Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was the Member of Parliament for Bedford from May 2010 to June 2017. I am now the Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire. Please visit my new website: for the latest news and information.

Balliol Lower School

Richard with Brendan Harris holding Olympic Torches along the Embankment, Bedford

Last month, Richard invited one of the very few organisers of an Olympic Torch Relay, Brendan Harris, the Chief Operating Officer of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, to Bedford where they visited two local schools, Balliol Lower and Queens Park Academy. Brendan recounted the story of how he spent three months on the road with the Olympic flame, travelling 16,000 miles through 43 of the 50 States in the USA. As students listened, two real Olympic torches were passed around– one from the Atlanta Games, and the other from the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The students learned that the torch relay is the largest spectator sporting event; that over 15,000 people carried the torch in 1996 and that the torch could be carried as you ran, as you walked, on a wheelchair, on a train, on a plane, in a canoe – just about any method of transport.

Brendan said that Bedford was a perfect destination for the  2012 London Olympic Games torch and urged the Council, and all of us, to contact the regional organising committee to say the torch must pass through our town on the 8th July when it wakes up in Cambridge and goes to bed in Luton.

Please join Richard in his efforts to get the torch to pass through Bedford by emailing: