Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Caption: Torchbearer Janet Baker pictured with HRH Princess Beatrice welcoming the Olympic Torch to Harewood House today with the Earl of Harewood standing behind them
Lower image - 33-year-old charity fundraiser Janet with the Olympic Torch on the route heading to the house
The crowds turned out in their thousands including Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay to Leeds today for the first of the three days it comes through the city.
An estimated crowd of 25,000 people lined the streets of Boston Spa, Wetherby and Harewood as the iconic symbol of the London 2012 Olympic Games made its way to Harewood House where it was given a special royal greeting by the Princess.
All of the torchbearers were given fantastic support from the crowds along the route, with one of the highlights being 13-year-old George Stocker from Wetherby carrying the torch through the high street of his hometown. George was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, but has bravely overcome the illness and also raised more than £50,000 for charity.
Other notable torchbearers included 58-year-old Alan Hinkes from Richmond, the first Briton to climb all of the world’s 14 highest mountains, 73-year-old Maureen Brewer from Wetherby who has worked for 26 years on reducing crime in the area, and 13-year-old swimmer Jemma Aylesbury from Sherburn-in-Elmet who gets up at 4am each day to train and dreams of competing at a future Olympics.
The torch will return to Leeds on Sunday travelling through Headingley, Potternewton, Harehills and Richmond Hill as it makes its way to Temple Newsam for a special city celebration event.
The torch then resumes on Monday morning leaving Leeds Town Hall and travelling through the city centre and through south Leeds and Morley.
Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:
“The scenes out on the route today were absolutely fantastic to see and it really did showcase Leeds in a wonderful way.
“A huge thank you to everyone who lined the streets or organised special events to welcome the torch – the atmosphere looked and sounded amazing – so that was the perfect start to this once-in-a-lifetime event and we look forward to more of the same on Sunday and Monday.”
A limited number of tickets remain available for the special city celebration event to be held on Sunday at Temple Newsam Estate. Organised by Coca-Cola, Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the event will feature live performances by Friendly Fires, Little Comets and Tribes as well as dance troupe Diversity. As part of the show the Olympic Torch itself will arrive and will light a special cauldron on stage.
Tickets will be issued on a strictly first-come first-served basis and anyone wishing to secure them can visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk/leedscitycelebrations and print a ticket themselves or tickets can also be picked up while stocks last from the City Centre Box Office at The Carriageworks off Millennium Square along with Morley, Headingley, Otley, Armley, Compton Road, Crossgates, Halton, Garforth, Horsforth, Moor Allerton, Pudsey, Wetherby and Rothwell libraries.
Full details of the timings and maps of the Olympic Torch Relay route through Leeds can be seen at www.leedsgold.co.uk, along with information about the community celebrations being held along the route as the flame passes by.
Notes to editors:
The Temple Newsam Estate special city celebration is presented by Coca-Cola, and will celebrate inspirational Future Flames chosen to carry the Olympic Flame, while encouraging everyone to Move to the Beat of London 2012 through the fusion of music and sport.
The Olympic Torch Relay is being produced by The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) along with Presenting Partners Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.
The Olympic Torch Relay is a 70-day tour of the UK, travelling 8,000 miles 12 hours a day with 66 overnight stops around the country en route to London on July 27 2012, where it will light the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium to officially declare the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. In total the Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.
For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Posted by Leeds City Council press office at 17:27