11:00am Thursday 22nd March 2012
By James Tourgout
PLANS to celebrate the Olympic Torch relay as it threads its way through Lyme Regis are getting underway.
Preparations are set to be stepped up after the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced details of the route, times and runners.
Torch bearers will carry the Olympic flame in 300-metre sections through Lyme Regis at 3.35pm on Thursday, July 12.
Communities are excited by the arrival but there is also disappointment that none of the torch bearers will be from the area.
Mayor Sally Holman said: “We’re delighted that the Olympic Torch Relay is coming to Lyme.
“We have been making plans since November to celebrate as well as to give all local children, and our elderly residents who would like to see it, a vantage point to view the torch as it passes.
“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our town.
“There are plans for a procession from Cobb Gate to the Cobb with all sporting organisations taking part.
“We hope that families and visitors will finish the afternoon with us at the sandbar and slipway for presentations and refreshments.”
The relay will head from Dorchester to Bridport at 2.46pm before it goes to Chideock at 3.13pm, Lyme Regis at 3.35pm and Burton Bradstock at 4.52pm and then Weymouth and Portland.
The torch bearers for Lyme Regis are Clive Allison from Poole and Paddy Coker, who is described by LOCOG as from Dorset.
Trevor Chambers, from Morcombelake, who was picked as a torch bearer will be on a leg through Hamworthy in Poole.
Locals Sharon Ward, Ritchie Durrant and Georgia Rooke were all nominated to run in Lyme Regis but were all turned down.
Sharon said she was disappointed but that she would be cheering on the torch relay anyway.
“It is disappointing. I don’t know how they quite work it out.
She added: “But I am happy that Lyme has got the torch going through.
“I will be there anyway cheering it on.”
Coun Holman said that the choice of runners was regrettable but that it wouldn’t dampen enthusiasm.
“There has been much comment about torch bearers not being from the communities through which the torch will be carried.
“There is disappointment that Lyme-nominated bearers won’t be doing their 300-metre run here with us. But we must allow for the huge logistical challenge of the relay and not let that dampen our enthusiasm. ”
Celebration details will be on the LRTC tourism website, lymeregis.org, and in the Lyme Regis News nearer the time.
A SPOKESMAN for LOCOG said that there were four public nomination campaigns for torch bearers.
There were 12 selection panels on a regional basis, including the south west region.
He said that it was a huge logistical exercise putting 8,000 runners into slots – including places for relay sponsors Samsung, Lloyds and Coca Cola as well as other interested parties and the British Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee.
He said: “We tried extremely hard to try and make sure that runners were within an hour of where they live.
“In an ideal world they would be running where they live but because of the logistics involved sometimes it was just not possible.”
He added: “Even if there is not a recognisable face we hope that it will not put people off.
“The fact that they have got the torch is a huge privilege.”
2:25pm: Winterbourne Abbas
3:35pm: Lyme Regis
4:52pm: Burton Bradstock
6:42pm: Osprey Quay, Portland
7.20pm: Weymouth Beach Evening Celebration
7:05am: Portland Bill
10:39am: Winfrith Newburgh
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