A year af­ter the flame came to town

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Olympic Torch -

High Street at about 11.15am.

Ex­actly one year later, at 11.15am last Thurs­day, July 18, 2013, those same streets were pretty well de­serted, apart from a few shop­pers and shop and of­fice work­ers go­ing about their busi­ness.

It is hard to be­lieve that it is now more than 12 months since the Olympic Torch’s ar­rival in town cre­ated such a huge buzz in ad­vance of Lon­don 2012.

One per­son who will never for­get the oc­ca­sion was torch­bearer Lynne Oliver who car­ried the flame from Bank Street to Mace Lane.

“It was a pretty amaz­ing day,” said Mrs Oliver, 45, from Willes­bor­ough.

“It was one of those mo­ments you’re not go­ing to for­get. I could not be­lieve it when I got off that bus. It was just a wall of noise. I was absolutely stunned by how many peo­ple turned out. It was a great time for the UK and for Ash­ford.”

The mother-of-one, who is the sec­re­tary of Ash­ford and Dis­trict Road Run­ning Club, ad­mit­ted she found it strange get­ting recog­nised for months af­ter­wards.

Af­ter run­ning the torch re­lay she was an of­fi­cial Olympic games maker at Earls Court and man­aged to get tick­ets to see the cycling and ath­let­ics.

“It kind of took over my life for a few months,” she said.

The Sun­ray En­gi­neer­ing em­ployee said she felt priv­i­leged to get the town cen­tre stretch of the re­lay and the torch still holds pride of place on her man­tel­piece.

She said: “I got the prime spot do­ing a dou­ble leg be­cause one of the other run­ners had to pull out.”

“I was only sup­posed to run to out­side WH Smith but I ran to the bot­tom of Mace Lane. Even though I’ve run 10 marathons it was still one of the most sig­nif­i­cant runs I’ve ever done.”

“It was an in­cred­i­bly spe­cial day for me.”

What are your mem­o­ries of Olympic torch day? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Pic­tures: Gary Browne

The Lower High Street looks less crowded this week

Crowds line the streets as the Olympic Torch is car­ried through Ash­ford

Torch­bearer Lynne Oliver

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