Route of the Olympic torch through Islington
Published: 15 June, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
THE Olympic torch will arrive in Islington on a barge on Thursday, July 26, for an hour-long relay through the borough, starting at King’s Cross before heading for the City.
It will be day 69 of the torch’s 70-day tour of Britain on its way to the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, where it will arrive for the July 27 games opening.
Although the Olympic flame will be on the borough’s streets for just under an hour, the Town Hall has laid on a day-long series of events to celebrate.
The torch is due to arrive in Islington from Camden on the Regent’s Canal at the London Canal Museum in King’s Cross at about 7.58am. It will then travel up Caledonian Road, along Offord Road and Highbury Station Road to Highbury Corner Roundabout. It will then be taken down Upper Street, past the town hall and on to Angel, St John Street and into the City.
It will pause briefly outside the town hall at 8.22am to be serenaded by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Archway-based aerial theatre group Scarabeus will perform on the sides of the building and there will be dancers from Sadler’s Wells and Zoonation.
London Canal Museum will put on special activities from 7.30am until 1pm and a day of sporting events will take place on Highbury Fields from 10am.
Children and young people will be able to try out 19 Olympic sports and visitors will be able to have their photographs taken with the torch used at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The torch relay has drawn enormous crowds throughout the UK, leading to questions about the suitability of its route along Highbury Station Road, a narrow winding street with houses on one side and a wall on the other.
A spokesman for Islington Council said it had suggested the road might be narrow for the relay but the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) has the final say on the route.
A Locog spokeswoman added: “The route development was a two-year consultation process including every nation and region and local authority across the UK.”
Olympic organiser Sebastian Coe said: “The penultimate day of the Olympic Torch Relay is set to include many of London’s iconic landmarks which are famous around the world and give the city its special character. I hope that the people from these boroughs come out and line the streets to cheer on the torchbearers as the start of the Games draws near.”
Town Hall leader Catherine West added: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the Olympic torch into the borough and hosting a day of celebrations that everyone can come along and get involved with for free.
“Islington Council decided that we could manage with less bunting than some other boroughs.
“Instead, we’ve invested the bunting money we were given by the Greater London Authority in a huge range of cultural and sporting events planned across the borough this summer.”