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To Jane Scott, Leader of Wiltshire Council

Dear Ms Scott,

The Olympic torch and Wiltshire’s heritage: an open letter
[London 2012 Customer Service CaseID#230363#]

As you may know we feel not extending support for Wiltshire Heritage Museum is short-sighted given the huge tourist revenue the County’s museums and monuments generate (see our article here). Now we learn the Olympic torch won’t visit Avebury or Silbury (see article here) which seems to be another lost opportunity to raise awareness of our prehistoric heritage so we have been corresponding with the Torch Planners about it.

We asked them: (a.) is our request for the Torch to stop for a short period at the Silbury Hill car park to be considered or rejected? and (b.) is our assertion that Silbury Hill has a massive claim to be included in a showcase of British history and achievements valid? ….. to which they have just replied:
“No, not at this stage. Local transport and police planning is already taking place around the agreed route. The route has been devised after extensive consultation with representatives in each Nation and Region. Every local authority has been given the opportunity to put themselves forward.”

So the Council has considered but rejected the idea of the torch visiting Avebury or stopping  (even momentarily) at Silbury? Again that seems short-sighted and the loss of a unique opportunity to raise awareness of Wiltshire’s prehistoric heritage. For instance, the restored ceremonial Avenue leading into the Avebury Henge is remarkably close to the width and length of the “stadion”, the track used in the original Olympic Games – yet is the best part of 2,000 years older. What better expression of the Olympic games coming to Britain could there be than for the torch to be carried down such an auspicious, 4,600 year old  ceremonial route and into the world’s largest stone circle?

We hope you can give this matter urgent consideration.

Heritage Action


April 2012

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