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Schoolchildren watch historic torch relay
HUNDREDS of schoolchildren lined the streets to watch the Olympic Torch Relay come through their town.
Many joined their families for the event, while older children stood in groups waiting behind the barriers.
Pupils from Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College walked down the road from their school, in Wessex Close, to join the crowds outside the King of Wessex pub, in Winchester Road.
The school’s band Ryde played in the pub’s garden, entertaining those waiting along the route. Around 80 pupils were chosen to join their teachers at the relay, while the rest of the school was encouraged to attend with their families.
Pupil Emma Stewart, 13, from Brighton Hill, said: “It’s a really good atmosphere and we are really excited. We have been looking forward to it for ages. We are all going to cheer when it comes past.”
Nick Fleeman, deputy head at the school, added: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and they won’t have the chance to see it again. It’s wonderful to be part of it.
“We’re very pleased to be able to join in with the celebrations. This will be something these youngsters will be able to tell their grandchildren about. They are very excited.”
Marion Ffrench, 69, from Pinkerton Road, South Ham, took her four grandchildren to watch the torch.
The St Anne’s Primary School pupils arrived at 10am to find a good spot in Winchester Road.
Katie Crow, eight, from Kempshott, said: “I’m excited about when it comes past. I’m going to cheer and blow my whistle.”
Sarah and Kevin Ledger, from Popley, took their three children to watch the flame, despite opposition from their school. The family appeared in The Gazette a few weeks ago after Everest Community Academy, in Oxford Way, Popley, banned all pupils from going to watch the relay.
Sarah and Kevin decided, however, that they would take their children anyway, and they have since decided to move them to The Vyne Community School from September, partly because of the torch relay decision.
Sarah, 37, said: “I’m glad I brought them, just to be part of it. It was brilliant. I’m glad I wasn’t put off by the school. The weather was amazing and everyone turned out in force. It was brief, but it was great.”
Her 14-year-old daughter Sadie added: “It’s an event you won’t see again. I want to be able to tell my kids I was here, not sat in school watching it on a TV.”
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