‘The centre of the world’ is a media hyperbole used too frequently to describe something that people from around the world are perceived to be focussed on. But last night’s breathtaking Olympic Opening Ceremony really was just that: a spectacle beheld by an estimated 4.8 billion people (meaning more individual eyes watched than the sum of all populations of all nations). And, taking place just over four miles virtually due north of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (Greenwich Park the Equestrian and Pentathlon venue for the Games), there’s no denying that, last night, E20 2ST really was the centre of the world.
Read on for details of when the Olympic Torch will pass through Maidenhead, and of what else can be expected from Day 53 of the relay.
Last night saw me taking part in a performance of The Tree of Light in Oxford’s South Park, the overnight resting point of the Olympic Torch Relay. 850 people took part in the performance, staged in front of an extremely impressive ‘tree’ built around scaffolding. There’ll be a full post from that in the next few days, once I’ve edited together the best bits of my behind-the-scenes video (you won’t find a more comprehensive video from backstage in Oxford anywhere else in the world) alongside photography of the torch and a text write-up of the amazing day.
Today (Tuesday), on Day 53 of the relay, the torch will travel 87.05 miles and pass through fifteen communities – one of them being my hometown of Maidenhead. Leaving Oxford at 7:05am, it will visit Abingdon, Wallingford, Crowmarsh Gifford, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, and Bisham Abbey, before arriving at Furze Platt Road (the A308) at 10:48am.
Pupils from nearby Courthouse Junior School are expected to be walked through Cranbrook Drive to watch, while Furze Platt Senior School pupils will see the torch pass right by their school’s gates during a special Olympic-themed day of sport and activities. Arrangements for many other schoolchildren from the town and the borough have been made, with some Windsor schools reportedly offering their pupils the afternoon off.
Read on for a video of the event, or hover over pictures for captions.
Windy, cold, and overwhelmingly wet. But in the face of the Great British weather, our Jubilee Street Party was to go ahead regardless, as a hundred of Mallow Park’s residents and their friends and relatives celebrated 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign – in the rain.