Olympic torch: Relay to visit Edinburgh Castle
Published: 12th Jun 2012 18:40:44
The Olympic flame will visit three of Scotland's most iconic places when it travels from St Andrews to Edinburgh on day 26 of the torch relay.
Wednesday's 145-mile journey will include visits to Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Edinburgh Castle.
Among the day's 115 torchbearers will be record-breaking Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont and American singer John Legend.
An evening celebration will take place at Edinburgh Castle.
The castle dominates the skyline of the Scottish capital, standing atop of Castle Rock at the head of the Old Town, and its site has been inhabited by humans since 900 BC.
In the Middle Ages Edinburgh became Scotland's chief royal castle. Its history includes many sieges, including during the Wars of Independence, and the birth of Mary Queen of Scots' son James VI - who ascended to the throne of England, consequently leading to the Union of the Crowns.
In 1996 the Stone of Destiny, Scotland's coronation stone, was placed in the Crown Room alongside the nation's Crown Jewels.
The Olympic flame will be carried at the castle by Lesley Forrest, who received a kidney transplant in 1996 and a year later started competing in the British Transplant Games. She has since won multiple medals in both British and World Transplant Games and been made an MBE.
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The first torchbearer of the day will be Mr Beaumont, a Perthshire-born cyclist who broke the record for cycling around the world between August 2007 and February 2008. In 194 days he travelled 18,296 miles through 20 countries, finishing at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
After travelling through St Andrews, the home of golf and Scotland's oldest university, the flame will take in Kinross, Alloa, Dunblane, Stirling, Falkirk, Dunfermline before reaching Edinburgh at about 17:45 BST.
Along the way, there will be a visit to Stirling Castle, a symbol of Scottish independence with a long and turbulent history associated with great figures from Scotland's past such as Mary Queen of Scots and Sir William Wallace, who was the Guardian of Scotland.
Wallace's statue stands outside the city of Stirling, overlooking the scene of Scotland's victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The torch will also visit the Falkirk Wheel, the world's first and only rotating boat lift, before travelling across the Forth Road Bridge at about 16:00 and then taking in the picturesque Hopetoun House.
Among the torchbearers helping the flame on its journey will be Mr Legend - a singer-songwriter who has won nine Grammys - and Scottish former ice dancer John Kerr.
The last torchbearer of the day, Ms Forrest will light a celebration cauldron on stage at Edinburgh Castle at the evening's celebratory event, which will include performances by Scottish singer Emeli Sande.
A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Olympic torch: Relay to visit Edinburgh Castle [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434200/Olympic-torch-Relay-to-visit-Edinburgh-Castle [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com