Re blogged from Get Surrey . Author Russell Butt September 12, 2012
The success of the 2012 Games has encouraged members of the Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Committee, who are organising the celebrations for June 2015.
The committee viewed results of Runnymede council’s public consultation into how the borough should celebrate the event, and is sourcing money for a legacy visitors’ centre on Runnymede Meadow after a lottery bid was rejected.
Chertsey Meads councillor for RBC and 800th Committee member, Derek Cotty, said: “There were three big ticks that came back from the consultation results – to hold a pageant, to hold a music concert and to host activities by the river, all of which we’re on track to follow through on in any case.
“We’re very pleased that the public overall has been receptive to the whole thing, I think we are onto something good.”
Cllr Cotty said he was moved by the Olympic Games and the opening ceremony and hoped the pageant could convey something along the same lines, “to show how democracy has spread from our little island”.
He also hoped they could channel public interest, using the Games as a catalyst.
“We never expected our event to take up the momentum it must until the Olympics were over,” he explained.
He said the committee and borough council were still pursuing funding for the visitors’ centre and that there had been favourable interest from several parties.
“But until some one actually puts the money forward, it would not be right to say who they are,” he said.
“How big the event is depends on how much we can raise, but it’s going to happen, we can’t stop it now.”
This week Cllr Cotty met with bosses from Pinewood and Shepperton Studios to discuss their involvement in producing the pageant.
Matthew Smith, of Egham Museum, said the story of the Magna Carta was complicated, so commenting on celebration plans would depend on the angle chosen – the charter being a cornerstone of liberty and democracy, or something more low-key.
He said: “I think the key with this celebration is to make sure that there is genuine grassroots engagement.
“The Magna Carta itself made very little difference to the lives of Egham’s medieval inhabitants, who were tied to the land, it was more involved with the rights of the elite, the barons and landowners.
“We want to make sure in 2015 the same thing doesn’t happen and Egham residents are not overlooked and that it actually involves the town.”