Town prepares for huge torch turnout

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THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the streets of Eastbourne for the local leg of the Olympic torch relay later this month.

Preparations are well underway to make sure that Tuesday, July 17 is one of the best days in Eastbourne’s recent history – although it will have to go some way to top the recent Jubilee celebrations.

Shops and businesses are being encouraged to decorate their front windows in an Olympic theme and Eastbourne Borough Council has promised to pull out all the stops to make sure the day goes off with a bang as loud as a starter’s pistol.

The local authority’s head of tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley, believes the torch’s visit will prove to not only be a great day for local people but also serve up a boost for businesses along the route.

He said, “We are so excited to be welcoming the torch relay to Eastbourne this summer.

“We really want to encourage residents and visitors from surrounding communities to come along and witness this fantastic spectacle.

“I hope that people will be out lining the streets in Eastbourne to offer a fantastic welcome as the flame passes through the town.”

The council’s website (www.visiteastbourne.com) includes relay packs for local schools and also has instructions on how people can make their own maracas, flame themed crowns and head dresses which it hopes will mean plenty of colourful and noisy children cheering the flame through the town.

Lord Sebastian Coe, who is one of the key men behind the games, also issued a challenge to locals to make the most of the visit. He said, “The flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey will bring the excitement of the games to our streets,” before adding people should “start planning how they might celebrate and make it Eastbourne’s moment to shine.”

Where to see the torch

and when:

3.18pm. Kings Drive, opposite Kings Close.

3.22pm. Pass St Thomas A Becket School before heading along Lewes Road to Upper Avenue. Over Cavendish Bridge, into Ashford Road and left into Susan’s Road.

3.35pm. Pass close to the Arndale Centre. Left into Seaside Road and right into Cavendish Place before heading on to seafront.

3.39pm. Eastbourne Pier then along seafront.

3.48pm. Redoubt Fortress.

4.14pm. Fisherman’s Green tennis courts.

4.17pm. Princes Park. Then along Princes Road, then along Pevensey Bay Road.

4.35pm. Monarch Gardens opposite the Crumbles Retail Park.