A year after the flame came to town
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lower High Street looks less crowded this week
Crowds line the streets as the Olympic Torch is carried through Ashford
Torchbearer Lynne Oliver