AFTER months of uncertainty, it has been confirmed this week that Battle residents WILL get to see the Olympic Torch when it makes a fleeting visit to the town next month.
Back in November 2011, it was revealled that the Olympic Flame was coming to Battle Abbey for a photoshoot as the Abbey was considered by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to be a place of interest.
But Battle was missing from the official Torch Relay route, leading to fears the photo call would take place within the Abbey walls, denying residents the chance to see the Torch on its historic visit.
But after months of discussions and lobbying by local groups, English Heritage, which owns Battle Abbey, has now said residents will get the chance to see the Olympic Torch when it visits the site on July 18.
In a brief statement, English Heritage said: “English Heritage will be opening up Battle Abbey early, for free, to Battle residents from 8am–10am so they can enjoy the Olympic flame photocall, which is planned for around 8am.”
The photoshoot will take place outside the Gatehouse on the Abbey Green.
To mark the visit, English Heritage will open Battle Abbey free of charge to residents between 8am-10am, before the site opens to the general public.
Welcoming the decision by English Heritage, Cllr Richard Bye, chairman of Battle Town Council, said: “The council is pleased to see that English Heritage has agreed to open Battle Abbey to Battle residents so that they are able to enjoy the Olympic flame.
“We hope that as many residents as possible will take up this unique opportunity.”
Dale Cromwell, chair of the Battle and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s fantastic they have decided to open it up to the public and everyone is going to benefit from this once in a lifetime event.”