The 2012 Olympic Flame is coming to the canals

The 2012 Olympic torch will start it’s 70-day relay at Land’s End on 19 May and travel 8,000 miles before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony.  London 2012 organisers say the torch will come within an hour’s travelling time of 95% of the UK population and thousands of people are expected to celebrate along the route, with shows and concerts planned on 66 of the 70 days.

On day 12 of its journey on 30th May the torch will travel by hand-drawn boat across Thomas Telford’s 1,000 ft (305m) cast-iron Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which was started in 1795 and took a decade to build.  It became a World Heritage Site in 2009.  So if you are narrowboating at that time look out for it and take some pictures for us!

Narrowboating on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Narrowboating over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The London 2012 Olympic torch will be a three-sided golden cone with the flame burning through its perforated shell.  The prototype, created by east London designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, has been unveiled at St Pancras station.  Made from an aluminium alloy, it is light enough to be carried by young people who are expected to make up half of the 8,000 torchbearers.

The origins of the Olympic torch relay look back to ancient Greece, when messengers were sent out from Olympia to announce the competition dates and call for a halt to all wars during the Games.  The relay was invented for modern times at the 1936 Berlin Games, and since then has grown into a popular curtain-raiser to the sporting events.  The design of the torch has changed with each Games, sometimes reflecting classical torches, at other times taking on a contemporary look.

London 2012 torch prototype

To see more about the torches journey go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-15575078.

 

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