Countdown to the Olympic Torch’s visit to Bridlington

The Olympic Torch route through Bridlington
The Olympic Torch route through Bridlington

THE countdown to the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Bridlington is officially under way after the famous flame reached British shores over the weekend.

And for those who cannot wait for the world’s most famous flame to arrive in Bridlington, plans are under way for an ‘alternative torch relay’ to take place right through the town centre three days early.

The Olympic Flame has started its 70-day tour of the UK in the run up to the London 2012 Games after it touched down at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall on board a chartered British Airways A319 aircraft, specially named The Firefly, from Athens on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning a Royal Navy Search and Rescue Squadron delivered the Flame to Land’s End, where the Olympic Torch Relay began.

The flame will travel 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities the chance to share in the spirit of the Olympic Games, not least the people of Bridlington who will get their chance on Monday June 18.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets when the flame enters the town from the north and is handed over to the first of three torch bearers who will carry it down Scarborough Road at around 3pm.

It will pass the historic Priory and Baylegate before continuing down St John’s Street and Quay Road, before turning right at the roundabout on Quay Road and heading down Station Road.

At the end of Station Road the torch, flanked by a convoy of up to 20 vehicles carrying Olympic officials and sponsors, will be carried on to Hilderthorpe Road, before a left turn on to Kingsgate. It will leave Bridlington on the A165 at around 3.22pm.

The route has been determined by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) with input from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

But with the relay by-passing some of the town’s other landmarks including the Town Hall and the Spa, and the three torch-bearers being from outside of Bridlington, plans for an ‘alternative torch relay’ are being drawn up by residents who want to see more ‘local’ input.

As previously reported local torch bearer nominees have spoken of their disappointment at finding out they would not be involved in their home town’s Olympic celebrations in favour of torch bearers from North Ferriby, Hornsea and Wetherby.

Now Thelma Milns and Judy Pickering are planning to stage an alternative torch relay parade through the town centre on Friday June 15 which they hope will involve ‘torch bearers’ from Bridlington who were unsuccessful in the official selection process.

“This is just to prove to the Olympic Committee that the Bridlington people are the best and somebody from Bridlington should have been chosen,” Mrs Pickering said.

Thelma added: “It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially as there are a lot of local kids and local groups that would love to be involved and they’re just not, they’re just getting ignored.”

If interested in getting involved the unsuccessful Bridlington nominees have been asked to get in touch with the alternative relay organisers by emailing newsdesk@bridlingtonfreepress.co.uk or by calling (01262) 677338.