December 18 2013 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Friday, July 13, 2012
AN ESTIMATED 75,000 people watched the Olympic flame as it was carried through St Edmundsbury on Saturday.
In Haverhill, rain earlier in the day did not deter families from coming along to enjoy the street entertainers and the atmosphere.
The torch arrived in Suffolk at 2.40pm at Cleves Road, Burton End, and crowds estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 lined the whole route through the town.
The convoy then made its way to Bury St Edmunds arriving at Bristol Road at 3.40pm where crowds three to four deep greeted it.
As the torch progressed along its route through the town, it was met by enthusiastic crowds on both sides of the road four to five deep and there were large crowds in the Angel Hill area where additional street entertainment had been arranged.
About 3,000 people were waiting to welcome the flame as it was carried into the Suffolk Youth Games at the West Suffolk athletics track, at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre.
Councillor John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Bury St Edmunds is used to hosting memorable events but the torch relay surpassed all expectations. We estimate that 60,000 people watched the Olympic flame come through the town.
“The atmosphere along the entire route was electric, with residents holding parties in their gardens and friendly crowds thronging the pavements.
“St Edmundsbury was proud to be part of it, the town was at its best, and our car parks were busy throughout the day, with shoppers coming in early and spectators coming in later.
“The event was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and brought the whole community together. I’m sure this will be carried forward into the Olympics themselves, and beyond.”
Inspirational torchbearers had their moment to shine, including Alysia McIntyre, 21, from just outside Stowmarket, who carried the torch to the finish in Bury.
She described the experience as “amazing” and “surreal”.