VIDEO: The Wanted help out as Olympic Torch Relay passes through Great Wyrley and Newtown
THOUSANDS of people turned out in Great Wyrley and Newtown to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay as it spent a third day in Staffordshire.
The flame, which visited north Staffordshire last month, passed through the east and south of the county on Saturday, arriving in Great Wyrley and Newtown after trips to Burton-Upon-Trent, Lichfield and Tamworth.
In Great Wyrley huge crowds lined the street, despite a morning of heavy rain showers, while in Newtown pop band The Wanted joined local torch bearers as the flame was carried through the community.
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The relay arrived in Great Wyrley shortly after 11am and despite the weather people had been gathering along Walsall Road since early morning.
Bunting lined many of the village’s shops and pubs and some residents had even decorated their houses.
Adrian Ball and his wife Pamela had decorated their front garden with Olympic flags and a banner and were offering cakes and refreshments to the crowd.
“It took me about half a day to paint it,” Mr Ball said.
“There’s been about one hundred to one hundred and fifty people here so far!”
Flight Lieutenant Ian Averill, who was at the relay with other members of the 196 Walsall Air Cadet squadron, said the torch’s arrival had been eagerly anticipated.
“There’s certainly a good turnout, especially with the weather,” he said.
“It’s been well organised.”
Community volunteer and torch bearer Ann Andrews was overwhelmed after completing her stretch of the relay.
“It was fantastic,” she said.
“It was fabulous to see everyone had come out.”
The relay also received the thumbs up from onlookers, including Great Wyrley resident Dale Abnett, of Holly Lane, who described it as brilliant.
“I was surprised how many people turned out,” he said.
The torch relay was then followed by the annual Great Wyrley carnival parade, which featured floats designed and created by local residents.
After leaving Great Wyrley the torch passed a couple of miles down the road to Newtown, where equally large crowds had turned out.
Among the early torch bearers were pop band The Wanted.
The five piece outfit were surrounding by screaming fans as they helped carry the torch through the village.
The torch then passed onto Walsall, and has since moved on towards Birmingham, where it will finish the day with an evening celebration at the city’s Cannon Hill Park, which the band will headline.