Olympic torch relay sets Bracknell alight
July 12, 2012
The Olympic torch relay gave Bracknell the opportunity to shine as 30,000 people waited for hours to cheer on the flame.
Crowds were nine people deep in some places along the route from Ascot to Bracknell.
Nine torchbearers, including two runners from Bracknell Forest, carried the torch through town.
Councillor Jennie McCracken, mayor of Bracknell Forest, said: “There was the most joyous atmosphere. We are just so lucky that it came to our town. It couldn’t have gone any better.
“The turnout of people was absolutely fantastic. Everybody joined in so well with their flags and streamers. The police on their motorbikes were slapping the hands of people as they passed, which was great.”
The torch started its journey at New Forest Ride at 5.30pm and was carried along London Road and Millennium Way, where it finished at Skimped Hill Lane just before 6pm.
Birch Hill man Richard March ran the first leg of the relay, while Sharon Barton from Warfield, ran the final leg in Bracknell.
Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “We wanted the Torch Relay to be Bracknell’s moment to shine, and it really was. Everybody had a great time and there was a real party spirit.
“We have planned for quite some time and for the weather to hold for us was a real bonus. Our officers deserve a lot of praise for the phenomenal work it has taken for this event to take place.”
Glenda McIntosh was standing at the finish line of the town’s final leg.
She said: “There’s a great atmosphere with everyone screaming. It’s made the Olympics real – the countdown has started.”
Kate Woodgate, from Sandhurst, was armed with a giant Union Flag with her children Lewis and Finley.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “Everyone’s being really friendly and it’s making for a good atmosphere. There’s more people here than I expected. We’re really lucky with the weather.”
Workers raced from their offices to join the crowds, while children went straight from school to catch a glimpse of the torch.
Paul Harris, of Binfield, watched the relay with his children Milo, three, and Ava, five.
“It’s nice to see everyone come out and created some atmosphere,” he said. “We’ve come down because it’s the only time we’ll have to see the Olympic Torch and this lovely for them to feel part of things as the summer progresses.
“Ava goes to Binfield Primary School where they’ve been making torches to prepare for the celebration.”
Sarah Bishop, of Bracknell Lane, stood in Skimped Hill Lane with Emily and Joshua, seven and nine, and their grandma Irene.
“I think it’s a real honour to have the torch come through Bracknell,” she said. “It’s really exciting, especially for the children.”