UPDATE: Thousands turn out to witness Olympic Torch Relay in Waveney
13:09 05 July 2012
THOUSANDS of people have turned out to line the streets of Waveney in welcoming the Olympic Torch to north Suffolk.
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.