Tour de France exhibition at North Norfolk Church
09:23 8 June 2022
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.
There will be jerseys, photos, newspapers, magazines, programs, bike bottles, posters, giveaways, signs, books and advertisements.
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.
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.”
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.