Thousands line the streets to welcome Olympic flame

Crowds wave flags as they wait for the torch to pass by

Thousands of people took to the streets to witness the historic occasion

The flame is carried through Victoria Square

First published in News

THOUSANDS of people lined the streets to welcome the Olympic torch to Droitwich Spa and Fernhill Heath.

People of all ages cheered and shouted as torchbearers took it in turns to carry the iconic flame yesterday.

The torch arrived in Droitwich and took a route through Ombersley Way at around 5.45pm, travelled through Covercroft, Ombersley Street East, St Andrews Road and Worcester Road before leaving for Fernhill Heath at 6.15pm.

Torchbearer Becky Brunt, from Worcester, was the first one to take the torch along Ombersley Way before Trevor Griffiths, who was running on behalf of his son, Jack, took over.

Droitwich Spa resident Dawn Baylis, 49, then had the rare honour of carrying the flame through her home town.

Bromsgrove resident Pam Jones carried the torch through Droitwich in memory of her son Chris Jones, who lost his life in a racing accident in 2005. She said: “It was an amazing experience. It was very emotional but something that I will remember for the rest of my life. My whole family came and watched me carry the torch.”

People also gathered in Victoria Square to enjoy the ‘Party in the Square’ event organised by Wychavon District Council.

A packed programme offered live music, demonstrations and performances from community groups, face painting and street entertainment.

The relay passed Westacre Middle School, Ombersley Way, where Wychavon’s Youth Bus offered entertainment to pupils and young people.

The torch then arrived in Fernhill Heath at 6.20pm and took a route through Droitwich Road.

Union flags were waved by on-lookers in the village who cheered on torchbearers Matt Finn, Matthew Drury, Chris Bond and Sam Spencer.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Spencer, from Droitwich, who carried the torch on the final leg through the village, said: “It was surreal. It felt like it was all over before it started. It was fantastic though, absolutely amazing.”

After the event, Councillor Anne Taft, mayor of Droitwich Spa, spoke of how great it was for the town to play its part in the once-in-a-life-time occasion.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic. I was born in Droitwich but have never seen so many people turn out for an event before. The atmosphere was unbelievable and it was brilliant that Droitwich played its part so well.”

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