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Thousands greet Olympic torch in Calne
An estimated 10,000 people turned out to see the Olympic flame pass through Calne, in what was described as one of the town’s greatest ever days.
Pupils, families and workers were out on the bunting-lined streets in the glorious sunshine, with numbers well exceeding expectations.
They were all out to see six torchbearers carry the flame, including Chelsea and England Under-21 star Josh McEachran and Christian Malford swimmer Issy Gollings.
Also among those running were Mark Leese, from Calne, and Swindon’s Fatos Gosturani.
Onlooker Julie Ingerfield, who lives in Edred’s Court, said: “This is our one chance to be part of the Olympic Games. I am not a sporty person and won’t have tickets to see any of the events so this is my way of participating.
“This is the second time I have seen the flame – I saw it in Los Angeles in 1984 too.”
Jan Thorne, of North Street, said: “I am over the moon that this day has finally come. It is such a historic moment for the town and it’s lovely to see everyone coming out to enjoy it.”
Another Calne resident, Lyn Richards, said: “It is very exciting to have the torch in Calne. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people.”
Yvonne Gray, also from Calne, said: “I remember when the 1948 Olympics was here and no-one really got the chance to see the torch. This is a great idea, it makes people feel a part of it.”
The torch made its way through the town along the A4, with crowds more than 10 deep at the crossroads outside the town hall.
Thousands of primary school children turned out, their singing adding to the party atmosphere. Town crier Mark Wylie also made an appearance, introducing the torch as it rolled into town.
Mayor Roy Golding said it was one of the greatest days the town has seen. He said: “I am so proud today, I have been blown away by it. People always turn out for things in Calne but this has been exceptional.
“We have been lucky with the weather but everything was so well organised, which made it a real success.
“It was great to see all the children enjoying themselves.”