” he said.
Local historian Paul Wood said a maypole could have stood in Otley since 1660.
A photograph from 1906 shows a maypole towering over four-storey buildings nearby. The recently removed maypole was put up in Manchester Square in 1962.
Mr Wood said people had not danced round the maypole for some time partly due to increased road traffic.
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...