The Bentham Passing Place:
- Is the first Passing Place on the Way of the Roses, the long distance cycle route between Morecambe and Bridlington.
- Has been developed by Sustrans in partnership with Pioneer Projects, with the support of Craven District Council, Forest of Bowland Sustainable Development Fund, Arts Council England and the Ernest Cook Foundation.
- Is part of a national arts project happening in ten towns and villages across the cycle route
- Aims to attract cyclists into High and Low Bentham off the main route and provide a circular bike ride from Bentham station.
- Has a local steering group with representatives from the community and We Are Bentham, Bentham Town Council, BEST, Craven District Council, Cedar House School and the Forest of Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
The sculptor, Marjan Wouda was commissioned to consult with local people and hold community workshops to create designs for artwork . Over 600 people have contributed to the process so far, with seven design ideas being considered. Following the consultation, the steering group made the decision to start with the Queens Bloomers. The story behind the design is linked to local history. The people who worked at the Ford Ayrton silk mill in Low Bentham had prior knowledge of the colour of Queen Victoria’s underwear as they wove the silk that made them.
Added to this is the fact that bloomers became the first must-have fashion item for cycling because Victorian women could not ride bicycles in dresses. The stainless steel woven mesh bloomers will be made by the artist and sited high in a tree on the riverbank near the Punch Bowl in Low Bentham.