Ribble Valley Olympic heroes to lead Clitheroe Torchlight Procession

Samantha Murray
Samantha Murray

Olympic heroes Samantha Murray and Jon Schofield will lead a victory parade at the head of Saturday’s Clitheroe Torchlight Procession.

The triumphant Olympians will beforehand be welcomed by Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Ian Sayers as the guests of honour at a civic reception staged in the Ribble Valley Borough Council Chamber, Church Brow, Clitheroe, at 5 p.m. He will present them with commemorative glass plaques marking their achievements.

Jon Schofield

Jon Schofield

A Ribble Valley artist has also been commissioned to produce personalised pieces of artwork that will be presented to the dynamic duo in due course.

Samantha (22), of West Bradford, won the silver medal in the modern pentathlon, while 27-year-old Jon took bronze in the canoe sprint, alongside his kayaking partner, Liam Heath.

Coun. Sayers said: “Ribble Valley Borough Council is immensely proud to have supported these two fine young athletes over the years and thrilled to be giving them the homecoming they so richly deserve.

“For them both to have won medals is an outstanding achievement and I anticipate a huge turnout for their victory parade at the head of the Torchlight Procession.”

Clitheroe Torchlight 2012 route

Clitheroe Torchlight 2012 route

The procession will see more than 60 floats pass through the town leaving Chatburn Road at 7-45 p.m., then taking in Well Terrace, Waddington Road, Railway View Road, Station Road, Parson Lane, Bawdlands, Corporation Street, Eshton Terrace, Moor Lane, Castle Street, Market Place and York Street.

The two Olympians, resplendent in their official Team GB uniforms, will be at the head of the procession, flanked by a guard of honour comprising 10 official Olympic torchbearers.

The procession will be followed by a spectacular firework display from the Clitheroe Castle Keep at 10-15 p.m.

During the day, the fun will kick off at 10 a.m. when Castle Street will be closed in preparation for the street entertainment starting at noon.

On the Castle Street stage from noon to 5 p.m., there will be entertainment from the Phil Knight Experience, Dave Metcalf, local folk group the Garage Band, Garry Binks, the Beat Based Conserve, last year’s competition winners Drop the Floor, Hank Junior (Sounds of the Shadows), plus face painter Tiger Tiger, performing around town Circus Fudge as well as buskers around the town. There will also be a fun fair on the Castle Field all day Saturday and Sunday to keep the party atmosphere going.

At 2-40 p.m. on Saturday there will be an aerobatic display by the Battle of Britain Spitfire over Clitheroe Castle, while the street entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

A full road closure for the route of the procession will be in place from 7-15 p.m. allowing the entrants to assemble.

Just prior to the main event, the Clitheroe Torchlight Procession Mass Cycle will start between 7 p.m. and 7-30 p.m. and will allow 30 minutes of traffic-free riding.

Open to anybody that has a roadworthy bike, every rider must wear a helmet and prizes will be awarded for the “best dressed” and “most unusual” bicycle. A bike clinic will open from 6 p.m. on the car park at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form Centre, York Street, Clitheroe, for bike checks and all riders aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult rider.

To take part in the mass cycle all cyclists must meet at CRGS Sixth Form car park before 6-45 p.m. The car park will be open from 6 p.m. To claim your free pair of bike lights for this event call Help Direct on 0303 333 1111 and quote ‘Torchlight Cycle’. This offer is only open to Ribble Valley residents who are 18 years old and under. Lights are to be collected before the event.

As the Clitheroe Torchlight Procession passes, roads will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so.

On Sunday, the Last Night of the Proms will take place in a traditional concert format from the Castle bandstand, starting at 2-30 p.m., and everyone is encouraged to go along with their flags, hats and picnics.

For further details about Clitheroe Torchlight Procession 2012, visit www.facebook.com/torchlight2012.

l Funds will be raised during Saturday’s Torchlight for the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment’s Benevolent Fund. Clitheroe café/restaurant Qzine is roasting a wild boar out outside its Swan Courtyard premises. A donation will later be made to the charity from the funds raised. The wild boar will be cut around 7 p.m. and Qzine will stay open late to complement the Torchlight celebrations.