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Islington pupils to get their hands on rare 1950s Olympic torch

17:04 09 July 2012

Cllr Janet Burgess with the new Olympic Flag at Islington Town Hall

Cllr Janet Burgess with the new Olympic Flag at Islington Town Hall

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»Children will get their hands on a piece of history when they take part in a schools torch relay.

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Selected upcoming Olympic events in Islington

July 9 – Every Islington library hosts an Olympic-themed reading challenge for children aged four to 12

July 19 – School to school Olympic torch relay

July 21 – The popular Whitecross Street Party will be bigger than ever with Games-inspired performances from Sadler’s Wells, the London Symphony Orchestra and ZooNation

July 23 – Three small, site-specific and purpose-built games will be opened in locations across Islington, as part of a London-wide project called 99 Tiny Games

July 26 – The Olympic Torch Relay hits Islington, starting at the London Canal Museum at around 7.58am and arriving at the town hall at 8.22am

July 26 – There will be a day of celebrations at Highbury Fields to mark the arrival of the Olympic flame

July 27 – Public artworks at the Business Design Centre and Owens Field will be unveiled

Youngsters from 30 primary schools will carry a rare Olympic Torch from the 1950s across the borough – one of 400 made for the 1956 Melbourne Games in Australia

Pupils have spent weeks letting their imaginations run wild to craft their own torches, which they will also carry.

The route has yet to be finalised, but will start at Ashmount Primary School in Hornsey Lane, Archway, and end at the town hall. Four pupils will represent each primary and will run up to 500 metres with the unlit torches.

The relay is part of a rich roster of London 2012-themed events announced by Islington Council this week.

Cllr Janet Burgess, executive member for health, wellbeing and leisure, said: “As part of London 2012, we have a huge programme of free sports, arts and cultural events that promise to draw thousands.”

Islington will also play host to two presidents on July 27, the day after the official torch relay hits the borough.

The president of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, will visit the Czech team’s base at the Business Design Centre in Upper Street, Islington, where a quirky artwork by renowned Czech artist David Cerny will be installed – a London bus that does press-ups.

Romanian president Traian Basescu visits for the unveiling of another piece of art, Edge Runner, by Romanian sculptor Paul Neagu, which has been gifted to Islington. It will be installed in Owens Field, off Goswell Road, Finsbury.

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