Party in the Park Drums in the 2012 Games

The Beijing Olympics are only days away, but one blacksmith in Denmead is already getting inspired by the London Games in 2012.   Brian Charlesworth has been invited by Winchester City Council to make an Olympic-style torch for the District.  The Live Your Dream torch will make its first appearance in Winchester on Sunday 24th August as part of a community celebration to mark the official handover to London as incoming host city.

Winchester City Council, working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, is planning a large-scale family picnic at North Walls Recreation Ground on the closing day of the Beijing Games, with large screen action from China showing during the day and a range of sports and arts ‘have-a-go’ sessions on offer.  A specially formed community drumming group of up to 200 local people will also be coming together under the professional eye of experts Drumpulse to lead a Samba-style procession to the Broadway.  They will arrive to see the 2012 Handover Flag hoisted on the front of Winchester Guildhall in the presence of the Mayor of Winchester, the Leader of the County Council and other community leaders. 

Head of Cultural Services Eloise Appleby said, “Winchester got the 2012 bug the minute London’s successful bid was announced in 2005, and just this month we’ve seen Winchester Sports Stadium open for business at Bar End.   We wanted to use the handover to celebrate the talent and energy of our own local sports clubs, but also to remind people that 2012 is about much more than sport.”

The event, which the City Council is calling The Big Live Your Dream Picnic, takes its name from the Council’s newly approved 2012 Framework.  Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport explained, “The Live Your Dream Framework encourages people to use the magic of 2012 to make a difference – for themselves or for their communities.  We hope people will use the opportunity to live their own dreams, from something as individual as starting up a new business to something as complex and inspirational as creating The English Project, which we would love to see opening in 2012. “

Sports clubs have been keen to get involved with the family picnic, offering a range of activities from rugby, football, athletics and netball taster sessions to goal-shooting inflatables, trainer wanging, a climbing wall and an orienteering course.  Local arts organisations are also being invited to join the fun, and Hampshire County Council is sponsoring the big screen at North Walls.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation, Heritage and Communities, Councillor Margaret Snaith said, “Hampshire County Council is delighted to be working in partnership with Winchester City Council to support the handover event.

With the Olympics taking place on home soil in London 2012, this is the perfect time to engage with local people about getting active and reaping the benefits of an active lifestyle.”

The City Council team organising the event are keen to hear from other clubs and organisations who would like to offer activities as part of the event – and from anyone who would like to be part of the giant drumming group.  Sports and Recreation Manager Amanda Ford said, “This is not just a celebration: it’s an opportunity for clubs to recruit new members and volunteers, and for local people to discover new hobbies and healthy interests.”

More details about the ‘Olympicnic’ will be released shortly, but in the meantime those wanting to get involved should email

The 2012 Live Your Dream Framework can be found on, and the City Council is looking forward to hearing your views prior to signing off the draft during the flag-raising event on 24th August.

More information about getting active in Hampshire can be found at