Colour piece: The day Norwich has been waiting for

PUBLISHED: 21:02 04 July 2012

Drummers on stage at the Olympic Torch Relay stage show at Chapelfield Gardens. Picture: Denise Bradley

Drummers on stage at the Olympic Torch Relay stage show at Chapelfield Gardens. Picture: Denise Bradley


Reporter Amy Fordham described a brilliant day in Norwich

Today was the day everyone had been waiting for, the people of Norwich were waving their flags and blowing their whistles in preparation for the torch’s arrival.

Prior to the torch arriving, Duke Street was filling up with crowds on either side of the road and outside the Golden Star pub with beers in hand and phones at the ready for that ‘once in a lifetime’ snap of the torch bearer.

All walks of life were there, from The Volunteering Gardening Group, families, friends and people who had finished work early especially for the occasion.

Paul, from Norwich, was part of the crowd, he said: “I’ve been watching from beginning, when I realised the torch was coming to Norwich I thought I’d make the effort, I followed it all on radio, but seeing it on TV is not the same as actually being here.”

Domique Blaxall was right at the front of the railings. She told me: “I’m really good friends with the Olympic torch bearer, Jess Savage, trainee instructor at Eastern Gymnastics, I’m so excited to see somebody I know perform in the relay.”

The atmosphere was incredible, British souvenirs and Olympic medals were on sale and a Coca-Cola van was on hand to quench the thirst of those in the sun, cranking up excitement with their loud music blaring from its speakers.

Shouts were heard from all around as people guessed how long until the famous flame would be there; ‘Its here in 10 minutes’, ‘No, I reckon its here in five’. The wait was unbearable.

Finally, people started to chatter loudly, some were screaming; ‘Its here!’ ‘It’s here’ and I got that little butterfly feeling as goosebumps rippled up my arms. Yes, the torch was here.

Suddenly the road was packed full of police cars and Olympic staff, Lloyds TSB vans followed with people on the roof dancing and waving to us.

Behind all of these was the torch bearer, the one we’d all been waiting for, crowds gathered around, wanting to be photographed with her, she must have felt like a celebrity with everyone chanting her name. It didn’t matter that we didn’t even know her background, this woman was making history, playing her small part in this fantastic event.

After the next torch had been lit and sent on its way, festivities didn’t stop there. Cheerleaders were performing in the street and bands were playing their tunes further up toward City Hall.

Marcus Patteson, director of New Community Carnival Group, Bloco Foguete said: “We had a great moment when the torch met in front of us and we were playing a Rio de janeiro tune, fitting, as that is where it is heading next.”

It was delightful to be a part of something that we will never see again.

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