Olympic Torch arrives in Wakefield

Harry Crowther, who is being nominated as a possible torch-bearer for Olympic flame. (d19051146)
Harry Crowther, who is being nominated as a possible torch-bearer for Olympic flame. (d19051146)

AFTER being lit by the rays of the sun in Athens, flown to the United Kingdom under the protective guard of footballer David Beckham and already been seen by millions of people on its route to London 2012 - the Olympic Torch arrives in Wakefield today.

Back in May it was lit among the ruins of Olympia, the home of the Olympics.

olympic torch

olympic torch

And during the past six weeks the flame which signifies purity, has wound its way through the streets of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as part of its relay involving 8,000 torchbearers on its way to London for the opening ceremony of the 2012 games.

The games are thought to have begun as part of religious festival more than 2,700 years ago and were held in the honour of Greek God of Kings Zeus, taking place every four years in Olympia.

A sacred flame was lit and would burn throughout the ceremony on the altar of the goddess Hera. Her Heralds were then summoned to travel throughout Greece to relay the announcement of the games, with a sacred truce called across the country during the duration of the games, creating the origins of the torch and relay race.

And on today (Monday) part of that tradition and history will be brought to the district.

The torchbearers will carry the flame on a route of 22.5 miles through Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and Ackworth.

It is expected to arrive in Wakefield city centre on Wentworth Street just after 11am before being carried past the Town Hall.

Wakefield Council wants people to line the route, which also sees the torch pass Wakefield College, Wakefield County Hall and Wakefield Girls High School.

Council Leader, Peter Box, said: “We encourage crowds to line the streets along the Olympic Torch Relay route to welcome the inspirational torchbearers and celebrate the flame’s journey through Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and Ackworth.”

It will then head onto Westmorland Street, past the Cathedral, and onto Kirkgate,

Special celebration points have been created at County Hall, the Cathedral and the Hepworth Wakefield for spectators.

The gallery will be open for spectators to welcome the torch as it passes through the garden and over the footbridge at approximately 11.31am.

There will be live music and entertainment along with invited school pupils all taking part in the historic event.

Next the torch convoy heads on into Castleford, Pontefract and Ackworth before leaving the region early on Monday afternoon.

There will be rolling, temporary road closures along the route to prevent disruption.

Wood Street will be closed between 11am and 1pm and Thornes Lane, between Ings Road and Thornes Lane Industrial Estates, will be closed between 11.15 and 11.45am.

Keep logging onto www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk and follow us @WakeExpress throughout the day for updates.

Torch Route

WAKEFIELD

Approximate arrival time 11:09am

Wentworth Street (Wakefield Girls High School),

Burton Street (Wakefield College),

Bond Street (County Hall),

Wood Street (Town Hall),

Bull Ring,

Westmorland Street,

Teall Street,

Kirkgate Precint, Kirkgate (Hepworth Gallery)

CASTLEFORD

Approximate arrival time 11:49am

Leeds Road (Joffre Avenue - Front Street),

Front Street,Park Road.

PONTEFRACT

Approximate arrival time 12:05pm

Front Street,Jubilee Way,Mill Hill Road,

Ackworth Road (The King’s School)

ACKWORTH

Approximate arrival time 12:28pm

Pontefract Road (Ackworth Quaker School),

Barnsley Road (Ackworth Moor Top and Oakfield Park Primary School).

Roads Subject to a Full Road Closure

Wood Street, Wakefield

11:00 hrs to 13:00 hrs

To provide a viewing area

Thornes Lane, Wakefield (Ings Road to Thornes Lane Industrial Estate)

11:15 hrs to 11:45 hrs

Roads Subject to Rolling Closure

Chancery Road, Ossett (District Boundary to Owl Lane)

10:15 hrs – 10:45 hrs

Kenmore Road, Wakefield (A650 to Coca-Cola Enterprises)

10:30 hrs – 11:15 hrs

Leeds Road, Wakefield (A650 to Bradford Road)

11:00 hrs – 11:30 hrs

Wentworth Street, Wakefield

11:00 hrs – 11:30 hrs

Leeds Road, Bond Street, Wakefield

11:00 hrs – 11:30 hrs

Bull Ring, Wakefield

11:15 hrs – 11:45 hrs

Wood Street, Cross Street and Northgate

Westmorland Street, Wakefield

11:15 hrs – 11:45 hrs

Kirkgate (Precinct to Ings Road/Thornes Lane including Marsh Way Roundabout)

11:15 hrs – 11:45 hrs

Thornes Lane (Kirkgate to Chantry Bridge Industrial Estate)

11:15 hrs – 11:45 hrs

Doncaster Road (Kirkgate to Waterside Way)

11:30 hrs – 12:00 hrs

Leeds Road, Castleford (Colorado Way to Front Street)

11:35 hrs to 12:05 hrs

Colorado Way, Park Road and Front Street Castleford

11:35 hrs to 12:05 hrs

Colorado Way, Park Road and Front Street Park Road, Castleford (Front Street to Stainburn Avenue)

11:45 hrs to 12:15 hrs

Front Street, Leeds Road and Colorado Way Park Road, Pontefract (Park Lane to Stuart Road)

11:55 hrs to 12:25 hrs

Front Street, Pontefrct (Stuart Road to Jubilee Way – Southbound side of dual carriageway)

11:55 hrs to 12:25 hrs

Jubilee Way, Pontefract (Southbound side of dual carriageway)

11:55 hrs to 12:25 hrs

Mill Hill Road, Pontefract (Southgate to Carleton Road)

12:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs

Ackworth Road, Pontefract (Carleton Road to Castlegate Drve)

12:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs

Ackworth Road, Ackworth (Meadow Way to Station Road)

12:15 hrs to 12:30 hrs

Barnsley Road, Ackworth (Station Road to Doncaster Road)

12:45 hrs to 13:15 hrs

Barnsley Road, Ackworth (Doncaster Road to Oakfield Park School)

13:00 hrs to 13:30 hrs