Hundreds of thousands watch Olympic Torch visit in Norfolk and north Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 18:14 11 July 2012
© Archant Norfolk 2012
More than a quarter of a million people turned out onto the streets of Norfolk and north Suffolk to see the Olympic torch.
The historic flame weaved its way from west Norfolk to Waveney over Wednesday and Thursday last week.
People turned out in their droves to watch as inspirational torchbearers were given their moment to shine.
As the torch arrived in Norfolk on day 47 of the 70-day relay, 22,000 people lined the streets of King’s Lynn.
A further 3,500 gathered at Lynnsport while a further 10,000 lined the streets of South Wootton 10,000 and 23,000 descended on the Royal Estate at Sandringham.
Some 41,000 people turned out in north Norfolk while 50,000 people lined the route from Aylsham Road to Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich - 15,000 more than expected.
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “There was a carnivalesque atmosphere along the route and it was quite a spectacle to see 250 children following the torch as it did a lap of the Lynnsport athletics track – it certainly was a day to remember.”
Norwich City Council’s culture and events manager Helen Selleck said: “The Olympic Torch Relay was truly a unique and inspiring event and we have all been so lucky to be part of it. You could not help but feel the anticipation and excitement when the torch came through and feel so proud of the torchbearers.
“We responded to the Olympics touching our city fantastically, so many people came out. So many people got involved creating activities and events around the torch.
“The event brought the community together and just shows what can happen when everyone makes such an effort to make something special and memorable.”
Similarly large crowds could be seen on Thursday as the torch left Norfolk on day 48 of the relay and headed south to Suffolk.
About 1,500 people woke up early in the morning to see the flame, carried in a lantern, make a special visit to Hethersett before the first torch of the day was lit at Norwich Castle.
Six thousand people lined the route from the castle to Kett’s Hill while about 8,000 people turned out in Acle and Filby.
Great Yarmouth saw crowds of 35,000 people while 50,000 people lined the route in Waveney, 28,000 in Lowestoft alone.
Marie Hartley, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s culture, sport and leisure manager, said: “This was dubbed as our ‘moment to shine’ and Great Yarmouth did. Helpfully so did the sun.
“Last Thursday was a fantastic day for Great Yarmouth and one that will live long in the memories of those in the borough.”
Waveney District Council leader Colin Law added: “It truly was the most incredible event - something we will never forget. I cannot recall a day in my life when so many people have come to the town centre in Lowestoft to share in one special experience – and the pictures from around the district show exactly the same joy wherever to torch went.”