Stroud and Nailsworth ready to greet Olympic champion
THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the streets of Stroud and Nailsworth to cheer on double Olympic gold medallist Peter Reed on Saturday.
The Nailsworth rower will be honoured with a reception and open-top bus tour between Stroud and his home town – and there will be plenty of chances to meet Peter, who struck gold at London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
After a civic reception in Stroud, he will make his way to Nailsworth aboard the Stroud Life open-top bus to Nailsworth where he will meet townspeople at a barbecue before greeting the crowd from the pitch at Forest Green Rovers FC.
In the morning he will be recognised for his achievements by local dignitaries at a reception hosted by Stroud District Council and, shortly after noon, will appear on the Subscription Rooms balcony in Stroud to make a brief speech before making his way onto the forecourt in front of the building to mingle and sign autographs.
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As part of his speech, Peter will acknowledge the work of the Stroud and District Access Group, which is holding a Liberty Festival at the same venue to improve disability awareness.
The event includes wheelchair basketball, wheelchair dancing, a deaf comedian, a sign along and a sign language workshop.
Stroud District Council chairman, John Hudson, said: "We are delighted and proud of Peter's achievements.
"The Olympics proved to be an enthralling spectacle and it has been extra special to have a gold medal winner on our patch.
"I hope that the spirit of the Olympics and the continuing momentum of the Paralympic Games will encourage people to turn out for this victory celebration and the Liberty Festival."
Crowds are expected to line the streets as Peter boards the bus which will then make its way to Nailsworth.
The bus will then do a circuit along Market Street, Old Market and back onto Fountain Street before making its way to Nailsworth Town Hall where a barbecue will be held.
Mayor of Nailsworth, Steve Robinson said: "We are delighted to welcome Peter back to his home town and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding achievement in winning his second gold medal."
He will also be making an appearance on the Forest Green Rovers pitch at half-time and will be staying to watch the second half of the game.
And the flags will be out for Peter Reed as Olympic fever shows no sign of subsiding.
Schools and businesses along the route will get their Union Flags out again after a glorious summer of sport.
Many excited staff at the Meningitis Trust in Bath Road hope to see Peter on Saturday.
"We watched the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and were glued to our sets," said Meningitis Trust communications manager Harriet Penning.
"A lot of our staff will be out in Stroud and Nailsworth on Saturday and can't wait to meet Peter, whose performance was quite outstanding. We're all really proud of what he has achieved."
Staff and children at Woodchester Endowed CofE Primary School are also bringing out the flags again.
Head teacher Gordon Soutar said a sponsored cycle ride was planned for the same day but the school hopes to work around that and take in both events.
"The children have been really fired up by the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Mr Soutar.
"We have a sponsored cycle event planned, partly because of the success of the cycling team.
"I am sure many from the school will want to meet Peter and recognise his amazing achievements."