Suffolk: The Olympic Torch travels through Felixstowe and Ipswich
FOLLOW the Olympic torch as it makes its way through Suffolk
THE Olympic Torch has arrived!
Thousands of people lined the streets of Ipswich to get the best possible vantage point as excitement hit fever pitch.
Families, workers and even yacht owners enjoyed a carnival atmosphere under the beaming sun.
As the torch touched dry land at Foxes Marina to begin its Ipswich journey, cheers echoed down the boardwalk, and sirens sounded from yachts moored at the quay.
A once in a lifetime opportunity for young and old residents of Ipswich, many could not resist purchasing torch paraphernalia, including 61-year-old Neil Hewitt.
“I didn’t expect to see so many people down here.
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“It will never happen again to me in my lifetime so I thought I must get involved and hold some kind of torch,” he said.
But for the Kornforth family from Kesgrave, it was sherbets and juice boxes for the kids as they madly waved their blue, red, and white.
Four-year-old Ellie Kornforth, said it was the beginning of her distant dream to compete in the Olympics one day.
“I want to be a gymnast for England when I grow up,” she said.
As the parade of promotional buses parted the crowds to make way for the flame, proud father Ernest Hagan anticipated its arrival for a different reason.
“My son Kasey is about to run through with the torch,
“I can’t believe this is happening, I’m so very proud, just ecstatic,” he said.
Thousands more gathered in Christchurch Park to see the lighting of the coldren and discover a venue crammed full of attractions and delicious treats.
A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said they estimated that 75,000 people were in the town to catch a glimpse of the torch.
In Felixstowe earlier in the day huge cheers greeted the Olympic torchbearers - the town’s streets lined with some of the biggest crowds the resort has ever seen.
Pavements along the two-mile route through the town centre and along the seafront were packed with people of all ages keen to see the flame.
Arriving more than an hour before the torch was due, residents sat on the roadside, as excitement and noise steadily grew.
Town Pastors assisting with crowd control later estimated a turn out of around 12,000 people.
The flame started its journey among the shadows of tree-lined Beatrice Avenue and then as the cavalcade burst into the sunshine of Hamilton Road, the crowd roared as spectators got into the carnival spirit of the event, waving flags, hooting horns, and shouting best wishes.
Nine torchbearers took turns to run legs of the route – among them Gold medal swimmer Adrian Moorhouse.
Each carried the torch, three-sided to mark the three times London has been awarded the Games, 1908, 1948 and 2012, for about 300 metres.
After going through the main shopping area, it went down Orwell Road, Garrison Lane and then along the seafront, before leaving for Ipswich.
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