Thousands welcome Olympic torch to Buxton

Buxton Torch, Bill Weston

Buxton Torch, Bill Weston

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THOUSANDS of people took to the streets of Buxton for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the Olympic flame on Friday.

Eight inspirational individuals took part in the torch relay cheered on by crowds of all ages who had travelled from all over the High Peak determined not to miss out.

Buxton Torch, Andy Steel

Buxton Torch, Andy Steel

Crowds over ten deep filled the town centre, stretching up onto the Slopes and creating a carnival atmosphere. People watched from windows of the buildings that lined the route making best use of every available vantage point.

The loudest cheers of the afternoon were saved for Buxton’s own Bill Weston MBE. The leader and founder of the Billerettes carried the flame from the Opera House through the Crescent. There in their distinctive orange uniforms were fellow members of his unique dance troupe.

Before the lighting of his torch, Bill kept the waiting crowds entertained in his own flamboyant style.

The torch route started from Morrisons and went along Bakewell Road, Bridge Street, Station Road, St John’s Road, Water Street, The Square, The Crescent and then up Terrace Road, along the Market Place and High Street before finishing on London Road.

The flame was carried by Robert Abraham, Jason Bromley, Imi Clark, Andy Steel, Bill, Alex McCann, Maxine Smith and David Denton, who were each given a warm welcome by the massive crowds, estimated by police to be around 15,000.

From Buxton, the torch was whisked off to Ashbourne and then on to Derby for further celebrations later in the evening.

Earlier in the day the torch had made its way through Derbyshire calling at Chesterfield, Matlock, Bakewell and Chatsworth.

In total the Olympic Torch will be carried by 8,000 people as it completes its nationwide tour.

For an Olympic Torch picture special and reaction to this historic event, see Thursday’s Buxton Advertiser.

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