Two thousand and twelve or twenty twelve…. whichever way you say it, it is an incredibly exciting year to be British. So far this year in Ledbury and across many towns and cities in the country we have already welcomed the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and celebrated our Queens Diamond Jubliee.
Thursday May 24th 2012 was the turn of beautiful market town Ledbury and the excited local residents, business owners and schools to line the streets all in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Olympic Torch and flame. It is estimated that a whopping 10,000 people came to see the once in a life time event in their high street. People were already taking their places, prime positions before 8am when the road was closed. By the time I got out there was already a party atmosphere.
Ledbury is a friendly and social place and love’s any excuse to close the high street and have a get together. Attracting young and old and all those in between, with red, white and blue everywhere the market town looked amazing. “Welcome to Ledbury” the banner across the street read. All the local businesses were draped with union flag bunting and most people were wearing colours of our flag too.
As the time approached for the torch to be coming through, sponsors vehicles led the procession “warming up” the crowd (not that we needed it), giving out Olympic torch memorabilia and playing loud music.
I was lucky enough to have been offered a birds eye view by one of the shop owners and this gave me the chance to take some fantastic photo’s.
In the distance at the top end of town I could see our first torch bearer surrounded by Met Police Officers and hear the screams of excitement get louder. As they got nearer I felt a lump in my throat and realised, even with all the bad things on the news and in the press the Great British public really are GREAT and we do know how to throw a party and pull together. With this the torch bearer walked past me waving and smiling at all that greeted him, totally soaking it all up.
What an amazing experience.
Ledbury and all the people who worked hard to make that possible, turn everything red, white and blue and made the torch welcome should be very proud of themselves.