Tour de France exhibition at North Norfolk Church

Published:
09:23 8 June 2022



Updated:
09:32 8 June 2022

He has been passionate about the Tour de France since childhood.

And now Peter Martin’s miniature of the famous cycling race is due to be displayed ahead of this year’s event, which kicks off in Copenhagen on July 1.

The miniature – which includes around 200 individual cyclists and motor vehicles – is the centerpiece of Mr. Martin’s vast collection of racing memorabilia.

The collection will fill his local church in Marsham, south of Aylsham, from Friday June 24th to June 26th.


Cycling fan Peter Martin with some of the Tour de France memorabilia he has collected over the years.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin

There will be jerseys, photos, newspapers, magazines, programs, bike bottles, posters, giveaways, signs, books and advertisements.


Miniature of the Tour de France

Models of a cyclist and entourage vehicles at the Tour de France miniature built by Norfolk man Peter Martin.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin

Mr Martin first attended the Tour de France 24 years ago and has returned every year since except in 2020 and 2021 when travel was restricted due to the pandemic.

In 2020, when the actual race was postponed, Mr Martin put the miniature cyclists to the test in his alternative #TourdeMyGarden on Twitter.

Each day’s stage was recreated and quickly caught the attention of Talksport Radio and BBC Look East.

The following year, French TV channel France2 made contact with Mr Martin during a second #TourdeMyGarden, when the mock tour came face to face with the real Tour de France and was spotted by a editor-in-chief of France TV.

Mr Martin’s love for the Tour de France began while vacationing in France with his parents when he was around 10 and he bought some race-related miniatures from a toy store.


Miniature tour of France

The miniature Tour de France built by Peter Martin, from Marsham, during the summer of 2020.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin

When he was older, he started watching the event on TV.

“It caught my eye and I thought, I want to go see this,” he said.

In 1998, Mr. Martin traveled to France to witness the race itself.

“I went to the last stage,” he said. “My favorite driver at the time was Marco Pantani, he won it.

“I couldn’t understand how big it was.”


Miniature tour of France

A scene from Norfolk man Peter Martin’s miniature Tour de France, which he built during lockdown in 2020.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin

Mr. Martin likes that it’s not a particularly tribal event.

“You encourage everyone,” he said. “It’s playing against a beautiful backdrop. It’s vacation time. It’s a great show.”

Donations made at the exhibition will go to the church itself and the Little Princess Trust.

The Tour de France annually covers around 3,500 km, has some 198 competitors, takes place over three weeks and is divided into 21 stages.


Miniature tour of France

A group of cyclists in the miniature Tour de France by Peter Martin, a man from Norfolk, which will be displayed at the church in Marsham from June 24-26.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin


Miniature tour of France

Entourage vehicles at Peter Martin’s miniature Tour de France which will be on display at the church in Marsham from 24th to 26th June.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin


Exhibition Peter Martin Tour de France

Peter Martin, 54, will share his enthusiasm for the Tour de France with a memorabilia display at the church in Marsham.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin


Miniature tour of France

Cyclists racing in the miniature Tour de France built by Norfolk man Peter Martin.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin


Miniature tour of France

Cyclists racing in Norfolk man Peter Martin’s miniature Tour de France. It will be on display at Marsham Church from June 24-26.
– Credit: Courtesy of Peter Martin

Jerry B. Hatch