THE Olympic torch received a huge welcome in Conisbrough as whole families, school parties and groups of friends lined the streets and filled the town centre for the occasion.
Houses were decorated up and the excitement of the long-awaited day was tangible throughout the town.
Union Jacks were waved high and there was a roar of applause as the first torchbearer, Caroline Waugh, 45, from Sheffield, got ready to go in her recumbent trike.
Beaming with her torch held high, she was cheered all the way down Old Road as the relay got underway at 9.50am. Caroline overcame brain damage caused by an accident to inspire many others as a community health champion.
Nine torchbearers passed through Conisbrough all together. They included Acker Shaw, 63, of Rossington, who has raised thousands of pounds for local football teams and over £30,000 for Weston Park Hospital at Sheffield.
The youngest was 14-year old Lucy Wade of Sheffield, a violinist who currently cares for her grandad and hopes to become a doctor.
Every one of them received a hero’s welcome as they carried the torch along Old Road, Church Street, Castle Street and Castle Hill, prior to the next stage at Warmsworth, where Ben Bowns of Mexborough was among the torchbearers.
Ben is a young Ice Hockey Netminder who is passionate about sport. At just 20 years of age he has won 11 league titles, five national championships, three senior cup medals, represented England many times, and with GB has won five World Championship medals including two Gold.
Many Mexborough folk were at Conisbrough early today to grab their front-line place, including a huge crowd from Grasmere Close and Windermere Close. Rachael Garbutt (28) said: “It was just amazing, really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Alana Stanton-Chambers (9) said it was simply “fantabidozus!”
Taya Allott, sis, said she had had a “really excellent, wonderful” morning with her mum Debbie, 26, as they watched the torch go by in the town centre, flanked by floats and police on motorbikes.
Excited Alex and Danielle Myers of Old Road, were out early with 19-months old Ethan and had their photograph taken with Caroline Waugh as she waited for her transport to return to Sheffield. They recorded the whole thing on video so that they can show it to Ethan when he’s older.
Once the torch had passed by on its way to Doncaster, people clustered together to talk about the experience. Many planned to continue to celebrate together, but those who decided to go home did so with big happy smiles and lasting memories.