Olympic torch boost for Scarborough

From left, Derek Bastiman, Deputy Mayoress Lucy Mallory, Deputy Mayor Helen Mallory, David Archer.'114349d. Picture Kevin Allen
From left, Derek Bastiman, Deputy Mayoress Lucy Mallory, Deputy Mayor Helen Mallory, David Archer.'114349d. Picture Kevin Allen
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It was officially announced today that a bid by Scarborough Council – which was first submitted back in February – has been successful.

Retired boxer Paul Ingle, who represented Great Britain in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, said: “It’s brilliant and I will most definitely be watching it. It’s the biggest occasion in sport. I think it’ll give the town a buzz and it’ll make it more alive. It’s a chance to be there and be part of it – it’s a once in a lifetime thing.”

The torch will pass through Loftus, Hinderwell, Lythe, Sandsend, Whitby, Scarborough and Filey on Monday, June 18. There will be a detour into Ryedale via the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering.

Cllr Derek Bastiman, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “We are over the moon with this fantastic news, which will mean that so many local people will be able to welcome the Olympic Flame to their communities. There has been a lot of hard work over the last year in highlighting the attractiveness of the borough as an area to promote the benefits of London 2012 and the Olympic Torch Relay.”

He added that it was good news that all three main towns in the area had been included. He said: “I particularly urge schools and community groups to get involved along the route, by showing support for those in their communities that will be chosen to be Torchbearers and making the most of what will be a once in two or three generations opportunity.”

Cllr David Jeffels, the council’s portfolio holder for tourism, also welcomed the news. He said: “It’s very likely that the Olympic Torch will be followed by TV cameras from all over the world as it goes around Britain and it is going to make some spectacular TV footage.

“We’ve got three spectacular resorts in the area and it is going to lend itself to the torch coming here. It’s a wonderful accolade.”

He added that he was sure that crowds would line the route on the day. He said: “I hope children from local schools will get time off to come and see it. Hopefully there will be some glorious weather. It’s going to bring a lot of extra holidaymakers here – not just from the UK but from the European mainland as well.”

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said it was fantastic news for the area. He said: “I hope it will start to enthuse people with the Olympic spirit and I hope they will turn out to watch the flame going through the town. I hope it will give the opportunity to some local people to have the chance to carry the torch.”

He added that it would be a good advert for the area. He said: “It will be good for the tourist industry.People will see the flame going through Scarborough and think what a nice place to visit. But I hope nobody asks me to carry it – my legs have not recovered from the 10km run yet.”

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of May 19 and will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK.

On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is the organisers’ intention that the flame will travel down the River Thames towards Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has invited people in Scarborough to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay. He added: “This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across the borough of Scarborough to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”

Details of the exact route are yet to be announced but it is understood that it will include the newly refurbished Open Air Theatre.