Wales Gears Up For Olympic Torch Relay

The Welsh town of Monmouth, in the UK, is preparing to receive the Olympic torch as it reaches the town today.

The Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, said, ‘The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay is Wales’ moment to shine, and a chance to showcase the people and places that make the country great. Over the next five days, the Olympic torch will be carried by around 550 runners along more than 300 streets in Wales and provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the Games as a country.

I congratulate the many deserving people across Wales who have been selected to play their part in the celebrations. I look forward to seeing everybody join together to celebrate their communities, rally behind our athletes, and show the world all the great things that Wales, and the whole of the UK stands for. On arrival of the Olympic torch and the beginning of the Welsh leg of the torch relay, that the event will shine a light on the places, people, values and traditions of Wales.’

Ms. Gillan will be attending a torch relay reception today, at the Shire Hall in Monmouth, arranged by Monmouthshire County Council.

Hundreds of people are expected to line the streets in celebration of the Olympic spirit, as Hazel Cave-Brown-Cave, 44, from Raglan, will carry the torch through the town’s streets. Hazel is an athlete and runs fundraising marathons for Bobath Cymru, and has recently completed treatment for breast cancer. She will share the torch relay with another athlete, Robyn Tyler, 21 from Monmouth.

Commenting on the Olympic torch relay, Hazel said, ‘It is a real honour for me to be carrying the torch and I still find it very hard to believe that I have been chosen from the many people nominated.’

Welsh Tourism First as Monmouth Becomes ‘Wiki-Town’

The small town of Monmouth in southeast Wales has embraced modern technology to claim an¬†audacious first in world tourism, by becoming a ‘Wiki-Town.’

The Daily Mail has reported that from tomorrow, visitors to the historic birthplace of King Henry V will be able to use their mobile phones to scan barcodes at points of interest and instantly access Wikipedia pages that give full details of the landmark that they are looking at. The information will be selected from hundreds of available pages on Wikipedia that detail Monmouth’s culture and history, and foreign visitors will be able to access the information in more than 26 languages.

Monmouth has worked hard to make the project a success by installing in the region of 1,000 barcode plaques and stickers on the town’s schools museums, historical sites and pubs, while local businesses have displayed barcodes that give access to information on their own history.

It has taken Wikimedia UK six months to develop the project, which was only made possible by the local council installing free wi-fi across the town. To make the available information as complete and accurate as possible, 450 new Monmouth based articles have been added to Wikipedia, and 150 existing articles checked and improved.

Roger Bamkin, a director of Wikimedia UK, told the Daily Mail, ‘We’re delighted that Monmouth is becoming the world’s first Wikipedia town. Both the quality and quantity of the new Monmouth Wikipedia content is outstanding, reflecting the rich cultural, historical and natural heritage of the town.’

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikepedia, said that he was looking forward to other towns following suit.