PICTURE GALLERY: Olympic torch comes through Fakenham
15:52 04 July 2012
Fakenham has seen one of the biggest turnouts for an even in living memory as thousands lined the route of the torch relay this afternoon.
The biggest crowd that Fakenham has seen for decades lined the town’s streets this afternoon to see the Olympic torch relay.
The torch arrived at 3.18pm and was carried along Wells Road and into Oak Street. The torch bearer at this point ran, skipped, waved and smiled as she made her way into the town centre.
Market Place had crowds several lines deep and people were peering from shop windows and standing on roof tops to get the best view.
The sides of Norwich Street and Holt Road were packed with people of all ages as the torch was carried through and on to Holt.
Jeremy Punchard, a North Norfolk District councillor, who helped to organise the Fakenham celebrations, said: “I reckon there must be 10,000 people out in Fakenham today, which is higher number than the town’s population! People have been coming in from nearby villages to get involved and it’s been fantastic.
“We’ve not seen crowds like this in Fakenham since the carnivals of more than 20 years ago, but even then, there were not as many people as there has been today.”
One of the torch bearers, Diego Rahman, 40, who ran the torch past his own Indian restaurant, Fakenham Tandoori, said: “The crowd was absolutely amazing and it felt like I was running in a huge stadium. I felt like I’d won a gold medal.”
“Both my auntie and my grandmother, who live back in Bangladesh, have both sadly died in the last 48 hours so it’s been a difficult time for me. I’m sure they would have been proud of me.
“I’ve been holding back the tears because I wanted to do this for Fakenham and the people showed me such great support.”
Celebrations started in Fakenham at 12pm with sports demonstrations run by local clubs and the district council. Fakenham High School pupils competed in races through Market Place.