Herald Opinion: What a day July 17 should be

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Who wouldn’t want the excitement of the Olympic torch being paraded down their road? There can’t be a community in the land that wouldn’t celebrate being part of history in the making.

So who can blame Pevensey Bay villagers for going for gold in their cheeky attempt to get the torch to change route? Pub landlord Stephan Ritchie is hoping his petition will find its way to the table of the 2012 games organisers in London.

All power to their elbow!

What we shouldn’t lose sight of is that East Sussex is already getting its fair share of the action in the run-up to the Olympics.

Brighton and Hastings take pole position as stopover points for the torch convoy but thanks to the campaigning efforts of MP Stephen Lloyd and the borough council, Eastbourne is now on the map, too, for the July 17 extravaganza.

For security reasons, details are being kept under wraps at this stage but rumour has it that the torch will be in the Pevensey patch for around 4pm and that the convoy will remain in a lay-by close to the village and the torch will not be paraded in the village’s high street.

The idea of the torch relay is that the Olympic flame comes within travelling distance of every community in Britain. Our coastal communities have fared well and although Hastings gets the gold prize of a concert celebration and an overnight stop, Eastbourne still finds itself on the podium.

When revealed, the chosen route should bring the flame within touching distance of most of our readers. What a day July 17 should be - for Pevensey and for all of us!

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MEANWHILE, preparations continue behind the scenes for another mega summer event in the shape of a reborn Eastbourne carnival. The stage is set for June 2 , just days before the diamond jubilee celebrations and barely a month ahead of the Olympics.

Early interest suggests a parade of floats spanning the seafront and lasting up to tow hours. In these cold days of winter, isn’t it warning to know that we have in prospect a summer to remember?

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A WARM welcome to new Eastbourne Borough manager Tommy Widdrington and his assistant Alan Kimble. We met them on Thursday and Tommy spoke passionately about his hopes and ambitions for the club. Our first impression was that he will make a fine successor to Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood. Let’s hope the players make an equally favourable first impression on him and deliver three much-needed points at Sutton United on Saturday.