Memories of Olympic torch visit to be made permanent with markers
COMMEMORATIVE Olympic milestones are to be unveiled across Derbyshire to mark the torch's journey across the county.
The engraved stones will follow the route the torch relay took when it came to the county in July.
Markers will be placed in the nine towns and villages through which the flame passed – as well as one each at Derby's Market Place and Highfields School, Matlock.
Matlock, Darley Dale and Ashbourne are among those places and will be in the spotlight once more on Sunday, September 9 – when the stones are displayed.
Leon Taylor – who carried the flame on its final leg through Derbyshire – has been invited to the unveiling ceremony. He was part of the GB cerebral palsy football team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He said: "It was an incredible two days when the torch came.
"The numbers who came to see it was brilliant and, if we can replicate even part of that on September 9, it will be amazing.
"People talk a lot about legacy and these stones will provide people with a constant reminder of what happened this year."
Leon missed out on a place in the Paralympic Games this year but said that 2012 had still been fantastic.
He said: "When I didn't get the place, I was disappointed – but carrying the torch here in Derby was absolutely fantastic. As a city lad, it was great and is something I will never forget."
Leon will be taking part in the ceremony at Derby's Market Place – which will end the day's string of ceremonies, starting in Glapwell.
Each of the eleven stones unveiled on the day will bear the name of the village or town, the words London 2012 and the distance in miles to the Olympic Park.
They will also be carved from a distinctive stone which comes from the area in which it is placed.
It will be carved by Derbyshire stone mason Andy Oldfield and will feature a line of poetry engraved on it to form an overall Olympic Torch Relay poem – written by Derbyshire's Poet Laureate, Matt Black.
Funding for the milestones has come from the Legacy Trust UK, Arts Council England, Derbyshire County Council and other local authorities. County council cabinet member for culture Andrew Lewer said: "The Olympics have been a proud moment for the UK and for our county. We want to celebrate the incredible achievements of everyone involved and leave a permanent reminder of the Olympics in Derbyshire."
The ceremonies take up to 15 minutes and will arrive in Matlock Crown Square at 2.45pm, Darley Dale at 3.20pm and Ashbourne at 5.45pm – before ending at Derby's Market Place at 6.40pm.