Manchester details revealed for London 2012 torch relay

By Mancunian Matters staff

London 2012 organisers have announced more details about the two days the Olympic torch will spend in Manchester before next summer’s Games.

The torch will leave Lytham St Anne’s on the morning of Saturday June 23rd and will pass through Warton, Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Crawshawbooth, Reedsholme, Rawtenstall, Rochdale, Heywood, Bury, Whitefield, Prestwich, Higher Broughton and Cheetham Hill before arriving in Manchester for an evening celebration.

Manchester’s football heritage is expected to figure strongly on the route, whose specific details will be revealed next year, with insiders tipping both Old Trafford and the City of Manchester Stadium to feature.

In addition to the city’s football stars, it is also expected that leading Mancunian Olympians will be involved, including Darren Campbell, who carried the England flag during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and members of the track cycling team, based at the velodrome in Eastlands.

The exact venue for the evening celebration is not known but Albert Square is the frontrunner.

A ceremonial cauldron will be lit during the event, which will be broadcast by the BBC, and the torch will then spend the night in the city before starting the next leg of its journey from Salford the following morning.

It will then pass through Trafford, Moss Side, Rusholme, Longsight, Levenshulme, Stockport, Ashton under Lyne and Oldham.

London 2012’s organising committee Locog claim 95 percent of the British population will be within ten miles of the Olympic flame as it makes its 8,000 mile journey around the United Kingdom.

Organisers have also revealed how the flame will travel by a large range of alternative modes of transport, including a sidecar on the Isle of Man, home of the famous TT Races, the Alum Bay chairlift on the Isle of Wight and a mountain railway to the summit of Snowdon.

In addition there are plans for the torch to fly across the Eden Project in a hot air balloon, travel across Loch Ness in a boat and fly down a zip wire off the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle. It will also journey on horseback, bicycle, tram, rowing boat and steam train.

As expected some of Britain’s postcard landmarks will feature heavily, with the flame visiting the summit of the 1085 metre Snowdon in north Wales, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, the Needle’s off the Isle of Wight, Stonehenge, Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast and St Andrew’s, the home of golf, in Scotland.

“I’m delighted that the Olympic torch relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK and that we have achieved our ambition to take the flame to within an hour’s journey of 95% of the population,” said London 2012 chairman Seb Coe. 

“Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion. The Olympic Games are coming to you as the Olympic flame gives our people and places their moment to shine.”

IN PICTURES: Landmark stops for London 2012 Olympic torch relay


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