Dawn start for Olympic torch relay

WIGTOWNSHIRE people who want to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic torch as it passes through Stranraer and Cairnryan on June 8 will have to set their alarm clocks extra early.

The iconic flame will start its journey through the streets of Stranraer at five past six … in the morning!

Early birds will be able to watch the historic event unfold in Castle Square, George Street, Charlotte Street, Port Rodie and Cairnryan Road. The torch will only be in Stranraer for approximately 15 minutes before leaving for Cairnryan.

It will then reappear at 6.25am in the village’s Claddyburn Terrace, travelling along the A77 to the Loch Ryan Port entrance and onto the lighthouse at around 6.35am.

The flame will then be transported to Ballantrae where it will make its next public appearance.

The names of the torch-bearers, who will each carry the flame for around 300m, have also been released. June Carol Harwood, Demi Powell and Ross Maclelland will be carrying the torch through Stranraer. In Cairnryan, the torch will be carried by Anne Barclay and Harry Waugh.

A thrilled Anne told The Galloway Gazette: “I can’t tell you how excited I am and how honoured I feel to have been selected after being nominated by two lovely people. It’s such a privilege and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I can’t wait to be part of.”

Commenting on the route for the Olympic torch, Galloway MSP Alex Fergusson said: “Having fought hard to ensure that the torch comes to Wigtownshire, I obviously welcome the publication of the route, despite feeling a little disappointment that it will only appear in Galloway for a fleeting moment of time in Stranraer and Cairnryan. I would have wished for more, but will certainly be in Stranraer on Friday, June 8, to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the Olympic torch being paraded in our streets … even if it is at 6 o’clock in the morning!”

Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “The Olympic torch relay is drawing ever closer and the announcement of the street level route means the countdown has well and truly begun. It adds to the excitement because we can see exactly where it is going when it visits Dumfries and Galloway. My congratulations to all the local people who have been chosen as torch-bearers. It will be an amazing day for them, and one they will remember for the rest of their lives.

“The eyes of the world will be on the Olympic Torch Relay and the fact it visits our region for two days, with stops in Stranraer, Cairnryan, Dumfries, Annan, Eastriggs and Gretna, is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Dumfries and Galloway to hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

“Although the torch will be travelling through our region early in the morning on Friday 8th and Thursday 21st of June, I am sure the streets will be packed with people coming to witness this once in a lifetime event first hand.

“With the first and last stops in Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway has a special place in the Relay route as we first welcome the Torch to Scotland and then proudly send it on its way to the Games.

“I know that between now and June local people will enjoy planning how we give the Torch a fantastic welcome.”

Stranraer and North Rhins Councillor John Dougan said: “I am pleased that we are on the route for this amazing event. Not only are we celebrating the Olympic Games in the UK, we have the Queens Jubilee too. Exciting year for us all.”

Fellow Stranraer Councillor Iain Dick added: “Great news that Dumfries and Galloway is to be recognised as part of the Olympic Torch Route.

“This is as it should be given Loch Ryan is Scotland and the UK’s gateway from Ireland and the rest of the World. Appropriate that it should recognised as such.”