Rainham welcomed Olympic Torch
�Boxers, entertainers, musicians and a good old-fashioned dose of community spirit marked the once-in-a-lifetime torch relay event in Rainham.
Along The Broadway, entertainment was put on by performers including Kam Singh on the dhol drum, Bok Tucker on saxophone, the Russellettes Majorette Troupe and the Lightnin’ Drama Group.
Anticipation built up for more than an hour as the crowd waited for the torchbearer, and Rainham Village was one of the few places on the route not to have a large convoy of sponsored vehicles driving down the road just before the Flame arrived.
Cllr Jeff Tucker, who organised the entertainment in the village, said: “They turned up in their thousands. It was my greatest hope – nothing went wrong, everyone was enjoying themselves. I said we’d do it and we did it.”
The torch left the borough via Rainham Village, with the Hornchurch and Upminster Sea Cadets forming a guard of honour for the flame as it went into Rainham Hall, carried by 2010 Young Sailor of the Year Aaron Reynolds.
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Sub-Lieutenant Sarah Butcher led the teenagers.
Just before the Sea Cadets left to march down the road, she said: “It is really quite exciting. We’re making history, it’s something we’re very lucky to be doing. It’s good to be getting so close to it and forming the guard of honour.”
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Rainham town crier Harry Matthews said afterwards: “It was most enjoyable. The atmosphere in Rainham was 100 per cent terrific, it was so relaxed. We had a schedule, but after the first 10 minutes we threw it away.
“A lot of hard work went into this. Jeff Tucker did a lot to make it happen.
“I live in Romford and I could have gone to Romford, but I came down here first thing this morning because I knew it would be good.”
Get a glimpse
Volunteer marshal Julie Tripp helped members of the public find their way around the area near The Albion pub so that they could get a glimpse of the Flame as it passed by.
She said: “The atmosphere was great. I’ve lived in Rainham all my life, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it anywhere else.
“It’s was good to see the community spirit. Everyone was laughing and smiling and having a good time. I couldn’t believe it when I came up the road from The Albion to The Broadway and I saw the crowds.”