May 1st was day 1 of the 8000 mile journey of the Olympic Flame; starting at Land's End with Ben Ainslie, it came up through Cornwall to Plymouth. My slot was in St.Austell. By mid-day, the 15 bearers were assembled at The Eden Project, from where a shuttle bus took us to a village called St Stephen. There we waited for the cavalcade. First off was a youngster in a wheelchair; I was told he had cancer. Thereafter, and at 300 metre intervals, we were dropped off through the centre of the town. The crowds lined that lined the streets were enormous: a taste of what was to come. Luckily, my 'run' was on a gentle downhill slope along Alexander Road. Accompanying us was a cavalcade of blue-flashing police bikes, vans and cars; nice to have the police in front and not chasing us from behind! We each had our own torch, which we could keep for a consideration. The torch was slightly top-heavy and as a result I nearly donked the policeman who was trying to unlock the gas burner. Then followed the “kiss”, which was the transferring of the flame from one torch to the next. 'Enjoy yourself and pass it on,' came a little voice inside my head. So that's just what I did!
My next encounter was very brief and took place at Henley-on Thames. There was an Eight waiting at the River and RowingMuseum on the Bucks side of the river, in which Steve Redgrave, rowing with one hand and the other holding the torch accompanied by two Security men, embarked for the short row down to the regatta finish, at Leander Club pontoon. This was where about twelve of us made a triumphal arch with oars aloft. Steve came through and disappeared in the direction of Maidenhead; it was all over in a matter of minutes.
The third encounter was the most spectacular of all. This was on July 27th, the day of the opening ceremony. It started at Hampton Court Banqueting House wharf, where the Queen's barge, the Gloriana, was moored. It was an early start as we were scheduled to reach TowerBridge by . More crowds flanked both banks and were cheering; it was a really emotional atmosphere. There were 16 thwarts and several willing hands to take turns at pulling. I found myself placed at stroke, which meant I could get away with setting a gentle rate of striking, letting the others do the work! Seeing the river from its centre was a totally new and memorable experience, bridge after bridge, Richmond, Twickenham, Kew, then the famous “course” in reverse, Mortlake to Putney. I think there were 17 bridges, not counting the railways. As the river widened, the cheering got further and further away, but also louder. At one point, we moored up for a brief visit by Lord Sutton, the owner of the Barge.
Finally, the London Eye and The Shard came into view, as did HMS Belfast and TowerBridge, with the five Olympic rings suspended from its centre. Despite arriving ahead of schedule, I dallied with Paul Bircher, the other '48er, who was struggling a bit; so we missed hearing what Boris Johnson had to say at the City Hall for lunch. What a day! We still had the opening ceremony to attend; To be sitting in the stadium, feeling almost part of the show, was unforgettable. All the previous Olympians had seats at ground level just beside the musicians' podium so that we could make our way into the arena for the entry of the torch. What a wonderful experience.
‘Homage to St Eustachius’s, A history of TavistockParishChurch’
By Gerry Woodcock, HAS ARRIVED
You will be pleased to hear that the ‘book’ has arrived from the publishers. It has been beautifully produced in hardback form on quality paper with a clear distinctive print. The illustrations have been cleverly interspersed with the relevant text.
Commissioned by the PCC some years ago, Gerry Woodcock, our well-known local historian, spent many months thoroughly researching the subject and studying many original documents and papers. A microcosm of our Christian heritage.
For those who participated in the pre-publication offer their books will be available for collection from the parish centre at 5a Plymouth Road, as follows:
Tuesday 1 May between and
Friday 4 May between and
Thursday 10 May between and
IMPORTANT. Please bring with you your acknowledgement form.
We thank you for your patience.
For those who did not participate in the pre-publication offer, the book is available at the normal retail price of £25 and may be purchased on the above dates at the parish centre, when there will be a separate desk for cash buyers. The book can also be obtained from Bookstop, 3 Market St, Tavistock.
A showcase of local school choirs - Horrabridge, Kelly Junior, Kelly Preparatory, Kelly Senior, Manadon Vale, Mary Tavy & Brentor and Milton Abbot (plus Bere Alston drummers) - involving up to 250 children
Sun 6 May
Preacher: Reverend Tim Thorp, Vicar of Crownhill, Plymouth; Choral Evensong directed by Dr Sean Sweeney.
8:00 pm Haldon Quartet - Lindsay Braga & Catherine Field (violins), Andrew Gillett (viola) and Barbara Digener (chello) with Colin Parr (clarinet) The group will play quartets by Mozart and Matthew Arnold in the first half and will be joined by Colin
Mon 7 May
Choral Workshop - Chilcott’s ‘A Little Jazz Mass’ ChoralWorkshop directed by Rosemary TurnerThis year’s chosen work by Bob Chilcott is
a setting of the Latin Missa Brevis - a short work of five movements but plenty of challenges to keep choristers working for the day.
There will be an Organ Recital in Tavistock parish church each day at from Monday 30 April to 4 May.
Wednesday 2 May: Mary Tavy Methodist Chapel School Room, Moorland Outreach Meeting. Speaker: Mrs Barbara Weeks, St Petroc's, Lydford, churchwarden. All welcome.
Wednesday 2 May: Tavistock Sings!
A showcase of local school choirs - Horrabridge, Kelly Junior, Kelly Preparatory, Kelly Senior, Manadon Vale, Mary Tavy & Brentor and Milton Abbot (plus Bere Alston drummers) - involving up to 250 children.
Saturday 5 May: Coronation Hall, Mary Tavy Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy WI
Spring sale: a big selection of Plants, Cakes and other Stalls, Raffle and Teas.
Saturday 5 May: Edgecombe, Cudlipptown. (in aid of St Peter's Church, Peter Tavy)Cream Teas and a walk around the garden pond, at the kind invitation of Pearl and Peter Tinson. All welcome.
Sunday 6 May: 8 pm Haldon Quartet - Lindsay Braga & Catherine Field (violins), Andrew Gillett (viola) and Barbara Digener (cello) with Colin Parr (clarinet). The group will play quartets by Mozartand Matthew Arnold in the first half and will be joined by Colin.
Monday 7 May: 10 am Choral Workshop - Chilcott’s ‘A Little Jazz Mass’ directed by Rosemary Turner.This year’s chosen work by Bob Chilcott is a setting of the Latin Missa Brevis - a short work of five movements but plenty of challenges to keep choristers working for the day.
Saturday 12 May: Gulworthy Rogation Walk. 19 miles starting from Chipshop at 8 am with lunch at Gawton at 12.30 pm and tea and short service at the Foundry, Wheal Maria, 5.30 pm; there will be a collection for ChristianAid, and finish at Chipshop for a drink!
Saturday 12 May: Tavistock parish church, concert by Vocal Harem directed by Rosemary Turner. Tickets at the door.
Sunday 13 May: - OpenGarden in aid of St Luke’s Hospice at Lin and Ian Jenkins’ garden at Midhurst, Grenofen. Soup and bread lunches, coffee tea and cakes, live music at various times throughout the day, plant sale, all welcome (sorry no dogs), £2 entrance.
Thursday 17 May: 7.30 pm BrentorVillageHallBrentorGarden Club Members' meeting. Talk from Dennis Balsdon on ‘Carnivorous Plants’. Visitors are welcome, £2 on the door.
Saturday 19 May: BrentorVillageHallBrentorGarden Club Cream Teas and Plant Sale.
Sunday 20 May OpenGarden at Thorn Cottage, Brentor aid of St Luke’s Hospice. Please join us again, to enjoy a walk around the garden and the bluebell woodland. Music, refreshments, plant sale and parking available in field, so please bring wellies or boots! Dogs on leads very welcome. Admission £3.
Thursday 24 May: Tavistock parish centre, Quiz Night, with food, organised by Tavistock parish church. Tickets £5.