The torch which will carry the Olympic Flame from Greece to the 2012 games in London is on a tour at the moment, around the UK, so I decided to go & take a look this weekend at Battersea Park in London. I’ll be honest, I knew the torch was on a tour; I knew it was in London near me; I believed it was going to be bit of an event!
I was wrong… well, it was on a tour & it was near me, at least I got that bit right.
On a beautiful day I wandered into Battersea Park expecting to see some sort of shindig going on. Battersea park is actually quite a size and with no obviously signage at the gates as I entered, I decided to head for the centre of the Park. Eventually I started to hear music and someone on a PA shouting. “Here we go”, I was thinking… I then started to see signs for a Breast Cancer Charity fun day, but as I was looking for the Olympic Torch Tour, I ignored those… I even walked by the Breast Cancer Charity fun day, with it’s cowboy theme, western stalls and such… but alas I discovered no Olympic Torch Tour event.
Eventually, after another 15 minutes of wandering around, trying to Google the event, searching on Google Maps & park maps for any obvious location, I gave up & asked someone in a day-glow jacket (always a good way to find out information I find and sure enough they knew!). The Torch was to be found in a small stall in the Breast Cancer Charity fun day site.
It turns out, that the Olympic Torch Tour was actually just a small stall travelling around the country, presumably attaching itself on to other events. I have to say I found it a bit of an anti-climax.
What I was actually expecting was something quite like the fun day being held by the Breast Cancer Charity. A big stage, with some Olympic stars or hopefuls doing something a bit different. An opportunity to try some Olympic sports. Some stalls selling 2012 tat (the sort I love to buy)… but no, it was not to be.
That said, the Torch itself is rather cool. There has been a lot of feedback from people on it (whether experts in design or laypeople), but in my limited opinion of the piece, it looks good and will look even better when there’s a bit of fire in it’s belly as it’s making it’s way around the UK – for real. And the stall itself was also rather nifty, with some good interactive pieces about the Olympics and several previous Torches from other games in the past.
So would I recommend going to see the Torch? Sure, if it’s near you and you’ve got the chance, do it. You might never get the chance to see something like it again in our lifetime. Should you expect much from your day? Na, about 20 minutes of entertainment… but if you’re lucky, like me, a bit of sunshine to warm your back on the way home.