OLYMPIC TORCH: Pevensey Bay preparing warm welcome for torch

HUNDREDS of spectators are expected to line the streets in Pevensey Bay to see the Olympic Torch come through the village.

The people of Pevensey Bay will be cheering on the six torchbearers taking turns to carry the Olympic Flame on Tuesday (July 17).

The torchbearers will include Derek Mepham, from Heathfield, who has run 10 marathons to raise money for a local hospice and Vicki Lamberton, from Hailsham, whose fund-raising efforts included a 100-mile walk along South Downs.

The others are Tristan Stephens, from St Leonards, Martin Wolf, from Ratingen, Jill Doddington, from Bolney, and Sara Baaken, from Frankfurt.

The Beach Tavern pub, whose landlord Stephan Ritchie campaigned to get the torch through Pevensey Bay’s High Street, will have two live bands playing before the torch comes through and will also be providing face painting for the event.

Councillor Johanna Howell, cabinet lead for community and voluntary sector at Wealden, said, “We are expecting large crowds, including many young people, to watch the torch relay as it makes its way late in the afternoon through Pevensey Bay.

“The Olympic Torch has received a very warm welcome throughout the UK during the past month and we are expecting tremendous interest from the Pevensey community on July 17.”

“If you are coming to Pevensey Bay by car, please arrive in good time.

“We have recruited many local volunteers to help steward the event and ensure that spectators lining pavement enjoy a clear view.

“We are hoping that Tuesday, July 17 will be a really memorable day for everyone.”

The torch is expected in the village and start the relay at Castle Drive at around 4.41pm, but the time is subject to change.

Rolling road closures will be put in place along the High Street and Wallsend Road minutes before the convoy comes through to allow for the torch to pass safely.

Temporary yellow signs will give details of the timings and roads affected.

Street parking along the main route through Pevensey Bay will be temporarily suspended and the public car park at North Road will be closed on the afternoon.

The council is also providing extra temporary loos in addition to the public toilets at the Sea Road car park in Pevensey Bay.

Around 10 minutes before the torch arrives from Eastbourne, Olympic sponsors will be travelling the route encouraging support.

The relay will start from Castle Drive and proceed along the A259 Eastbourne Road, and then travel against the normal traffic direction into the High Street and before turning left down Wallsend Road.

After crossing the railway line, the relay will finish at about 4.56pm, much to the disappointment of Pevensey Parish Council which had hoped the torch relay would continue to the Esso garage on the roundabout before switching to convoy up to Bexhill.

The torch was due to be carried down the entire length of Wallsend Road but it was changed by organisers to avoid the major junction. Parish councillors said the changes meant people in the village of Pevensey would miss out.

After travelling through Pevensey Bay, the torch convoy vehicles will then make their way to Bexhill and Hastings. Relay stewards will be dressed in high visibility vests and spectators are being encouraged to wear gold and white to help celebrate.

Further details about the route and facilities available in Pevensey and Pevensey Bay can be found on the Wealden web site, www.wealden.gov.uk.

More information on the torch bearers can be found on the LOCOG website, www.london2012.com

Follow the Olympic Torch relay on-line next Tuesday at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk with reports and pictures as it passes through Eastbourne. You can also send us your photos of the day to olympictorch@jpress.co.uk

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @Eastbournenews for all the latest torch news. If you are tweeting about the torch remember to hashtag it #EastbourneTorch