Midhurst and Petworth communities prepare to welcome the Olympic Torch

The Olympic flame will be carried through the Midhurst and Petworth area on Monday (July 16) and six communities are preparing their welcome.

Rogate: Flame arrives 9.20am

Primary School children, parents, friends and staff will be joined by members of the village mother and toddler group Little Angels who will line the street to welcome the torch. They will each by waving their own torch made in school and singing and dancing.

In the spirit of the Olympics the children will hold their own sports day after the torch passes through. Organised by Years 3,4,5, and 6 there will be a range of ancient Olympic events combined with modern games.

Children from Maples class are providing an ancient Greek picnic lunch for parents and friends with profits going to an end of term treat.

Torchbearers are:

Dom Raeyen, 20, from Liphook

Annette Sawyer, 53 from Midhurst

Ross Harper, 32, from Hove

Midhurst: 9.36am

More than 200 children primary school will be lining the street as the torch comes down Petersfield Road to the centre of town.

Afterwards they will return to school for their own Olympic Torch Day which includes a special sports morning.

The torch will come down Petersfield Road, turn left and travel along Rumbolds Hill and North Street.

It will cross North Mill Bridge and turn left into Dodsley Lane at Easebourne and then right into Wheelbarrow Castle.

Midhurst Rother College pupils will be lining the route outside their Easebourne site, the former Midhurst Intermediate School.

Torchbearers are:

Amy Wilton, 17, from Fareham

Susan Hubbard, 63, from Alton

Gisella Stomberg, 57, Leer, Germany

Ian Richards, 64, Worthing.

Easebourne: 9.48am

Children from Midhurst Rother College will be lining the street at the entrance of the former intermediate school site on Wheelbarrow Castle and pupils of Easebourne Primary School will gather on the Priory lawns

waving their own flags and torches. Afterwards there will be special torch events in school.

Torchbearers are:

Benjamin Board, 19, Shoreham-on-Sea

Colin Godfrey, 65 Basingstoke

Gail Whattingham, 65 Farnham

Matthias Laar, 36, Koenigsdorf

Tillington: 10.30am

Villagers are expected to turn out in force as fellow resident Gerald Gresham Cooke takes the flame through Tillington.

Afterwards he will ceremonially re-open the village art exhibition which is being held in Tillington Village Hall.

“I have never seen the village come together in such a huge way before,” said Gerald, “100 per cent of Tillington is turning out to support the torch, it’s all getting very exciting.”

Ian Fergusson, on behalf of the Men’s Breakfast group is organising Bucks Fizz and croissants for the first 100 people who turn up to his stall.

The village pub The Horse Guards pub is laying on brunch of salmon and scrambled eggs specially for the occasion. Torchbearers are:

Gerald Gresham Cooke, 70, Tillington

Katie Lambert, 16, Bracknell

Mark Hughes, 32, Cranleigh

Petworth: 10.39am

Some 1500 pupils from primary schools in the area will be waiting to greet torchbearers in Petworth Park.

Afterwards they will be holding their own sports day.

They are coming from Petworth Primary, Fernhurst, Petworth Day Care, Plaistow and Loxwood, Loxwood, Camelsdale, Wisborough Green and schools further afield to watch the historic event.

At 11am they will take part in a record attempt for the largest gathering of people blowing grass trumpets.

The idea is inspired by the National Trust’s ‘50 things to be before you’re 11 ¾’ campaign.

The attempt will take place after the flame has travelled past the West Front of Petworth House. Images and film will be taken in the hope that the record attempt will then be verified.

Robert Jackson, general manager of Petworth House said: “With Olympic excitement building daily, I am particularly looking forward to Petworth House playing host to an exchange of the Olympic Torch.

The National Trust property team will join with Lord and Lady Egremont to welcome school children and the local community to Petworth Park for this historic occasion.”

Torchbearers are:

Juliet Starbuck, 44, Steyning

Martin Vogt, 42, Munich

Sammie Roden, 34, Portsmouth

Sara Tremlett, 63, West Chiltington

Emma Johnston-Jones, 35, Billingshurst

Duncton: 11.06am

Villagers should be in the village by 10.30am if they want to view the progress of the torch.

There will be no car parking allowed along the A285 or outside the Cricketers pub. All visitors should park in either the car park at the village hall or at Duncton Mill Fisheries in Dye House Lane and then walk to the A285.

The Cricketers will be serving brunch from 9.30am.

School children from the Lavington Park Federation of Graffham Infant and Duncton Junior Schools will be joined by pupils from Waterlooville to wave the flame through the village.

Torchbearers are:

Dirk Rombach, 29, Frankfurt

Paul Zetter, 88, Wisborough Green

Ryan Hodd Jarvis, 15, Petworth


Maps of the routes are published in this week’s Midhurst and Petworth Observer, (Thursday, July 12, edition).