Olympic torch heading towards Chorley

Roseanne Rooney and Hayley Federici with Ruby Federici, ten months from Fredericks Ice Cream Parlour who have made a special ice cream for the Olympics
Roseanne Rooney and Hayley Federici with Ruby Federici, ten months from Fredericks Ice Cream Parlour who have made a special ice cream for the Olympics

Excitement is building ahead of the Olympic Torch’s journey to Chorley.

The first torchbearer in the whole of Lancashire will take the flame on the A6 Bolton Road, near the junction with Carr Lane, on Friday, June 1, at 7.20am.

The torch will then travel into Chorley town centre, out to Euxton at around 7.55am, before finishing its local journey in Croston.

Businesses and schools are gearing up for the major event by holding their own celebrations.

Frederick’s Ice Cream, who are based near the start point on Bolton Road, have created their own Olympic ice cream including a gold waffle cone, vanilla ice cream and rasberry and bubble gum sauce.

And local schools are planning their own Olympic relays at with events at Parklands High School and outside Astley Hall this week.

The streets are expected to be lined with spectators as the torch sets out on its journey just after 7am and leaves the borough at around 8.30am.

There will be free parking on all council-owned town centre car parks until 9am on the morning the Olympic Flame passes through the borough.

Leader of Chorley Council, Coun Alistair Bradley, said: “This really is a one-off opportunity to see the Olympic Flame pass through Chorley.

“It will be fantastic if local people can come out in force to welcome the inspirational Olympic Torchbearers and cheer them on as they pass through the borough.

“It will be Chorley’s chance to shine in the global spotlight as millions of people are expected to tune in and watch the Olympic Torch as it makes its way from Athens to the Olympic Stadium in London.

“Seeing all the Olympic Torch coverage on the television and in the media is really helping to build the excitement ahead of its arrival here in Chorley.”

Signs have already started appearing in Chorley warning of traffic delays along the route when the flame arrives.

Residents and community groups are being invited to share in the excitement by getting there early and lining the streets at least one hour before, dressing up in costume, creating welcome banners and supporting the torchbearers.

There will also be free parking on all council-owned town centre car parks until 9am that morning.

Coun Bradley said: “It will be a momentous occasion and we’re only a matter of days away as we put the finishing touches to our preparations to make it a day to remember.

“It’s important people plan ahead and decide where they want to watch the Olympic Flame so they don’t miss out.”

From Chorley the Olympic flame will head on to Ormskirk, Southport and Formby, and come back round to Preston on June 23.

John Patrick Acquaviva, 18, of Manor House Close, Leyland, will be carrying the torch when it goes through Euxton.

The Latin American Freestyle Football Champion, who grew up in Venezuela, started playing football when he was five.

But an injury to his knee meant a knock to his footballing hopes and he began learning tricks.

Now ranked number 18 in the world and a world record holder three times over, he is says he is excited about carrying the flame.

John said: “It’s a great feeling knowing I will be able to do something like this. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I just hope I don’t drop it!”

Other torchbearers from Chorley include lollipop lady Kath Atkinson, 71, from Euxton, who will be carrying the torch as it passes through Blackpool.

The great-grandmother has been guiding children from Euxton C of E and St Mary’s RC Primary School across the street for four decades.

She said: “I will be 72 when I carry it so I’m not running, I am going to power walk.”

Adam Broomhead, 25, who is a StreetGames Mentor at Chorley Council will be carrying the flame through Horwich. He was nominated for his work developing activities for disabled children in Chorley and Lancashire, and delivering activities at the weekends for children aged 11 to 16.