Crowds turn out in Kettering to welcome the torch

Hawthorn Rd School pupils brave the elements as they wait in St Marys Rd Kettering for the Olympic torch to pass by.
Hawthorn Rd School pupils brave the elements as they wait in St Marys Rd Kettering for the Olympic torch to pass by.
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People started gathering in Pytchley Road, Kettering, at least two hours before the torch arrived with householders hanging up bunting and Union Flags outside their homes.

Several thousand people were there to greet the torch, including more than 1,200 pupils and teachers from Southfield School for Girls.

Pupils from Greenfields Primary School were also there.

The pupils screamed at every vehicle which passed by.

Their umbrellas, flags and banners made a colourful backdrop as the flaming torch passed.

The different forms at Southfield had made flags for the different countries competing in the Games.

Greenfields pupils had brought home-made torches.

Pupils from Southfield School had a great time when the torch came to town.

Charlotte Roberts, 12, said: “I thought it was really cool because it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Caitlin Daly, 12, said: “It was amazing.”

Olivia Crocker, 12, said: “It was really good as I will probably never see it again.”

Elaine O’Sullivan ran the first leg, handing it to Jim Redmond, 70, of Northampton, in Barton Road.

Mr Redmond, who famously helped his son Derek complete his 400m semi-final in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games after he tore his hamstring, said: “It was super. It’s a great honour.”

Torchbearer Dave Green, 46, also of Northampton, who ran the next leg in Windmill Avenue, said: “It was an amazing feeling.”

Ruth Gillett, of Brixworth, beamed and waved as she jog passed hundreds of screaming Kettering Science Academy pupils at the junction of Deeble Road, said: “It was unbelievable. It was amazing.

“It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done.”

Lance Cpl Sophia Smith, 14, of Kettering Army Cadets, was marshalling in St Mary’s Road.

The Latimer Arts College pupil said: “We had to wait a long time but it was definitely worth it.”

Onlooker Audrey Garnett, 65, of Kettering, who had waited for two hours to see the torch in Windmill Avenue, said: “I was really excited. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

See more pictures from the Kettering leg of the relay here