The second stage of the Tour de France has finished in Sheffield with 2.5m people having lined the route around Yorkshire over two days. The stage was won by Vincenzo Nibali after 124 miles (201km) of punishing roads and hill climbs. The crowds were so dense in some places that riders struggled to pass at some points while in some areas late-comers were turned away. Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of the tour organisers TdFHUB2014 Ltd said: "Around 2.5 million spectators lined the route over two days and revelled in being part of history." Read more >>
The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows a group of riders going down a hill somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside. The joke is that one of the riders is a sheep (sheep farming is common in the Yorkshire Dales, as the soils are thin and unsuitable for any other type of farming). One of her fellow sheep comments, "Hang on — isn't that Ethel?" (Ethel is an old-fashioned name which seems suitable for a sheep).
1. "Hang on" is an expression used for saying that you have just realized something. • Hang on a minute! That isn't the dress she was wearing earlier.
2. The word sheep is invariable: one sheep, two or more sheep.
3. In the cartoon we can see a dry-stone wall. Such walls are characteristic of upland areas of Britain and Ireland where rock outcrops naturally or large stones exist in quantity in the soil.
I'm sure this has nothing to do with the cartoon, but the man who persuaded the French to bring their legendary cycle race to the north of England is a sheep farmer who runs a tourist and promotional organisation from an office in the city of Leeds in Yorkshire. Read more >>