News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Olympic Torch Touches Westbury

Remarkable scenes have greeted the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic Torch as it passed close to Westbury on Trym during this morning's rush hour, cheered by vast crowds of would-be commuters and enthusiastic school children.

"The gods have come to us in petrochemical form," shouted Daisy Cutter, as she gazed across Westbury Road at the angelic-looking torch bearer, skateboarder Tony Cruiser, one of twenty locals chosen to carry the torch on its morning journey across the city. Tony, a former ASBO holder and son of a chiropodist, was turned off tagging and onto tailsliding by a McDonalds outreach programme that targets disaffected middle-class youths and works with them to re-engage with the professional aspirations of their peers. "I was really fed up with education, but after I read about the programme on a cheeseburger wrapper, I got myself sorted, and now I can't believe I've been chosen at random to carry the torch through my own hood."

Henleaze businessman Ivor Profit of TV Now was equally enthusiastic about the torch's journey through BS9. "It's great to see so many people out on the High Street so early, not only to greet the torch but to make the subliminal connection between sporting success and Panasonic televisions. It's amazing!"

As the torch made its way northward across the downs, reports began to filter through of the wider social effects that the Olympic spirit was starting to have on the Bristol region. A spokesman for Bristol City Council confirmed that a solution had been found to the Bristol City stadium re-building saga which has dragged on for several years. "I can confirm," announced spokesman Arthur Truth, "that all parties have agreed to abandon the judicial and democratic process and have agreed to the new stadium being built at Ashton Vale. We are grateful to our Olympic sponsors for lending their support to the process and can announce that the new stadium will be named the Cola Bowl."

Thousands of local residents rose early to catch a glimpse of the sacred flame, lit on the actual site of the ancient Olympics in Visa-soaked Greece by a solar ignition system specially designed for the event by General Electric. GE will be hoping to improve its public perception following its long association with Japan's Fukishima Nuclear Plant, whose six reactors were built by GE.

Southmead housewife Eva Ho noted that, despite a global profit of $14.2 billion, and GE having paid no US Federal taxes in 2010, she was pleased that the manufacturing giant was behind the torch relay. "If the flame goes out, you want to know that a big company can get it lit again."  The back-up to the sacred flame is carried throughout its journey in a support vehicle, guarded by 20 members of the Metropolitan Police's elite Sport Sponsorship Squad. Emergency legislation brought in by the last Labour government allow the squad to shove members of the public out of the way of the flame in the event that they err too close to the holy fire. "Good thing too," declared Ms Ho, whose eleven children were wildly waving union flags supplied by Visa as they awaited the flame's arrival

The flame was enthusiastically welcomed to the City of Bristol on Tuesday night and will start the next stage of its nationwide journey in Cheltenham. The flame's journey can be followed on its way to London here.

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