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Monday, 28 July 2014

Olympic torch gives Prudhoe chance to shine

GOOD news for a change! everyone keeps saying - and, of course, I resent that.

Prudhoe’s always getting plenty of good news, from creative kiddies to complex debates. Nothing bad about democracy, after all.

Even I have to admit, though, that the Olympic torch passing through the town represents a monumental opportunity.

Think of the crowds! Think of the tourists! Think of the business! Think of the publicity!

In Prudhoe’s case, the news comes as something of a positive double whammy.

The week before the torch’s arrival, residents will be celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, so the town could very well forge a reputation as Tynedale’s celebration capital.

Makes a change. Prudhoe has long missed out on the perks that Hexham seems to gain so readily, so this - if you’d excuse the jargon of the day - really is its chance to shine.

Of course, good spirits and big ideas do not a party to remember make.

It also takes action - and Prudhoe’s movers and shakers seem to have a reputation for doing neither.

Personally, though, I’ve seen the town council move onwards and upwards over many months, a passion for the town driving members to pay careful attention to how limited budgets are spent.

Already, the signs are looking good as far as the Olympics are concerned, with plans getting underway for events like an updated version of the old miners’ race.

Tom Martin, from Wylam, and others have also been making great progress on establishing a large-scale East Tynedale Olympics event, involving schools and community groups.

Delightful. But I do have one concern. Given the level of interest in this and the number of enthusiastic individuals, will the logistics flow as smoothly as the big ideas?

The town council is looking into some sort of web-based calendar to avoid clashes, but, like training for the Olympics itself, steady, gruelling work will be required by all in the coming months.

By Robin Gilson
Published: November 10, 2011

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