Olympic torch takes a wrong turn in Bristol


The Olympic torch took a wrong turn today shortly before it crossed the Clifton Suspension Bridge in a spectacular display of fireworks.

The torch left the foggy streets of Bristol for North Somerset at 5.50am before travelling by convoy to visit Nailsea, Backwell and Flax Bourton.

But as it returned to Bristol via Nailsea the convoy took a wrong turn in Failand - delaying the relay by about 10 minutes.

Tens of thousands of people had lined the streets of Bristol to catch a glimpse of the flame.

Clifton Suspension Bridge was left suspiciously empty but all became clear when Rebecca Pantaney stepped on to the Grade I-listed structure and the loud bang of fireworks was heard.

Ms Pantaney won badminton gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games as part of the women's team.

Gasps could be heard from the crowd as people cheered and waved Union Flags.

The display followed the torchbearer as she ran across the bridge to loud applause from spectators.

The flame was handed over on the middle of the bridge, which was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to Thomas Baker.

A Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) spokesman said that when the mistake was made no torchbearers were running and the relay was in "convoy mode".

"They missed a turning this morning between Nailsea and Failand.

"They realised straight away and rectified it.

"They were running 10 minutes late. It did not impact on any of the torchbearers.

"It was in convoy travelling from Nailsea to Failand."

The flame will be carried through 22 communities today, including Chippenham, Marlborough, Wroughton, Cirencester and Stroud.

On its way to Cheltenham, the torch will also pass through Royal Wootton Bassett, where people regularly turned out to honour the UK's war dead, until the closure of RAF Lyneham last year.

The Olympic torch will end up in the royal hands of Zara Phillips.

The Queen's granddaughter will be on horseback to carry the torch on to Cheltenham's famous racecourse.

Miss Phillips, who is married to former England rugby captain Mike Tindall, will be riding Toytown - the horse on which she won world and European titles.

Toytown, which was officially retired from eventing last year but has not competed since 2009, will parade the length of the Cheltenham finishing straight.

Miss Phillips, whose mother the Princess Royal received the Olympic flame in Greece last week, will then light a cauldron to mark the end of day five of the relay.

Outgoing Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba, 34, will also get his hands on the torch when he carries it through Swindon earlier in the day.

His midfield team-mate Josh McEachran, 19, will run in Calne.

Two Olympic gold-medallists from the 1968 Mexico City games will be taking part in the relay.

David Hemery, 67, who broke a world record when he won gold in the 400 metre hurdles, will carry the torch through Royal Wootton Bassett.

And Jane Holderness Roddam, 64, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, will join the relay in Shurdington, near Cheltenham.

The event rider won team gold for Great Britain in Mexico City.

The evening line-up at Cheltenham racecourse includes music from Labrinth, dance act Twist and Pulse, Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra and Cheltenham Youth Choir.

The 70-day relay around the UK finishes at the Olympic Stadium on July 27.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame on its 8,000-mile journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk