May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thousands filled Bruce Castle Park for a historic festival of celebration yesterday as the Olympic Torch passed through Tottenham.
Dignitaries and philanthropists from around the globe joined council leaders at Bruce Castle Museum, in Lordship Lane, ahead of the torch’s arrival at just after 5.40pm.
The group of international visitors accompanied Tottenham MP David Lammy, Haringey Council leader Claire Kober and others from across the community on a mile-long walk through the park, as part of the Hours Against Hate campaign.
Throughout the day, families gathered in the park soaking up the sunshine on what was one of the hottest days of the year.
Addressing Tottenham’s distinguished guests for the day, Cllr Kober thanked them for “a huge vote of confidence”, adding: “I sincerely hope this is the first of many times you come to visit Tottenham.”
It had been expected that Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King and musician Dave Stewart, one half of Eurythmics, would be joining dignitaries yesterday - only for both to pull out last-minute for reasons unknown.
However, foreign diplomats from the US Department of State were in attendance and addressed onlookers in Bruce Castle Museum.
Ahead of the 2012 Hours Against Hate - Walk a Mile, Hannah Rosenthal, special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, and Farah Pandith, special representative to Muslim communities, explained the concept behind the campaign.
Ms Rosenthal said: “Hate is hate no matter who the victim is and it’s going to take everyone working together to bring change.
“We are going to walk a mile in each other’s shoes - diplomats and religious leaders can only do so much.”
The mile-long walk took participants, wearing special campaign t-shirts, around two laps of Bruce Castle Park.
Crowds then congregated outside the park’s bowling green pavilion for a special performance of Gladesmore School’s Everybody Dreams song, which Dave Stewart had been scheduled to join.
Introducing the song, Gladesmore pupil Stefan Richards, 15, said: “Last summer left Tottenham in a very negative spotlight, we hope to show the world that Tottenham really is the place to be.”
All eyes then turned to the junction of Bruce Grove and Lordship Lane, where crowds had gathered to see the torch ‘kiss’ between torchbearers Nancy Hammond and Sanjay Mazumder.
Awaiting the torch’s arrival, Sonia Rennie, 48, of Lordship Lane, said: “I don’t think I’ll get to see this again in my lifetime. After everything that Tottenham has been through, it’s great. Everyone is out and the sun is shining.
Following the torch’s eventual appearance, Peter Davies, 44, of Bruce Grove, said: “The community spirit was great and everybody was 100 per cent behind it. It was history in the making.”
Earlier, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall had made an appearance on the High Road for the torch kiss between Prince’s Trust young entrepreneur Jay Kamiraz and Paralympian Scott Moorhouse.
From the junction of Bruce Grove and Lordship Lane the torch continued on through Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Hornsey before reaching Alexandra Palace, where British Olympic icon Daley Thompson lit the cauldron.
In total, 180,000 people turned out in Haringey to see the torch yesterday, doubling the numbers expected.
For more photos from the day, go to www.facebook.com/hornseyjournal.