Published On: Wed, Apr 3rd, 2024
Music | By MDN

Wanted: Harry Styles experts to guide tours of star’s home village | Harry Styles

A Cheshire village that has been swamped by young visitors has appealed for tour guides with a very specific skill set: an expert knowledge of Harry Styles.

More than 5,000 fans – known as Harries – have descended on the quaint community of Holmes Chapel in the last year in a pop pilgrimage to the singer’s home town.

Some were said to be “risking life and limb” to visit the site of Styles’s first kiss, a railway viaduct near a notoriously busy main road, prompting villagers to publish a self-guided tour map last year.

Now local people have decided to go one step further. The Holmes Chapel Partnership, a community group, has announced that it is launching its own official tours and is looking for Styles superfans to lead them.

The demand for the coveted roles is expected to be so great that the village will host an audition day later this month, presumably in the style of The X Factor on which Styles rose to fame.

Peter Whiers, the group’s chair, said they hoped to hire Harries aged over 16, but that “more senior individuals may also apply”.

Whiers said the influx of Harries from across the world had led to a business boom in Holmes Chapel, including at the bakery where Styles worked part-time before finding fame with One Direction.

The store, W Mandeville’s, has a lifesize cardboard placard of their most famous ex-employee holding a white loaf – which, predictably, has become its bestselling item.

The tour will also take in Styles’s former schools, the terraced cottage where he grew up, and the nearby Chinese restaurant where he once took Taylor Swift.

But the biggest draw is Twemlow Viaduct, an otherwise unremarkable railway bridge where Styles reputedly had his first kiss.

The structure – known to fans as “Harry’s Wall” – is also where Styles scrawled his name during a biopic released in 2013.

Since then fans from as far afield as Australia, the US and Mexico have travelled to the usually muddy field in south Cheshire to write their name alongside their idol.

The Holmes Chapel Partnership warned last year that fans were “risking life and limb” by crossing a busy main road to get to Harry’s Wall, as they released a safety-approved map for intrepid visitors.

Whiers said they were expecting “significant” demand for the new tours, which are expected to begin in June and run until September. He added: “Even during the wet winter months, Harries have continued to visit, braving muddy banks and wet fields to pay homage at Harry’s Wall.”

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