By IAN CLARKE
Monday, July 16, 2012
Olympic fever gripped Swaffham on Sunday - and the town’s very own Olympian was one of the stars of the day.
Hundreds of people turned out for the town’s carnival procession and fun day which had an Olympics theme.
Heading the parade - and carrying the Breckland Olympic torch - was Ann Ewer, who has lived in Swaffham for 19 years and sprinted for Britain in the Rome Games in 1960.
Still wearing the track suit top which she wore 52 years ago and looking remarkably fit at the age of 70, Mrs Ewer said: “It has been absolutely great to carry the torch. I was just so overcome when I was asked to do it.”
She ran under her maiden name Ann Jenner in 1960 and got through to the second round of the 100m sprint.
Yesterday she was thrilled to head the procession in the town she now calls home - especially as she was joined on the last stage by her grandson Ellis, who is nearly two.
“I had never lived anywhere for more than seven years before I came to Swaffham but I’m not going anywhere else now!”
About 200 people from a wide range of local groups were in the colourful and noisy carnival procession, which went through the town centre to Campingland.
A variety of countries were represented and 24 banners were carried along.
A fun packed afternoon was enjoyed on Campingland, including arena events ranging from a display by the Red Barrows to space hopper racing to putt the swede. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for the fun sports.
Organisations also ran a large number of stalls and activities.
The event - part funded by the Brecks Project - was organised by Swaffham Lions and the Iceni Partnership.
Committtee chairman Dennis Tallon said: “The turnout has been absolutely fantastic. Swaffham has really regenerated itself in the last two-three years and this is a demonstration of the community pulling together.
“It really made the day to have Ann, our own Olympian, involved.”
The Breckland Olympic torch has been organised by the district council as the official torch relay didn’t pass through Breckland.
By the time it finishes on Sunday, it will have covered 120 miles.
It was carried by members of the WI and villagers at North Pickenham on Saturday as part of their village weekend.
It is due at Great Dunham Primary School on Monday and visits Litcham high and primary schools on Tuesday, Mileham Primary on Wednesday and Beetley primary on Thursday.
On Saturday it will be carried to Swanton Morley village hall on horse back at 2pm as part of a fun afternoon and will complete its journey around the district during the Dereham 10km run on Sunday.