Talking West Cheshire

Countdown for the arrival of the Olympic Torch

15 May 2012

The countdown is now well underway for the Olympic Torch celebrations taking place in Chester on Tuesday 29 May.

The arrival in Saltney of the Olympic Torch crossing the Welsh border takes place at 5.45pm.

Roadside celebrations will mark the route of the torch as it makes its way through the city escorted by Roman soldiers who will join the torch convoy at the Old Dee Bridge.

Two bands will be playing alternatively in the Bandstand at The Groves including the City of Chester Brass Band.

In Grosvenor Park there will be more music from Farndon and District Brass Band and also dance which includes 26 students from the University of Chester in collaboration with Cheshire Dance.

There will be gladiators at the Amphitheatre, and as the torch enters the Roman city there will be more celebrations and Canon Jane Brooke from Chester Cathedral will meet an Olympic Torch Bearer at the Cathedral’s West Door.

Northwich – based band The Weavils as well as Bollin Brass Band will be playing at Chester Town Hall as the relay passes by.

The celebration at Chester Racecourse will be well underway when the final Olympic Torch bearer jockey Jason Maguire rides the 2011 Chester Cup winner and 2012 runner up Overturn in the final leg of the relay, arriving at 6.50pm, igniting the Olympic flame cauldron on stage.

Just before this historic moment the Lord Mayor Elect of Chester Councillor Pam Booher will give a special welcome to mark the occasion.

There will be fourteen torchbearers in total coming into the city and they will each cover approximately three hundred metres.

The show at Chester Racecourse begins at 5pm – gates will be open from 3.30pm. There are two entrances: Watergate Square, New Crane Street (the main racecourse entrance) and from the Little Roodee car park. Entry is free but strictly by ticket only. Wheelchair access is via Watergate Square.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s first section of the Racecourse celebration will welcome on the stage Rebecca Romero, a former World Champion and Olympic Games Medallist at Rowing and a former World Champion and reigning Olympic Champion track cyclist. She is currently studying at the University of Chester. There will also be a short film about Rebecca.

The three Presenting Partners will also each provide 20 minutes of exciting entertainment for the event. This will include Coca-Cola showcasing up-and-coming live music acts including Kids in Glass Houses, Lloyds TSB bringing stunning acrobatic performances to the site and Samsung staging dance performances.

Theatre in the Quarter will perform elements of their Across the World which tells the tale of a Chester Giant, who, like an Olympic athlete in pursuit of gold, travels the world to find her dream and will feature more than 350 local singers and dancers.

Composed by Matt Baker with lyrics by Helen Newall, the piece was originally created as the city’s contribution to Music Nation organised by the BBC and LOCOG

The concert ends with in a spectacular finale titled the “Moment When …’ which features five hundred community dancers performing alongside professional dance artists and aerialists in a co-production between Cheshire Dance and Walk the Plank.

There will be fireworks, special effects and specially composed music set against a backdrop of the city walls.
On Wednesday, 30 May at 7am the first torchbearer starts the exit from the city from the middle of the suspension bridge in The Groves and the final torchbearer returns the flame to the convoy on Wrexham Road at 7.20am.

There will be four torchbearers for the departure relay.

Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation said: “The Torch celebration is for everyone within west Cheshire.

“There will be celebrations on route as torchbearers make their way from Saltney to the Racecourse and we hope that together with the Racecourse show, will truly mark the significance of the Olympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad.

“So please celebrate with us this magnificent and special occasion when the Olympic Torch comes to Cheshire west.”

You can bring a picnic to the Racecourse however there will be a variety of hot and cold food and drink available from retailers.

However for safety reasons you cannot bring in glass bottles, umbrellas, camping chairs, gazebos and barbeques. Pets will not be permitted other than assistance dogs.