THOUSANDS of people have turned out to line the streets of Waveney in welcoming the Olympic Torch to north Suffolk.

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Huge crowds have turned out in Lowestoft, Wrentham, Reydon and Southwold to witness the “once-in-a-lifetime” occasion.

In Lowestoft, an estimated 10,000 people turned out in the town centre to watch the torch relay in Britain’s most easterly town - with blue skies on the sunshine coast.

The mayor of Lowestoft Nick Webb said: “You can’t ask for any more than what we’ve just seen - when Lowestoft comes out and pulls together it shows what we can do and achieve.

“It was a real showcase for the town and the people of Lowestoft can be proud - it’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

Lowestoft town centre manager Emma King said: “It has just been magical - a fantastic day, and shows what Lowestoft can do.”

The Lowestoft Town Centre Management Partnership handed out 2,500 free flags to the crowds - and they had all been handed out within half an hour!

And it was fitting that as the crowds cheered and clapped, with bunting, Union flags and banners all flying high, that Karen Booth - who has helped thousands of youngsters in working with young people across Waveney - carried the Olympic Torch through Lowestoft’s main town centre.

Among the crowds in Lowestoft were Becky Ames, 27, who has lived in the area for almost 20 years. She arrived in the town centre with her children early in the morning to enjoy the exciting atmosphere in the build-up to the Olympic torch passing through. She said the event was “brilliant.”

Jayne Bardwell, 50, from the Lowestoft area, watched with her children as the torch passed along the high street. She had “met up with family,” and “had a lovely day.”

With about 50 rotarians from the Rotary Club of Lowestoft all acting as volunteer stewards along the route, the torch arrived in Lowestoft at about 10am.

And as the flame made its way into Suffolk from neighbouring Norfolk this morning on day 48 of the relay, Lisa Marshall from Basildon was first up to carry the Olympic torch as the route started in Yarmouth Road, at the junction with Weston Road.

Among the torchbearers who carried the flame in Lowestoft were Waveney Gymnastics club chairman John Pawsey - who did a jig of delight as he set out with the torch on the third leg today.

Beccles shooting sensation and potential Olympian in the future Eddie Graver passed the torch to Ashley School PE teacher Jackie Milton at about 10.20am, with the pair enjoying “high fives” as Mrs Milton set off and carried the torch along Gas Works Road.

7 comments

  • What a disappointment. We were in Wilde Street, there was no hype or atmosphere. We had stood there for over an hour waiting and were expecting a great celebration event but the warm up procession consisted of three lorries in which the people were all too interested in how they looked rather than the crowd. The only thing in abundance was the police. All that money spent for what. Not much history to remember there!!!!

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    traciemadine

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • Apart from the fact the relay didnt cost the UK tax payer a single penny as it was all sponsored ..how about the shops that eveyrone went in after? people who came over from overseas just to see the torch who stayed in hotels and spent money in small town shops. I know when I got to the end of my run we all went into a pub that was dying and they made a BOMB that day as I went in with my torch and posed for photos and had a real friendly day with everyone there. Maybe people should stop complaining and being so negative, at the end of the day we put in for the bid! Cant say I'v e notice any personal loss in funds due to the olympics and relay. Find something thats really bad to moan about rather than the millions of people all over the world who feel differently to you and have come out just to see a fame past. I felt proud to be British and to be part of something amazing.

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    Claire Marritt

    Friday, July 6, 2012

  • All this fuss to watch someone jog through the town carrying an overgrown barbeque lighter. How much money has been spent and wasted on this and have the people who stand and gawp at this ridiculous spectacle forgotten the human rights abuses of the Chinese government during preparation for the Beijing circus? But what does that matter when there is coca cola to be sold and plastic flags made by small brown hands to be waved and then discarded once the oh so "magic" flame has been successfully put back into the van so it can be driven through the areas where there is noone watching and buying into the corporate dream.

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    LowieGrower

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • I watched the Olympic torch this morning and enjoyed seeing it. However, I have just listened to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 discussing the hundreds of thousands of children in the UK who don't get enough to eat every day. This made me think that the money spent on this spectacle could have been better spent feeding our childreninstead of pushing Corporate messages to the overfed.

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    Grumpygramp

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • LowieGrower - Why do you bother getting up in the morning? Your life must be so rubibsh!

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    BabyDavid

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • The Olympics is attracting millions to the country, it has created hundreds of thousands of jobs, and accelerated redevelopment in a number of areas. It's not just about money in and out, there are other benefits to hosting the games will will live on long after the visitors are gone.

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    Claire Marritt

    Friday, July 6, 2012

  • Further to last: Was it really necessary to have the road sweeping truck drive round Ness point 4 times between 6am and 9am today? In these austere times could this have just been done the once. It dosent matter how many times you sweep a tip, it is still a tip.

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    LowieGrower

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

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