SOME of the first celebrations of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France have kicked off with a decidedly fishy event.

Sheep, giant bloomers and shoals of fish were the theme of a family fun day held in Bentham to celebrate both the town’s history and North Yorkshire’s involvement in the prestigious cycle race.

“It was a really great day,” said Alison Clough, spokesman for Pioneer Projects, which joined up with Carnival Bentham to put on a fancy dress cycling event and parade through town.

“There must have been 1,000 people either watching or taking part in the parade.It was great to see so many people.”

The theme was chosen by residents because of the town's history of silk weaving and the belief that silk from Bentham was used in bloomers worn by Queen Victoria.