Magna prepares for Olympic torch

26 June 2012

Hundreds of people are today set to welcome the Olympic torch to Rotherham’s Magna Science Adventure Centre. 

The symbolic flame will be carried through the former massive Templeborough steel works by children’s poet Debjani Chatterjee as part of the torch’s 70-day relay around the UK.

Local schoolchildren and businesspeople have been invited to the visitor attraction to witness the once-in-a-lifetime occasion, with many more members of the public expected to line the route.

Magna’s marketing manager Karen Staniforth said the visit was a chance to celebrate the vital role played by steel and the region’s steel industry.

She said:  “Magna aims to not only inspire interest in science for the future but to preserve the history of steel making. Often taken for granted, steel is the backbone of Great Britain and most activities we do every day involve steel. The cars we drive, the roads we drive them, world travel, space travel – all involve steel. Even products that don’t contain steel are made using steel machinery.

“The Rotherham and Sheffield region as a whole is inextricably linked with the history of steel and it is still important to our economy today. We hope the Olympic torch will help shine a light on this heritage.”

Ms Chatterjee, 59, with be photographed with the torch by the ‘Big Melt’, a huge original electric arc furnace which dramatically roars back to life with pyrotechnics and sound to recreate the steel-making process.

The Magna site was formerly the Steel, Peech and Tozer works – known locally as Steelos – which were once the biggest in the world and employed 10,000 people.The works were built during World War One and shut in 1993. They remained derelict until being transformed into an award-winning visitor attraction in 2001. 

Magna has four pavilions on a theme of earth, air, fire and water, which house over 100 interactive exhibits. It also boasts Sci-Tek and Aqua-Tek, outdoor and water play areas.Throughout the year, Magna hosts all kinds of events and exhibitions and offers a range of corporate and party facilities for up 3,000 guests. Currently running is ‘Giants of the Infinitesimal’, a unique exhibition of sculptures which bring the tiny world of nanotechnology to life.

The Olympic torch visits Magna on Day 38 of its 70-day relay across the UK en-route to the Olympic Stadium in London for the Olympic Games opening ceremony on July 27. The flame stands for peace, unity and friendship and will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers.

Debjani Chatterjee is a poet, writer and storyteller with over 50 books to her name, who works extensively with children in schools, community centres, libraries and hospitals. While poet-in-residence at Sheffield Children's Hospital, she set up a ‘Poetry Corridor’ for poems written by children. After surviving cancer herself, she founded a support group for cancer survivors and carers. She received an MBE in 2008 for services to literature.


Full day tickets to Magna include entry to the indoor attraction and both the outdoor play areas, or families can pay to just visit the outdoor play areas. All full tickets include a further 12 months’ free entry.

For more information about Magna, visit or call 01709 720002.

For more media information contact marketing manager Karen Staniforth on 01709 723146 or email  Alternatively, contact marketing assistant Anna Holdsworth on 01709 723139 or email
Additional media contacts: Deborah Wain on 07903 466228 or at or Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at



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