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Calne ignited by flame
Town centre businesses were delighted with the boost they were given as 10,000 people descended on Calne to see the Olympic Torch pass by.
People came out in force to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event last Wednesday and pubs and cafes were among those counting the profits.
Maureen Richardson, owner of Popins cafe, in Phelps Parade, said: “It was amazing, we had one-and-a-half hours of total mayhem after the torch had gone.
“Like most businesses in the town centre, we closed up for half an hour while it came through so all of our staff could go and watch it.
“Then we rushed back, opened up and had a mad time of it.
“Because it was nearly lunchtime, lots of people stayed around to have a cup of tea or coffee and a cake afterwards. That was very good for business and gave us a real boost.”
June Notman, the new manager of the Lansdown Strand, which was surrounded by the biggest crowds throughout the morning, was also delighted.
She said: “We did really well out of it. It made us very busy all day because lots of people stayed out and had a drink or a meal with us.
“The biggest crowd was outside and you could see the torch go past really well from the pub.
“We had a brilliant day – it’s a shame it can’t come through every year.”
Paul Ogden, president of the Calne Chamber of Commerce, said: “I found it fascinating that we ended up with thousands of people in the town centre who are not normally there.
“Every single time something like this happens it brings people into the town and that can only be good for businesses.
“I haven’t had the chance to speak to too many businesses yet but it must have been good in the morning – though the town did clear very quickly afterwards.
“Events like this, as well as things like the motorcycle meet, the duck race and the summer festival, are very beneficial to the town and its businesses.”
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