Olympic Torch Relay: 150,000 turn out in Havering
An estimated 150,000 people turned out across Havering today to see the Olympic Torch passing through our borough.
The torch passed through Romford, Hornchurch and Rainham this afternoon as part of day 65 of the Torch relay.
Crowds turned out in force across the borough to see the flame carried by people including concert pianist Lang Lang, and editor of American news channel NBC’s Olympics coverage Bucky Gunts.
It was a suitably red hot day for the thousands of people, two and three deep in parts, who lined the Olympic Torch route in Romford.
Revellers started gathering in the hours leading up to the Torch’s arrival, bringing flags, picnics, and a carnival atmosphere, with them.
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They cheered and waved as the Flame was carried from the High Street by Aimee Sell, 17, a karate champion from Hornchurch, into the Market, where it was given to Caitlin Hewson, 12, from Aveley.
Adrian Sinclaire, 35, took daughter Tahlia, four, to see it.
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He said: “It’s a historic event and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Hopefully Tahlia will remember it for the rest of her life.
“The Olympics are great for the country and hopefully it will get people spending again and give the economy a kick-start.”
After Romford it went on to Hornchurch, including stopping at the Queen’s Theatre.
In Hornchurch Bandna Kumar, 38, from Emerson Park, said: “There has been so much enthusiasm in Hornchurch today with the Torch coming here. It feels like the Olympics are coming now. It is a once in a lifetime event and I am glad we were part of it today.”
As it left the borough through Rainham Village, the Hornchurch and Upminster Sea Cadets made a guard of honour for the flame as it went into Rainham Hall.
Sub-Lieutenant Sarah Butcher led the teenagers.
Before the event, she said: “It is really quite exciting, we’re making history, it’s something we’re very lucky to be doing.”
Amy Insole, 20, was among a group from the Rainham Parish Church, also including Katrina Otabor, 20, and Linda Otabor, 26, who provided refreshments for those watching.
She said: “It was so great to see it and that it came to a little place like Rainham Village.”
Linda added: “Everyone was involved, it was really special. Normally things go to Romford or Dagenham but to get it in Rainham Village was great.”
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Don’t forget to pick up your special souvenir Olympic Torch edition of the Recorder this Friday!