AN estimated 10,000 people lined the streets of Sleaford to cheer the Olympic torchbearers as they jogged and walked through town on the 40th day of the relay.
Arriving in Sleaford shortly after 3.30pm, the five relay runners chosen to carry the flame through the town found it an emotional experience to see such a huge welcome as they carried it from Eslaforde Park on Boston Road, along Southgate, up Northgate and finishing on Lincoln Road at Holdingham near Stokes Drive, before the flame headed off in convoy to Bracebridge Heath and Lincoln.
The handovers went without a hitch and they were joined by a carnival procession of children from local schools, dancing, roller skating, drumming and waving flags and banners that had gathered on Boston Road Recreation Ground.
The Band of the RAF Regiment led the procession along with the Sleaford ATC Squadron and stiltwalkers egging on the crowd, while RAF Cranwell provided a flypast.
Firefighter Neil Woodmansey got things started along Boston Road. The children all trooped into Northgate Sports Hall to be congratulated by the vice-chairman of NKDC Terry Boston and Carre’s Grammar School headteacher Nick Law. Robert Mohan a junior shot putter from Bourne was the last link before handing the flame back to the convoy.
Some of the torchbearers returned to meet the children - Suzanne Bolton, of Sleaford, Debbie Chessum of Billingborough and Robert Mohan of Bourne, and they were joined by Ayesha Copeland of Ruskington who is set to take part in the torch relay through King’s Lynn on July 4.
Debbie Chessum said of the experience: “It was so much more than I thought it would be. The crowds were incredible.”
* Keep checking the website and next week’s Sleaford Standard for more images and v ideo of the torch relay event.