Tarbet and Luss en fete as Olympic Flame brushes Argyll

Myles Clark carries Olympic Torch in Tarbet

The lead photo has to go to Myles Clark carrying the Olympic Torch through Tarbet at around 10.30 this morning – because he’s from Argyll and he’s bringing the flame to an Argyll audience. The other Argyll torchbearers have been rostered for duty elsewhere, with the honour of bearing the flame in his own area going to Myles.

Myles Clark carries Olympic Flame through Tarbet

Flame at LussThe Flame came first to Luss where Fiona Phillips who covered the event there for us, estimated that around 500 people had come to see it.

The Loch Lomond Seaplane buzzed the Pier in Luss a few times and then, to general delight, came in to land. You could hear it in the air from Tarbet – it has a distinctive engine note – but not a wing in sight.

There must have been another 500 at Tarbet where the Marquee on the lochside lawn under Ben Lomond on the far side of the loch hosted the Pipes and Drums from Wild Biscuit’s MOVE and a ,joint choir from Tarbert Academy, Lochgilphead High School and Coisir Og Dhail Riata – singing The Flame, the song written by Wild Biscuit for the occasion.

Luss ready

Willie Young and Nicola Hackett for Argyll and Bute Council did a superb job, as did all of the other staff involved, David Campbell and the team from Dunoon’s Riverside doing the stewarding and the security detail – all of whom were good natured and helpful throughout.

Willie Young talking to Councillor George Freeman at Tarbet

We’re publishing this introduction to let everyone see what it was like at both Argyll venues waiting for and seeing the Olympic Flame pass through.


There’ll be more news and more photographs later from Luss and from Tarbet when we’ve had a chance to review them all – probably in a second article.

MOVE pipes and drums

Argyll did not stint its welcome for the flame, nor for Myles Clark who is already an example to his peers in how to cope positively with adversity – and who will now be a wider hero. He had support from the crowd, from his classmates and from neighbours where he lives. like Chris Thornhill, who arrived with poster messages  no one would dispute.

Message for Myles Clark from Chris Thornhill

The weather eventually saw off the blight of midges which were taking copious advantage of early humidity, a rather overcast sky and no wind. The clouds thinned, the sun shone, the temperature rose and the  midges chose cover.

Arrochar School flames

Just down the road Arrochar school, which is on the lochside in Tarbet, was full of the most glorious flaming torches, made by the children in special T-shirts for the occasion designed by themselves. The scene in the school grounds was arguably the greatest spectacle of the day.

The event was well and tightly organised with nothing at all left to chance. Much interesting stuff in this – and some surprises – to come later.

Tarbet Flame day

We are endlessly grateful to Councillor Dougie Philand who emailed us the lead photo of Myles Clark in Tarbet with the Torch. For Argyll had a camera malfunction minutes before Myles and the torch arrived. Not what you want. Councillor George Freeman offered to do the same. The shot of Myles was the key shot we needed to get for everyone to see and we appreciated enormously the sense of teamwork in making sure it was possible.

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17 Responses to Tarbet and Luss en fete as Olympic Flame brushes Argyll

    • Spot on, during the Jubilee the Republicans joined hand in hand with in happiness & unity. Don’t know where you were in this country (Scotland) but here in Dunoon you were very lucky or unlucky depending on your viewpoint if you clocked a small red white and blue streamer fluttering from someone’s door handle or the odd elipse of bunting. Apologies if you are posting this from England or Northern Ireland as they appear to favour this abhorent circus and obviously brought people together in happiness and unity.

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        • Intolerence? Not at all, simply a point of view shared, I’m sure, by many many more in Scotland. The Olympic flame, yes probably bring sections of communities together, sport tends to do this. When the comparison to the Golden Jubilee was made by Islay for ever I am sure I was not alone in noticing the lack of enthusiasm north of the border, wonder why?

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    • I have a long professional history of being seduced by the apparent confidence of titles and not proofing them.
      Many thanks for this prompt – and the location for the visit of the flame this morning is now correct.

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  1. Having been at Luss this morning and taking a few soundings among the locals {like myself},We compared the crowd to-day to a day at Luss Games. The committee members of Luss Games have estimated the crowd at 3000. They were four and five deep all the way from the hotel to the pier with the first of them arriving at 8 am

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  2. The only blot on the event was the racial abuse of a local for holding a saltire by a bombastic guest from south of the Border who currently lives in Helensburgh

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    • We understand that the organisation itself was selling both Saltires and Union Flags to bystanders (£2 a pop) at Luss. (A post-Hampden revision, perhaps?)
      At Tarbet the guy with the bag of merchandise, seemed only to have Union Flags and whistles to sell.

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  3. I think that Graeme should have been at Tarbet where some idiots who were waving saltires let Scotland down by the signs they were making to tourists in coaches from south of the border. Is it any wonder that we are called anti English and ashamed to be Scottish.

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    • Regrettably we do have a mindless anti-English element who give the rest of us here in Scotland a bad name. Thankfully they are well and trully in the minority and hopefully will remain so. It’s all very well having a bit of sporting rivalry and friendly banter however, when it descends into nasty insults or verbal abuse simply because of your country of birth then this is very disappointing. This said, waving the National flag of your country be it England, Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland I don’t think should ever be deemed inapropriate or merit disdain.

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  4. Pingback: Argyll News: For the record: the 2012 Olympic Flame in Argyll | For Argyll

  5. You are quite right to condemn the behaviour of these small minded bigots, and I join you in that. I’m neither anti English nor ashamed to be Scottish and the actions of people like this won’t make me so.

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  6. If we don’t expose racial abuse now then the Independence referendum could become very nasty

    It’s important that all examples are exposed whether it’s by young beds or middle class or aged ones

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