LIVE OLYMPIC TORCH COVERAGE: Commentary and colour as the torch heads through Fakenham, Holt, Cromer and Aylsham
17:59 04 July 2012
Follow our Olympic torch relay coverage as it heads through Fakenham, Holt, Cromer and Aylsham
15.14 Looks like the torch is up and running in Fakenham. Amazing scenes, truly, with thousands of people getting out and about at the verious stop offs so far in Norfolk. Whhat’s more the weatehr has been kind, as it so often is in Norfolk. I’ll keep you posted of all that happens.
15.23 We’re now heading through Fakenham. Interesting to see that a few people obviously keen to take part by running along the side of the road, next to the torch. With some of the torch bearers running, others striding I guess that won’t be too tiring. I suppose if you are a torch bearer you want to make it last as long as possible.
15.36 We’re reaching the edge of Fakenham now and the torch passes on to another person. The best thing about the day so far is the so many happy faces everyone has. People are loving it.
Elsewhere we are starting to see crowds build up at Cromer, Holt, Aylsham and Norwich. Looks like parking may be an issue so do your best to use public transport or get their early.
15.40 We are now on our way to Holt where reporter Rosa McMahon and photographer Steve Adams pick up the EDP and Evening News Torch Relay. Twitter fiend Rosa McMahon has already been on the phone bemoaning the lack of phone coverage so she can’t tweet. Don’t know how she’ll cope.
15.54 Good news. Rosa now has twitter, just as the torch nears Holt. And for all those joining later, we are still on time.
16.00 Off and running in Holt. Reports once more of thousands of people, but perhaps not quite the ‘whole town’ predictions of Fakenham.
16.02 We currently have wheelchair-bound 14-year-old Alfie Hewett carrying the flame in Holt. The Norwich teen has already endured open heart surgery and a rare hip disease which means he is currently wheelchair bound. He has overcome lots of personal challenges and now plays wheelchair tennis, basketball and archery and his dream is to compete in the 2016 Paralympics. Alfie previously described carrying the torch as a “great gift” and was excited to take part in the event.
16.08 Wow, this torch is covering some miles! Everytime I blink it’s gone through a town and is back on the convoy. We’re now off to Cromer, at this point photographer Anthony Kelly and Donna Louise-Bishop take over. Anthony will then be hot-footing it to Norwich for the plethora of entertainment that is planned there.
16.24 After a brief break as the torch headed towards the coast we’re up and running again in a wind swept Cromer. Still dry though at least. The crowds in Cromer don’t appear to be as large as elsewhere. Begs the question why don’t people in Cromer love the torch as much as the rest of the county? We are still looking at five or six deep.
Elsewhere we are currently in the middle of EDP conference so that means thoughts start to turn towards tomorrow’s papers. We have a stonking 16-pages of reports and pictures in the EDP and eight in the Norwich Evening News. See if you can spot yourself.
16.35 Editor of the Evening News says the crowds in Norwich are already ‘impressive’. Best get their early. We’re still going through Cromer at the minute, has to be said Cromer gets a good show, where there seems to be much more people as it moves in front of the shops. The guy carrying it now isn’t going to get very long, he’s sprinting!
16.46 Torch has finished its tour of the seaside, until it returns to Yarmouth at least. There’s now another break as it heads to Aylsham, where all the fun of the fair kicks off at 5.25pm. Our Norwich reporting crew have now headed out ready to pick the reporting baton up.
It’s been a great afternoon it has to be said, so good to see people get into the spirit. Even this hardened cynic has been won over.
17.09 I’m back after a brief break to watch the BBC coverage of the torch being driven in a white van to Aylsham. Not wholly sure that’s what the Greeks had in mind. We also had a minor crisis when our leapfrog system nearly went horribly wrong as photographer Anthony Kelly found himself stuck in Cromer traffic faced with less than an hour to join the torch in Norwich. After a brief panic were now fine.
As we await the penultimate stage, here are some quotes from the crowds in Holt about what they saw.
Ronnie Mills, five, from Sheringham, said: “I won’t ever see this again.”
His grandma, Barbara Hall, said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and the crowds ate so excited.”
Michael and Janet Jackson are visiting from Nottingham.
They said: “We don’t want to see any cynics today. Norfolk is so lovely and here in Holt there’s a great feel.”
Sandy Philpots is visiting from Surrey. She said: “Everyone is coming together as a community. I am so excited and feel honoured to see it.”
Sharon Orr , 53, visiting from Hamilton in New Zealand. She’s going to see the volleyball in London and said she is very happy.
EDITORS NOTE: These were sent in via email with a dodgy internet connection so I am double checking that Ronnie is indeed five, as it seems quite prophetic for a five-year-old and whether ‘Michael and Janet Jackson’ were pulling our legs. I’ll come back to you as soon as I know.
17.23 The torch is heading into Aylsham and there is a very sizeable crowd gathered. I guess people are now out of work and able to get along for a look. It’s obvious already Norwich will be heaving tonight. Never fear though because I’ll be here providing running commentary.
We also have your tweets, photos and reaction and various picture galleries starting to drop in. Follow the links on this page. For Norwich City fans I’ve just been sent a picture of one of our stars preparing for the torch, which will be up as soon as is possible.
17.30 Aylsham has the torch. Here’s what a few people are saying ...
@samanthacoe “Give us a wave if your on White Hart Street in #Aylsham for #torchrelay we’re hanging out of a high window!”
@Davedoes_ “The route through Aylsham is packed. Soooo many people. 5 mins till the #torchrelay comes through”
For those who haven’t seen the torch being handed over, I’ll try and paint you a picture. The burly (but friendly looking) guard, dressed in shorts and with a very un-British-like tan, helps the two torch bearers press the lit torch with the unlit one and, hey presto, off they go. How they douse the torch once it isn’t needed I don’t know.
17.44 A wave of excitement goes through the office as photographer Steve Adams is picked up on the BBC live torch cam. I’m trying not to mention the torch cam because I’m hoping we’re providing you with all of the fun you could need.
It’s fair to say Steve is a model of professionalism and doesn’t put a foot wrong. We’re now wondering if staff cam is the way forward.
In other torch news we have now left Aylsham and the torch is en-route to Norwich, where it will spend the night. Well done Aylsham you loved the torch and turned out in force.
Now the action moves to Norwich we will resume the live blog in a separate story for Norwich.
FINAL NOTE: Yes he was five and yes Michael and Janet Jackson are their names. Great names.