Ambassadors keep the flame alive

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SPALDING Marching Ambassadors are to say a big thank you to the generous sponsors who donated more than £6,000 to make it possible for them to appear in the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies.

Bandmaster Jim Bright said sponsors and others interested in their adventure will be invited to an open day so they can share the experience.

He said: “Hopefully we will be able to put some sort of film or DVD together of the whole journey from start to finish, that’s what we are hoping to be able to do.”

Semi-retired lorry driver Jim, daughter Cathrine and grandson Tristan appeared in the ceremonies with fellow Ambassadors Annabel Newell and Carol Felts.

They had to foot the bill for 30 rehearsals, overnight hotel stays and transport costs in the run-up to the opening ceremony – and as soon as that was done they were back rehearsing for the closing ceremony.

Big donors included Bakkavor staff shop, who gave a massive £3,500, and South Holland District Council, who gave £850.

But many people handed over small donations to help make it all possible.

Semi-retired lorry driver Jim said: “We want to thank everybody who has contributed because without them we wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”

The Ambassadors drummed in the industrial revolution scenes in the opening ceremony and acted as drummers and ushers as the athletes entered the stadium for the first time.

They were dressed in blue with light bulbs topping bowler hats as ushers for the closing ceremony.

They will put their costumes on display at the open day.

The Ambassadors are adjusting to everyday life again after performing to 80,000 strong crowds in the electric atmosphere of the Olympic Stadium and to billions around the world watching on TV.

Jim said: “It feels a bit flat, it really does.

“I don’t know what to do with myself.”