Thunderbirds are grow! York Maze gets the Tracy treatment

Jamie Anderson holds a scale replica of the Thunderbird 2 model used in filming by his father Gerry, and Tom Pearcy, resplendent as Virgil Tracy. Photograph: Kippa Matthews / York Maze
9 Jul 2015 @ 8.28 am
| News
York Maze

Elvington Lane (B1228), York, YO19 5LT, just off the A1079 Hull Road

Open daily from Sat July 11 to Mon Sept 7 @ 10am-6.30pm

Adult £13.50, senior £13, children (3-15) £12.50, under 3s free, family £50

York Maze website

Five… four… three… two… one… York Maze is go!

Iconic sci-fi TV show Thunderbirds has been unveiled as the theme of the summer attraction, which opens on Saturday (July 11).

In the 50th anniversary year of the Gerry Anderson classic – filmed, as all of a certain age know, in Supermarionation – a giant version of spaceship Thunderbird 2 has been cut into the maize.

An aerial shot of the maize maze
An aerial shot of the maize maze

As always, the idea came from the fertile imagination of farmer and maze master, Tom Pearcy. He is a big fan.

As a kid I remember watching Gerry Anderson’s great TV shows like Stingray & Captain Scarlet, but Thunderbirds was my favourite.

As a child Thunderbird 2 captured my imagination, I think it’s the most iconic of all the Thunderbirds and being green it works perfectly carved into the field of maize plants!

Puzzle out of this world

York Maze is believed to be the biggest of its kind in Europe.

It has taken Tom and his team nearly a week to cut 3.7 miles of pathways through the growing crop of maize in the 15 acre field – the size of eight football pitches.

At 350m long, the Thunderbird 2 is more than four times bigger than the model in the show, and is probably the biggest TB2 every created.

As well as showing an outline of the Thunderbirds 2 ship, the maze bears the legend, Thunderbirds Are 50.

Anderson country

Gerry Anderson with Troy Tempest from Stingray in 1966
Gerry Anderson with Troy Tempest from Stingray in 1966

Sadly Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson is no longer here to see his vision writ large across Yorkshire. He died in 2012.

But his son Jamie was very pleased to be official guest of honour at the launch of York Maze 2015 on Thursday (July 9).

Jamie said:

It’s incredible, this really is an amazing tribute to 50 years of Thunderbirds.

I’m sure my father would have been thrilled to see this and he would have been particularly interested in the design process and how it has been carved into the field in such impressive detail.

Previous amazing mazes

The York Maze was first launched in 2002. Here are all the designs…

2002 Viking Longship
2003 Spiders Web
2004 Flying Scotsman
2005 Big Ben
2006 Star Trek
2007 James Bond
2008 Statue of Liberty
2009 Astronaut
2010 Spitfire
2011 Harry Potter
2012 Mayan God of Corn
2013 Dalek & Doctor Who
2014 Yorkshiremen – Brian Blessed, Geoff Boycott & Jeremy Clarkson