9:47am Thursday 5th July 2012
THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Chipping Campden to welcome the Olympic Torch on Sunday.
More than 6,500 excited residents and visitors waved flags as they gathered under commemorative bunting while others hung out of windows to get the best view.
The carnival atmosphere was electric, with street entertainers handing out freebies ahead of the torch convoy arriving.
Torchbearer Emma Hamilton, a 25-year-old vet from Somerset, took her turn along Sheep Street waving to the crowds before handing over to her identical twin sister Rosie.
Torch duties were then handed over to paraplegic athlete Julie Darwin, who was paralysed after a gym accident aged 15, but who has never let her disability get in the way.
After graduating, the Gloucester resident became a biomedical scientist and has raised more than £15,000 for the Matt Hampson foundation, which helps young people seriously injured through sport.
Julie passed the torch on to American anti-drugs campaigner Thomas Kozlowicz, who rounded off the pre-lunch leg of the route. Mr Kozlowicz, from Illinois, has been a volunteer on various projects for half a century.
Nigerian telecommunications executive and pastor Ifeyinwa Uzodinma, got the torch show back on the road after a stop for lunch at Chipping Campden School. He handed it to Gloucester-based Scout leader Andrew Martin before it headed off to Newbold-on-Stour.
Michaela Rogers, aged 47, of Stretton-on-Fosse, said the atmosphere was brilliant. She said: “I’m happy to be part of it. It’s nice to be able to see it in this area.”
Nine-year-old Carine Smith, of Moreton-in- Marsh, who watched the torch relay pass through with her family, said it was a day she would remember for a long time.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “We got here at 10am.”
Jonathan Price came from Oxford to watch the Olympic Torch with his family, who live in Campden. He said: “It’s been really good – fantastic atmosphere. It’s great so many have come.”
Jane Slatter, playleader at Chipping Campden preschool playgroup, said all the children from her group were out watching the torch. She said: “It’s made a very happy occasion in Campden. I think it’s an amazing turnout.”
Organisers have hailed the Olympic Torch relay a success.
Mayor Chris Jones said it had been a “great honour”
to host the torchbearers.
He said: “I was delighted to see so many people lining the streets and having fun.
“This was a chance for Campden and the Cotswolds to show the world what we have to offer, and I believe we made an excellent impression which should encourage even more people to visit in the future.
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