TORCH: 200k people line the streets of Croydon to welcome Olympic Torch (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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200k people line the streets of Croydon to welcome Olympic Torch
Olympic fever swept through Croydon today as the Olympic torch continued it's journey to the London 2012 games.
Thousands of residents lined the borough's streets to witness a piece of history, as the flame made its way through the town centre.
Excitement was building as I arrived at Crystal Palace Park this morning, with groups of families and friends, complete with union jack flags lining the route.
Anticipation filled the air inside the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, as adults and children alike lined the 100m straight ready for athlete Marlon Devonish.
Fans mobbed the sprinter as he posed for photos with the torch at the end of the track.
The Brazilian Olympic team also posed for photos before the torch was handed over to John Powell from Orpington.
As the Olympic flame made its way through Thornton Heath, I raced to North End where every inch of pavement was full with spectators.
The sound of music, excited chatter, whistles and vuvuzelas filled the air as a London 2012 branded car made its way down the street.
Minutes later screams and cheers echoed around North End as a waving Abbe Stapleton- a 36-year-old charity worker, carried the torch past the crowds.
Speaking after the relay, Abbe said: "It was an amazing experience, it was a real privilege. I was really nervous this morning all my friends and family have come down, but it felt like a real honour."
While the Olympic flame weaved its way down the High Street, I arrived at St Andrew's School, where the torch would be stopping for lunch.
Excited students crowded the school gates in preparation for film and theatre legend Sir Patrick Stewart's entrance into the school grounds.
Wearing commemorative t-shirts made specially for the occasion, pupils went crazy as the actor jogged through the school gates.
Holding up multi-coloured plastic hoops to resemble the Olympic rings parents, students and staff cheered, screamed and clapped, before pupils started singing Carry the Torch.
The song, which was sung at the start of the flame's 8,000 mile journey, was composed by Ian Rae- a teacher at the school.
Sir Patrick said: "It was exhilarating but very intense. The kids were very excited and very enthusiastic. It so nice to see so many smiling faces."