LAST October the Battle Abbey Advisory Committee was shocked and surprised to hear that Battle was not to be included on the official Olympic Torch relay route.
Since then English Heritage has done its best to remedy the position, but at our recent meeting (reported in the Battle Observer, March 30) we were deeply disappointed to be told that Battle was to be graciously offered a five-minute ‘photo opportunity’ with the Torch (though not as part of the relay), at 7.45am on July 18 - to take place inside the Abbey, not in public.
So the people of Battle, and what is worse, their children, will be unable even to have the bravest of glimpses of the Olympic Torch in the very town where, arguably, the seeds of modern Britain were sown.
1066 was one of the few truly decisive battles in English history (though, coincidentally, another significant battle took place on July 18, at Waterloo in 1815).
The British constitution, founded on democratic government and the rule of law, developed over the centuries from principles introduced by William the Conqueror and his successors.
It has been the model for the legal and political institutions of many of the major trading countries of the western world and the Commonwealth.
For good or ill, our nation, and the world as we know it today, would have been very different but for what happened in October 1066 at what is now the town of Battle.
The omission of the town and the Abbey from the Torch relay route is disgraceful, but at the very least the organisers should ensure that the town’s citizens - and above all the children - should be able to share even this small landmark in 2012’s contribution to our nation’s history.