A HISTORIC pub whose name was inspired by the 1948 London Olympics is gearing up for this summer’s games and torch relay.
On Wednesday, July 25, the streets of Harrow and Brent will be lined with people welcoming the flame on its journey around the UK before arriving at the Olympic Park, in east London, for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of London 2012.
The Torch pub, in Bridge Road, Wembley, originally called the Olympic Torch, was named as such when it opened in 1953, in honour of the Games held at Wembley Stadium in 1948.
It is expecting to welcome hundreds of spectators visiting the stadium this summer for the football tournaments and those visiting Wembley Arena for the badminton and rhythmic gymnastics competitions.
The pub is home to sporting memorabilia from the first Games held since a hiatus for the Second World War, including copies of tickets from the 1948 opening and closing ceremonies and the field hockey tournament.
Trevor Thompson, manager of the pub, which is part of the Spirit Group, said: “We had a refurbishment a few months ago, but there is still a lot of stuff here from the 1950s and 60s.
“We are so close to Wembley Stadium and obviously get a lot of people before or after games, so we are quite a sporty pub. I am looking forward to the Olympics.”
Stephen Dennison, who owns Lamartine Hair Design in Bridge Road near the pub, said: “They were named after the Olympics in 1948 and used to have a replica Olympic torch, but I don’t know what has happened to that.
“I will be out there on the day when the torch comes through with my camera, maybe with some clients who are in the middle of having their hair done.”
Mr Dennison did not manage to get any tickets for Olympic events but said he is looking forward to Wembley hosting matches.
Starting at Headstone Manor and Harrow Museum, in Harrow, the torch will travel through Wealdstone, along Station Road, arriving outside the Civic Centre at about 9.45am, through Harrow town centre, up Harrow-on-the-Hill and then down Sudbury Hill into Brent at about 10.20am.
Activities are planned around each of these points with communities and schools participating in performances, medieval re-enactments and sports demonstrations.
There will also be a family fun day after the torch has departed. Brent Council will also host a Brent Celebrates the Flame event in King Edward VII park, featuring an array of music, dance, food and sport.
If you are planning on bringing a large group of people to cheer the torch in Brent, email email@example.com for advice on the best spot to view the relay.
An average of 115 torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium.