The atmosphere reached fever pitch on Aylsham Road this evening, as the Olympic Torch Relay made its eagerly awaited first appearance in Norwich

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Soaring early-evening temperatures added to the family fun as the flame made its way from Aylsham to the north-west of the city.

There was plenty of bunting, flags being waved and laughs being shared, as thousands of people lined the streets of Mile Cross to get into the Olympic spirit.

The Olympic Torch was passed on from Great Britain and England hockey captain Kate Walsh, 32, from Twyford in Berkshire, to 18-year-old cricketer Sarah McGahan, from Diss, at 5.55pm amongst slightly chaotic scenes, as people strained to get a picture of the famous Olympic flame.

Andy Clegg, from Mile Cross, had brought his daughters Jessica, 14, and Melissa, 10, to watch the spectacle and he was hoping the Olympic spirit would leave a lasting memory with his girls.

He said: “Jessica is a bit of a budding athlete so maybe one day she could be involved with the Olympics. She does javelin and she play netball for the county so she’s the biggest sports fan out of us.

“This is all good fun because it brings all the people out.”

Keeping the crowd entertained as the torch approached - as well as following the torch into the city after it went past - were musicians from Tin House and Norwich Puppet Theatre, who were funded by the Creative Communities Consortium for the relay.

Accordions and fisherman in full yellow raincoats in a large model boat were the order of the day, following the relay convoy through to Exchange Street before joining in with the street entertainment.

Carole Liddiment, 53, from Costessey, was on Aylsham Road with her family to watch the torch’s arrival. She said: “I think it’s a good idea to get everybody into the spirit and getting all the communities to come out.

“That community spirit is what it is all about.”

While members of Mile Cross Methodist Church showed some true British spirit amongst the sunshine, offering free cups of tea to those wanting to share the once-in-a-lifetime event with them.

- For pictures of the torch in Norwich tonight, see the picture gallery at the top-right of this page.

- For much more about the Aylsham Road section of the relay, and all the relay action from Norwich and Norfolk, see tomorrow’s EDP and Norwich Evening News.

- To re-live our live coverage of the relay - including news, pictures and your tweets - click the link at the top-right of this page or copy and paste this link into your browser’s search bar: http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/sport/olympics-london-calling-2012/torch-relay/live-coverage

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