Wiltshire Publications

Taking part in Olympic history

TWO inspirational local people, nominated by the community, had the privilege of carrying the Olympic Torch as it passed through the area recently as it makes its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

People from Westbury took up the opportunity to see the torch pass near Westbury through Frome, Southwick and Trowbridge on Tuesday 22nd May. And on that day, two local people proudly helped its journey. Alistair Banks, a former assistant headteacher from Matravers School, carried the torch in Glastonbury and Peter Tillin, of Upton Scudamore, carried the torch through Bradford on Avon.

Since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease shortly after his appointment to Matravers, Alistair Banks has worked hard for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, becoming the face of their campaign to raise awareness. He has already raised over £35,000 and hopes that carrying the torch will spread his message of optimism.

Peter Tillin lost both parents to cancer and, along with ‘Team Tillin’, raised £10,000 in a 1,000km cycle ride as a thank you for the care given by Macmillan Cancer Support and Dorothy House Hospice Care.

Peter said, “Carrying the torch was fantastic, certainly one of those things you never get to do again. It was incredibly well organised, and I couldn’t get over the amount of people. I managed to avoid setting fire to anything, didn’t fall over, and didn’t put the flame out!”

Torchbearers have all been nominated by people in their community for their inspirational character. The leader of Wiltshire Council, Jane Scott said, “The last time the Olympics came to this country was over 60 years ago. Every single one of the thousands who lined the streets to witness the flame being carried through their town were witnessing a truly once-in-a lifetime experience. It was wonderful to see the communities come together to celebrate this occasion, which we hope will leave a lasting legacy for many years to come.”