Villagers get into the Giro spirit

Villagers Olga Whitten and George Cochrane. INPT18-028
Villagers Olga Whitten and George Cochrane. INPT18-028

Hamiltonsbawn has gone Giro crazy, with an impressive display of pink festooning the village.

Bikes have been painted, wooden geese and sheep have made an appearance and a huge ‘Hamiltonsbawn Welcomes Giro d’Italia’ has been spelt out in pink letters in a field.

The villagers behind the collective decorating effort have been meeting regularly at the Bawn Inn, ever since they successfully applied to Armagh council and received the £2,000 Giro grant.

The race will pass through the village shortly after noon on Sunday en route to Markethill, having passed through Loughgall and Richhill.

Olga Whitten, one of the volunteers, said, “One of the first things the cyclists will see, if they look up, as they turn the corner is the welcome sign in the field. We are also hoping it will be picked up by the TV camera in the helicopters.”

The inventive villagers used a huge banqueting roll to create the message, secured to the ground with tent pegs.

They also used old sheets, which they dyed pink, to make the bunting while schoolchildren made small flags and streamers have been wrapped around the trees.

One of the most productive workers has been retired painter and decorator Cecil Williamson who cut out and painted the animal shapes and made a large bicycle using old cart wheels, which he then decorated with flowers.