WAKEY, wakey! Olympics fans who aim to make a date with a once-in-a-lifetime event are going to have to be prepared for a midnight run when the Paralympic torch relay races through Berkhamsted and Tring next month.
News of the relay route was only confirmed on Monday night, leaving both towns just 51 days until the relay arrives in the early hours of Wednesday, August 29.
The 24-hour relay route takes in Aston Clinton on the Tuesday night at 11.55pm before starting the new day in Tring at 12.32am, hitting Berkhamsted at 1.03am and then Bourne End at 1.39am.
Deputy mayor of Tring councillor Roxanne Ransley said yesterday: “We are going to try and deck the town. Until the route was confirmed we couldn’t sort out anything but we do have ideas of things we could do.
“The council has been talking about a window display competition and asking shop keepers to keep their lights on so the town is lit up. We could even ask restaurants to do late night suppers.
“We need to let all the schools know, talk to Tring Sports Forum, Tring Together, everyone. We have to get in gear quite fast.”
Tring has no specific budget for the occasion but will be discussing it at the finance and policy committee meeting on Monday.
The town’s mayor, Councillor Nick Hollinghurst, said: “It’s a challenge because of the time of night but we strongly feel we need to support our Paralympic athletes.”
The news was welcomed with excitement from the people of Tring.
Danielle Dawson, who owns Gorgeous Lingerie on the High Street said: “I think it’s amazing that the torch will be coming through a small town like Tring.”
Tring Youth Town Council spokesman Emma Cave said that she hoped to get a big group of youngsters out for the occasion.
And restaurant entrepreneur Peter Borg-Neal, whose company Oakman Inns includes The Akeman in Tring and The Kings Arms in Berkhamsted, said: “I think it’s a great honour for the towns and from a business point of view, we will definitely be doing something, we just don’t know what yet.”
The mayor of Berkhamsted, Councillor Ron Cowie, said: “We welcome this once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Paralympic torch through Berkhamsted on its way to the Olympic stadium.”
If you have any suggestions about how Tring should welcome the Paralympic torch to the town contact Roxanne Ransley at Tring Town Council on 01442 823347.