Editor’s comment: Flames of hope

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THE announcement that Alnwick will host the Olympic torch on its journey around the British Isles next year is a massive honour for the town.

It will be just one of 74 official stops across the UK, where special celebrations will be laid on for local people to share in the spirit of the games. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for our entire community and we must make the absolute best of it.

As an area which relies on tourism for its lifeblood, this twist of fate which has brought the Olympics to our doorstep will be a literal golden opportunity for all our businesses and attractions.

By pure fortune, the main hotel in town, the White Swan, happens to have the Olympic Suite, not named after the games but rather the sister ship of the Titanic. It’s also a canny coincidence that the centenery of Titanic’s sinking also happens next year, so this announcement must be a marketing dream for them.

Collectively, we have just over a year to lay the foundations for this auspicious occasion. There will be a lot of hard work ahead and we all have a part of play.

At the very least, we have to make sure that beautiful Alnwick remains clean and tidy, free of litter, graffiti and especially dog dirt which has plagued our streets of late. These are the small things that really matter. The professionals organising the main celebrations will do their level best, but they are just one part of the equation.

This is a chance for the whole of north Northumberland to shine, not just on a national stage, but a global one.

We have to go for gold.