Woking’s 2012 legacy
During 2011 and 2012, Woking Borough enjoyed an unprecedented 18-month programme of sporting and cultural celebrations to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Celebrate Woking worked with partners to deliver a range of community events and projects, including:
Sport Relief Mile – 25 March 2012
The 2012 Woking event was a runaway success, with a total of 734 people donning their running shoes and pounding the pavement around Goldsworth Park Lake to raise money for disadvantaged people in the UK and overseas.
Tour Series 2012 – 12 June 2012
Racing back into Woking for the fourth time, the men’s Halfords Tour Series and women’s Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series attracted around 8,000 people, who turned out to watch the penultimate legs of both series in Woking Town Centre. Local schoolchildren, businesses and residents also got a slice of the action by taking part in the much-loved Community Races.
Party in the Park – 7 July 2012
Around 7,000 people visited the Borough’s Party in the Park which was held in Woking Park. During the afternoon, visitors were treated to a free, family-friendly extravaganza of music, dance, sport, art and culture. Woking Dance Festival delivered over 50 performances, featuring work by professional dance companies, local dance artists, community groups and schools.
All the Bells – 27 July 2012
Part of the national London 2012 Festival, around 500 ‘early birds’ joined local sports stars to ‘ring in’ the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games at 8.12am precisely.
West Byfleet LI:VE – 27 to 29 July 2012
During the opening weekend of the London 2012 Olympic Games, West Byfleet Recreation Ground became the focal point for residents and visitors celebrating the start of the Olympic Games, and supporting the crème de la crème of the world’s male and female cyclists as they whizzed through the streets of Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford.
Over the course of the weekend, approximately 14,500 people visited the West Byfleet LI:VE event to soak up the electric atmosphere and watch the Opening Ceremony, family film and the Cycle Road Races on the big-screen TV.
Over 7,000 hand-decorated bunting pennants were created by children from 30 local schools, Woking District Scouts and Cubs, and community groups. These unique pennants decorated the Party in the Park event in Woking Park and also part of the Olympic Cycle Race route.
Capture the Action
This exciting photography project encouraged local residents and visitors to the Borough to capture and submit images depicting local sporting and cultural action taking place during the Celebrate Woking programme. Over 10,500 images were submitted by local students, photographers, community groups, organisations and residents. It is these images which have been used to create the photo mosaics displayed in Peacock Walk in Woking Town Centre.
Local artist, Ros Burgin, worked with youth and community groups to prepare recycled bicycle rims and inner tubes to create inspiring flower sculptures. The floral displays were exhibited at Party in the Park and West Byfleet LI:VE events.
West Byfleet Subway Mural
Local artist, Stuart Phillips, brought to life the community’s vision for a new cycling and Jubilee-themed mural within West Byfleet Subway. The mural, finished in time for the local Olympic events, now serves as a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Woking Schools’ Championships
Young athletes of the future kicked off the London 2012 countdown with the inaugural P&G Woking Schools’ Athletics Championships 2012, organised by local World Masters 400m hurdler, Virginia Mitchell. Taking place in a series of heats, 19 Woking primary schools and up to 500 young athletes took part, followed by an ‘Olympic style’ final at West Byfleet Junior School involving nearly 200 children.
Woking’s Time Capsule
Items were collected from local residents and schoolchildren. The items represent the countries that participated in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and signify the multi-cultural links with the Borough.The Time Capsule can be seen at Lightbox in Woking, the capsule will be re-opened in 2060 – a future Olympic Games year. Also encased within the capsule are items relating to the Celebrate Woking programme, including local resident’s photographs and stories about their experiences.
Woking’s Willow Sculptures
Local artist, Sara Holmes, worked with local schoolchildren and community groups to create a 65-strong peloton of willow cyclists. The peloton, displayed at Party in the Park and along the London 2012 Olympic Cycle Road Race route during the men’s and women’s races, was awarded a prestigious Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Organising Committee.
Watch a short video showing the project’s journey here.
Other projects and events
Best Bar None Awards 2012
Part of a national initiative, local people voted for Woking’s best bars, clubs and pubs. The winning licensed premises were commended for their commitment to responsible management and operations.
Byfleet Parish Day
Residents continued the Jubilee celebrations at the annual Parish Day at Byfleet Recreational Ground on 21 July 2012.
Byfleet Carnival Parade
Local children donned colourful sports gear and fancy dress, and marched along the local High Road to welcome the start of the London 2012 Games.
Located on the London 2012 Olympic Cycle Road Race route, the community of Pyrford organised a weekend of family fun at the Cricket Club to celebrate the men’s and women’s races, which passed through the village on 28 and 29 July 2012.
Duke Ellington Conference
For five days during May 2012, Woking hosted the 21st Annual Duke Ellington Conference at the H.G. Wells Conference and Events Centre. Delegates from across the globe visited the town to celebrate one of America's most influential composers of the 20th Century.
Olympic Torch Relay
Thousands of spectators watched local Olympic Torchbearers – Claire Gunney, Eric Smith, Danny Hall, Harry Adolphus, Joe Cross, Simon Hawkings and Stephen Morgan – carry the torch at various locations across the country in the lead up to the London 2012 Games. In addition, Surrey residents also enjoyed the nearby Torch Relay celebrations in Guildford’s Stoke Park on 20 July 2012.
Open Weekend and Woking Dance Festival
During July 2011, the countdown to London 2012 Games started early with a spectacular outdoor programme of dance performances organised by Woking Dance Festival in the town centre. The impressive programme was awarded a prestigious Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Organising Committee.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Marking Her Majesty’s 60-year reign, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend (2 to 5 June 2012) was celebrated by millions across the country with pageantry and parties. Over 40 local communities and groups held Royal themed street parties across the Borough.
Surrey Youth Games
Young athletes from across the Borough proved to be sporting superstars when they competed in the P&G Surrey Youth Games, walking away with a clutch of medals, some great team performances and coming second overall in the county. Approximately 275 children, aged 7 to 15 years, represented Woking in 13 different sports.
Woking Summer Festival
Organised by the Woking District Rotary Club, the fifth festival took place in Woking Park and included family activities, stalls, attractions and a classic car show.
Throughout the Celebrate Woking programme many people from across the Borough kindly donated their time to help. Without their dedication and enthusiasm, these events and projects would not have been possible. Thank you to everyone who took part.