TORCHBEARER Di Ludlow, three sisters, a group of sailing instructors, four Olympic hopefuls and a young family are among 18 people celebrating last-chance tickets.

Lloyds TSB, a supporting partner of the torch relay, stepped forward to save the day when the Echo revealed the disappointment of many residents who were not able to get wristbands for tonight’s official Olympic Torch Relay celebrations.

The Weymouth branch, through the Dorset Echo, provided 18 passes to the free, but ticketed event.

Mrs Ludlow, 67, will be playing a special role, lighting the cauldron on the Weymouth Beach Live Site stage at 7.20pm.

As the last torchbearer of the day, she will carry the flame in memory of her late husband Bill Ludlow after it arrives by sea in a gig.

None of her family secured wristbands through the borough council-run application scheme so Mrs Ludlow, who was chosen as a torchbearer for her own charity work, was delighted by the bank’s kind offer.

She said: “It will be very emotional for me as I’m doing it for Bill.”

Sisters Nikki, Michelle and Louise Taylor from Weymouth are ‘very happy’ they will now be able to see their youngest sister Danielle, 10, perform as part of Moving Tides.

Dad of two Jason West, of the Park District, received four tickets for his young family.

He said: “I’m very grateful.”

Paul Larter, of Weymouth’s Lloyds TSB branch, said: “We wanted to do our best to support the local community and enable them to be part of the spectacle.”

Magic orchestra aims to drum up support at Games party celebration

A LOCAL band is looking forward to drumming up support as Weymouth celebrates the arrival of the Olympic torch relay.

The Magic Drum Orchestra will play at the party on Weymouth Beach tonight.

The 20-piece band, which practises in Owermoigne every Wednesday night, are among a wide range of acts on the stage.

The orchestra takes its influences from hypnotic Afro-funk and Samba and puts its own take on tracks by artists as diverse as James Brown and Snoop Dogg.

The band is no stranger to festivals, with their energetic sets at The Big Chill, Camp Bestival, Larmer Tree and Festinho, and has played in front of crowds of up to 15,000.

The band also performed at the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon in Dorchester.

The orchestra will be teaming up with Lyme Regis youth music group B Sharp and a mass percussion orchestra made up of around 250 local schoolchildren.

Other acts include rapper Wretch 32, Britain’s Got Talent dance act finalists Twist and Pulse and junk music band Weapons of Sound.

There will also be an acrobatic display and local children performing the ‘Moving Tides’ carnival.