Olympic Torch Relay and Village Sign unveiling in Wymeswold


Tuesday 3rd July 2012 was a historic day for Wymeswold as huge crowds lined the streets to greet the Olympic Torch Relay into the village, followed by the unveiling of a new decorative village sign to mark the occasion.

The crowds started gathering from 8.30am even though the flame was not due to pass through for a further three hours. Wymeswold Parish Council had received permission to close The Stockwell fully from 11am in order to provide a safe viewing area for children from Wymeswold School and other schools in the area, but this had to be done earlier due to the larger than expected crowds.

The excitement built during the morning and then huge cheers, accompanied by the bells of St Mary’s Church, greeted the Torch Relay convoy as it passed through the village.

Unfortunately, a mix-up by the LOCOG organisers led to the first torch bearer, Megan Arnold from West Bridgford, only running a section from the edge of the village to the London Lane junction. She then passed the flame to Ted Collins from Hugglescote, who carried it through the rest of the village. This was due to LOCOG at the last minute adding a third torch bearer and therefore needing a second ‘kiss-point’ to the Wymeswold leg. This was not communicated to anyone on the ground.

As it was, the supposed third torch bearer failed to arrive for the shuttle bus pick-up, but rather than reverting to ‘Plan A’ the convoy organisers stuck to the revised start point by Wymeswold cemetery. Not only was Megan Arnold disappointed, but her family missed her run completely as they had been waiting by the original ‘kiss-point’ at the Three Crowns.

‘Wymeswold Waddle’ Race Director Chris Taylor was quickly in touch with Megan’s family and she has been invited back to Wymeswold in May of next year to be the ‘Guest of Honour’ and starter of the 2013 Wymeswold Waddle. We hope everyone will give her a huge cheer as Megan will finally gets her ‘moment to shine’ in Wymeswold.

Running behind the Torch Relay were members of the Wymeswold Running Club in their bright yellow duck costumes adding much colour to the occasion, perhaps to the bemusement to both some visitors and also to the security officers of the Metropolitan Police.

Once that Olympic Flame had passed, attention switched to Queen’s Park on The Stockwell where the decorative village sign was unveiled by Wymeswold’s oldest-born resident, 92-year-old Bill Wootton, together with the youngest pupil at Wymeswold School, 4-year-old Harry Wallis.

Wymeswold artist Susan Crinage produced the artwork, creating a design which reflects both Wymeswold’s rich past and also its many present activities. In 2008 the village was named as Leicestershire’s ‘Best Village’ in recognition of the many community groups, projects and activities taking place therefore as many of these as possible were included in the design.

The village sign was commissioned by Wymeswold Parish Council, with funding assistance from the Wymeswold Duck Race Committee. The Parish Council wishes to record its thanks to the Duck Race Committee for their support, to Susan Crinage for her time, skill and expertise in designing the artwork and also to the members of the village’s ‘Torch Relay’ sub-committee who helped both with advanced planning and then with marshalling on the day.

The passage for the Torch Relay through Wymeswold from the convoy vehicles can be relived on the BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/torchrelay/day46