Box Hill News snubbed by Olympic organisers
OLYMPIC organisers will not allow a village magazine to be sold on Box Hill during this month's cycle races – because the publication is not an official London 2012 sponsor.
The Box Hill News, a 40p news magazine run by volunteers, wanted to publish a special Olympics-themed edition to be sold on the weekend of the cycling races, July 28 and 29.
But Games organisers Locog insist only event sponsors can trade along the route.
Former Box Hill News editor June Austin, 47, who resigned partly due to the dispute with Locog, said the Olympics promised to be a great opportunity for local communities, but in reality only large companies will benefit.
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She told the Advertiser: "They said the whole area would be controlled by Locog so if you're not an Olympic sponsor, you can't sell anything there.
"It would have been such an opportunity to raise money for charities in the area and they're missing out; all the money will go to the big companies."
Ms Austin said the magazine's volunteers were very disappointed when they heard about Locog's rules.
She added: "We had put in over 100 hours of work at that point, but we couldn't sell it in the ticketed area or within two metres of the route; and the footpaths are tiny."
The special edition was due to feature an article and photos by Keith Brock, a reserve for the British Olympic cycling team at the 1948 London Games.
Mr Brock, 81, who lives in Box Hill, said: "They were going to do a special Olympics issue and I did a two-page story with pictures, but Locog won't let them sell it on Box Hill.
"I was asked to write the story of the 1948 Olympics cycling and they had it for about a year, then about two months ago they told me Locog wouldn't let them sell the paper on Donkey Green.
"The Box Hill News is just a small local magazine.
"It's tiny and they're all volunteers."
Speaking about his experience in 1948 Mr Brock, who runs a business selling jetskis and other marine equipment in Colliers Wood, said: "I was put on as a reserve in case any of the riders were in an accident.
"I was the fifth rider but they all were OK, so I didn't take part."
Part of Mr Brock's article has been printed in the latest Box Hill News, but the special Olympics edition has been cancelled.