Throwback Thursday: Do you remember when Beccles hosted its own Olympics?
PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 August 2018
In Throwback Thursday Enjoy Beccles more takes a look back at some of the town’s major stories and events from times gone-by.
This week we go back to 2011 when the town hosted its own Olympics.
The article below first appeared in the Beccles and Bungay Journal on Friday, July 29, 2011.
Beccles turns on the Olympic style by Donna-Louise Bishop.
The town of Beccles has been celebrating the one-year countdown to the London 2012 Olympics by hosting the Beccles 2011 Olympics.
Business partners Christine Pinsent and Kate Lee were behind last weekend’s fun and games, which included a Chariots of Fire challenge, a triathlon, and a Great British Market.
Mrs Pinsent said there were too many highlights to name just one: “I can’t pick my favourite thing. It’s gone really well and there’s been a great atmosphere in town.
“The races went amazingly well and the triathlons whizzed by and I am just really pleased with the way it’s gone.”
The Chariots of Fire race saw teams of competitors running around New Market while the clock struck noon, with serious runners followed by fun runners.
Mrs Pinsent added: “The clock was only fixed a few days before the event – else we would not have had a unique Chariots of Fire race as it had not been working since last October. So that was a bit scary.”
The teams entered were V C Cooke, Beccles Caxton FC, Beccles Town Council ‘Dream Team’ and Beccles Lido Lifeguards. Waveney MP Peter Aldous also took part in the race.
Beccles Lido hosted the triathlon which saw participants running two laps of the Chariots of Fire race, then cycling a planned route in Beccles via the quay before proceeding to the lido to complete two lengths at the pool.
This was then followed by a display of synchronised swimming, a puppet theatre and a diving competition, finishing off with fun on the ‘famous’ inflatable.
The Great British Market was also on all day with crafts, food, drink and local produce.
There were celebrations at the Great British Market as students from Beccles’ twin town of Petit Couronne handed over the market chalet that they had spent the week constructing, to the people of Beccles.
Representatives from the twinning committees of Beccles and Petit Couronne and staff and students from Sir John Leman High School were present as Mayor Brian Woodruff accepted the gift on behalf of the town.
Petit Couronne town councillor Conchita Dambrine spoke about how this project marked a new stage in the relationship between Beccles and Petit Couronne.
Staff and students from Sir John Leman High School had worked with the French students to produce the chalet and the project was partly funded through a grant from the British council as part of the Youth in Action initiative.
Carpenter Mickael Lesueur spoke about his pride in how well the students worked together – language proved not to be a barrier!
Plans for a visit by Beccles students to work on an arts project in Petit Couronne are already being discussed for 2013.
The chalet will be stored at the high school and is for the use by community groups in Beccles.