Town celebrations to mark Olympic Torch relay visit

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HARTLEPOOL Council has unveiled a programme of entertainment to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic Flame next month.

The town will be in the world spotlight when 20 torch-bearers make their way through Hartlepool with the Olympic Torch as part of its 8,000-mile route around the UK.

But as well as the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the flame carried through Hartlepool on Sunday, June 17, people will also be able to enjoy a selection of entertainment.

Street theatre, jugglers and stilt walkers will be performing around the town and Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, in Marina Way, will celebrate the flame’s arrival in style with nearly three hours of entertainment – all provided free of charge.

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Town singer and songwriter Elaine Palmer will perform at a stage set up in the car park from 10.45am - 11.15am followed by local band Mercedes who will also play a 30 minute set.

The Olympic Torch will be displayed on stage for 15 minutes from 11.51am when it arrives at the Museum of Hartlepool and the 102 Battalion REME Pipe Band will then take to the stage from 12.15pm.

Another local band Lost State of Mind will then bring an end to the fun with another 30 minute set from 1pm.

As well as the entertainment, past, present and future athletes in the town, who make up the INSPIRE campaign, will have the unique chance to have their photographs taken with the Torch.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “There is a real buzz building up in the town about the London Olympics, particularly as we will have two representatives, Jemma Lowe and Savannah Marshall, flying the flag for Hartlepool.

“We are fortunate in that the Torch Relay convoy will be stopping off in Hartlepool for lunch and we are keen to make the most of this opportunity.

“Not only will it create a further chance for people to see the Olympic Torch, but it also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the Games by organising some lunchtime entertainment.”

The first chance for people to catch a glimpse of the torch is when it enters Hartlepool along the A1086 at Hart Station at 11am having travelled from Blackhall.

It will then follow a route around the town taking in the roundabout at the junction of Easington Road and West View Road at 11.17am before moving on to the roundabout at the junction between Holdforth Road and the Saxon Pub at 11.23am.

The torch will be carried into Raby Road at 11.32am, on into Middleton Road at 11.41am before moving into Marina Way at 11.46am.

After an hour-long lunch break, the Torch will depart Maritime Experience at 12.51pm before the Relay moves into Stockton Street at 12.56pm.

The town procession will end at the A689 junction with Burn Road before the Torch is taken to Billingham, Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Darlington, Stockton and Middlesbrough.