40,000 see great spectacle

Spalding torchbearer Amanda Scase with Sophia Brain (2). This picture - submitted by Sophia's mum Helen Brain - is one of many submitted by readers. For many more see the Lincolnshire Free Press dated July 10.
Spalding torchbearer Amanda Scase with Sophia Brain (2). This picture - submitted by Sophia's mum Helen Brain - is one of many submitted by readers. For many more see the Lincolnshire Free Press dated July 10.

AN estimated 40,000 people watched the Olympic Torch pass through South Holland.

Two Spalding torchbearers have been sharing their ‘moment to shine’ by visiting schools and groups.

The day after taking part in the torch relay through Spalding on Wednesday, Tom Giddings and Amanda Scase were at Spalding Primary School, still wearing their white Olympic running suits and carrying their torches.

Headteacher Diane Scott said: “They shared their experience with all our children – all 420 four to 11-year-olds – and answered questions.

“It was a delightful occasion and quite unprompted. The children burst into spontaneous applause.”

Amanda, who described taking part in the torch relay as “the best 300 yards she had run in her entire life”, said: “Tom and I had the most amazing day.

“It wouldn’t have happened without the people who nominated us and now we want to share the experience with as many people as possible and inspire them, too.”

On Wednesday night at the district council’s planning committee, Coun Roger Gambba-Jones praised the organisation of the torch relay through South Holland.

He said: “I would like to thank Emily Holmes and Nick Worth for doing a splending job in organising the visit of the Olympic Torch.

“I was marshalling in Spalding and it was very enjoyable and I’m sure it was in other parts of the district.

“South Holland – we did ourselves proud.”

Residents, as well as the 22 torchbearers who took part in the relay, were keen to hold on to the memories as long as possible after the event.

Kiran Bhondi (16), of Whaplode, headed to The Swan pub in Moulton with his family and friends for a celebration lunch after watching the relay through the village.

The keen sportsman from Spalding Grammar School said: “It was amazing to see hundreds of people lining the streets and something I’ll always remember. Now I can’t wait for the Olympics to start.”

In the post office, Margaret Barham said: “I was in High Road and it was great to see all ages lining the streets, cheering and waving.”

As well as visiting Spalding and Moulton, the torch went through Whaplode and Holbeach before leaving the county in Long Sutton and making its way into Norfolk.

Pinchbeck torchbearer Paul Tudor (59) had his 300 yards of fame in Sandringham.

He said: “At first I was disappointed not to be in Spalding, but I was pleased to go to Sandringham on the day.

“I ran from Norwich Gate to Sandringham House and the crowds were amazing. It was a beautiful setting and I got to watch myself on TV that night. I got to keep my torch, so that will be a heirloom for the grandchildren.”

South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth said: “This was an Olympic gold medal-winning spectacle made really special by the massive turnout from the local communities.

“The people of South Holland created a wonderful atmosphere and should be really proud that they were a part of Olympic history.”