The 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will pass through our namesake Whitchurch – *the one in Buckinghamshire. It is possible that it will pass through our Whitchurch in Hampshire but the chances are small.
In August 1948, according to Cllr Paul McGarvey, the torch relay came through our town. Back then, the relay saw the torch travel from Wembley to Torquay through Uxbridge, Slough, Maidenhead, Reading, Basingstoke, Andover, Salisbury, Sherborne, Yeovil, Exeter, and Newton Abbot.
The names of towns that the Torch Relay will go through in 2012 were announced this morning. The precise street-by-street route and names of the Torchbearers won’t been made known until early 2012, though.
The torch goes through towns near us on Wednesday 11 July 2012. It is travelling from Reading, then to Newbury before heading over to Basingstoke where it will turn down towards Kings Worthy on its way to Winchester, before heading up to Andover.
DAY 53 ON 11 JULY
There is a chance that it may be routed through our town as it goes to or from Basingstoke – However, given the distance to cover in that day, the chances are small.
More probable is that the route will go through some of our nearest neighbouring towns: First in the north, perhaps Kingsclere, then in the south, perhaps Micheldever, then in the west, as it goes through Andover.
After Andover, the relay race heads towards Salisbury where a spectacular evening celebration is planned.
If you are travelling to our namesake, then the torch will be passing through Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire two days beforehand, on Monday 9 July.
The announced towns for the route on 11 July are: Reading, Theale, Thatcham, Newbury, Basingstoke, Kings Worthy, Winchester, Andover, Ludgershall, Tidworth, Amesbury, The Winterbournes, and finally Salisbury.
A map of the entire Relay Route is on the London 2012 website HERE. The official report of the 1948 London Olympics, with information about its Torch Relay on page 220, is HERE. The Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council have information about the Relay HERE.
If you have any stories of photos of the torch when it came through in 1948, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org