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Following the Flame

The 2012 London Olympic torch will visit the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth between 8.45am and 9.00am on Monday 28 May.

In celebration of this historic event the Library will welcome the London 2012 flame with a reception of 6 vintage Olympic torches.

The torches include those from:  Munich 1972, Seoul 1988, Athens 1996 - a special torch made by Greece to commemorate the centenary of the Modern Games and to express their dissatisfaction at not being awarded these Games [the Modern Games began in Athens 1896]) Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, London 1948 (the last time the Games were in London)

Two people who live in the Aberystwyth area – Gareth Farrow and Abishika Kasipillai have been given the honour of holding these two torches as well as Stephen Jones and Jayne Day, NLW Staff and Andy Marshall a Hannah Tyson Coleg Ceredigion Students. The college was recently awarded the Cultural Olympiad Inspire Mark for its short films, Precious Life, which were produced using film from the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

The Torch Holders:

Abishika Kasipillai: 21 year old 4th year International Politics with German student.

Gareth Farrow:  Although only 19, he has been regularly coaching at his local canoe club over the past 10 years and been inspirational due to his high level of commitment and performance where he has represented GB and Wales. Gareth is from Goginan.

Andy Marshall: Andy Marshall is no stranger to the National Library of Wales having appeared twice at the Drwm cinema in 2011 presenting the public screenings of “Precious Life” the award winning collaboration between The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales and Coleg Ceredigion.

Hannah Tyson: Studying for the Diploma in Creative Media Production. Hannah is a keen filmmaker whose achievements, ability, and potential were recently recognised by one of the most prestigious media colleges in London.

Jayne Day: Service Coordinator at the National Library of Wales and mother of two young boys, Siôn and Tomos. Jayne is from Aberystwyth but lives in Abermagwr, a small village outside of Aberystwyth.

Stephen Jones:  ITV Archive Relocation Co-ordinator at the National Library of Wales and father of two and used to play football.  He lives in Penrhyn-coch.

Library Facts:

The proportions of the National Library of Wales are the same as the Parthenon in Athens. The original white Portland stone design, with its majestic location overlooking the university town of Aberystwyth, was built to reflect the Acropolis overlooking classical Athens.

There are 6 million books in the Library’s collections – this will probably the closest a naked flame will ever get to them! The collections range from the earliest books in Welsh which are over 1,400 years old to football and sporting programmes.

During the Second World War, thousands of paintings and collections – including the Magna Carta and works by da Vinci – were relocated from London to the relative safety of the National Library of Wales.

There is 118 miles of shelving at the National Library of Wales – enough shelving to go half way to the new Olympic Stadium in Stratford 246 miles away … or cover the whole distance made by the Olympic Torch on Day 9 as it makes it’s way to Bangor (84 miles).

During the day, the Library’s Pen Dinas Café will also be open for breakfast and two gallery talks on the current exhibition, Following the Flame, will be given by the exhibition’s curator, Phil Cope, at 10.00am and 2.00pm.

‘We would like to share the joy and historic opportunity of the Olympic Flame visiting the National Library with the people of the Aberystwyth area. Holding a torch which has been carried in previous Olympics would be a wonderful bond between the Library, Aberystwyth and history,’ said Andrew Green, Librarian of the National Library of Wales.

Further Information:Elin Hâf NLW Press Office: 01970 632534