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Hornchurch welcomed Olympic Torch with a carnival atmosphere

PUBLISHED: 21:05 22 July 2012

Stewart Dearden, his wife Nicola and son Jenson came from Dubai to watch the Torch relay

Stewart Dearden, his wife Nicola and son Jenson came from Dubai to watch the Torch relay

Archant

A carnival atmosphere came to Hornchurch today ahead of the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

More than 150,000 people turned up across the borough to watch the Torch relay. In Hornchurch people lined the streets around the Queen’s Theatre in anticipation of the Torch, and entertainment was provided on The Green where a stage was set – the only place the Torch stopped in the borough.

Families brought picnics and children had their faces painted before the main event at 2.30pm.

A carnival convoy drove up to the theatre before Chloe Jennings, 16, from London, handed the Torch to classical pianist Lang Lang Lang, 30, from Las Vegas, who sprinted up The Green and to the stage.

He paused briefly to have his photo taken before leaving to hand the Torch over to Richard Woodward-Court, 29, from Bourne End.

It then made its way to Rainham, where it ended its journey through the borough.

Many of the revellers were from Havering, but Stewart and Nicola Dearden had come from Dubai to see the Torch relay.

Stewart, 30, who is originally from Hornchurch, said: “I thought the event was very well organised and thought out. There was a good turnout and a good atmosphere.

“We only came a couple of minutes before it arrived, but managed to get a good look at it. It is something special to happen in the area.”

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