Let’s make the Olympic torch visit to Gosport a day to remember...

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PEOPLE are being urged to show their pride in Gosport when the Olympic torch blazes through the town this summer.

Community groups and businesses are trying to find ways of celebrating when the torch passes through in July.

They want shopkeepers and neighbours to take part by decorating their shops and houses. And a meeting takes place tonight for people to share their ideas about how to welcome the torch in style.

One of the organisers of the Gosport Going 4 Gold project, Jacky Charman, said: ‘The whole thing could really put Gosport on the map.

‘The ethos of the Olympics is doing your best and I hope people in Gosport can do theirs.

‘The children in the town will always remember the day the Olympic torch came to Gosport and that will be amazing.

‘This is something special but it will only happen if we all work together.

‘It’s not about the council doing it for us, it’s about traders and people being active in doing something spectacular.’

Earlier this year the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games published the full route the Olympic torch will take.

Starting its journey through our area in Fareham, it will be carried by hundreds of torchbearers through Gosport and Portsmouth on July 15.

The torch will then stay in Portsmouth for an overnight celebration, including a huge party on the common with chart-toppers Rizzle Kicks.

It leaves the city the next day and goes on to Petersfield.

In Gosport, the torch travels down the A32 at 4.40pm, past Bridgemary and to the Gosport Business Centre at the junction with Bedenham Road.

It will then travel in a vehicle convoy to the Cocked Hat pub in Privett Road.

From there, torchbearers will carry the flame along Privett Road, Bury Road, Stoke Road, Walpole Road and High Street, down to the Falkland Gardens.

It is expected to arrive at the waterside at around 5.50pm.

The organisers of Gosport Going 4 Gold also want to encourage people to use their bikes to get around town on the day.

They hope an influx of visitors to the town will be a boost to Gosport but it could also snarl up the roads.

Brian Russell, of the Gosporteers, said: ‘We had a meeting early on and that went extremely well so now we want to build on that.

‘Gosport has a feather in its cap from this event because the Olympic torch actually bypasses much of the county.

‘I’ve been out speaking to people about it and some people have been extremely enthusiastic about it.’

The meeting to discuss torch ideas takes place tonight at the Thorngate Halls Ballroom in Bury Road, Gosport, from 7pm to 9pm.

For more information visit gosportgoing4gold.co.uk.