Today was day six of the Olympic Torch Relay for the London 2012 games. I can't be there, as I'm not a good enough athlete and too big of a prick to be offered the chance to actually bear the torch, itself. But I was one of the many thousands of people taking to the streets today, to watch the Olympic flame get carried on its journey.
At about quarter past three, we went to see how big the crowd had got - suffice to say, it was an impressive sight, so see the main street of this usually peaceful town (except Friday nights) completely dominated by pedestrians. A few officials in high-vis jackets struggled valiantly to get the crowds away from the middle of the road, so that the procession could head through. Various vehicles made their way out through the throng and cheers went up for wide ranging reasons.
Some nice young ladies did well to get us hyped up as a blue open topped Samsung bus headed through, as I remarked, "Here comes Chelsea with the Champions League Trophy". A few more sponsors vehicles later and I was asking a Lloyds TSB bus to "Throw us some money" in this time of austerity.
A little later, we ended up with a wagon, loaded with police bikes, so the local pikeys have been working hard, to steal what they can, clearly. Finally, the crowds got worked up into a sunburnt frenzy, as 12 year old Samuel Loveitt carried the torch past. This young fellow is apparently a future paralympic star, having lost both legs and his left hand to Meningitis in 2006. The crafty little lad nearly snuck past me, but I'll have a look at the pictures later and see if I got anything worthwhile out of it.
Afterwards, I managed to cross the bridge (unheard of during work hours) and watch as the flame made its way toward the Severn Valley Rail Station, for a vintage steam journey to my home town on Kidderminster. I won't see that flame again until the opening ceremony, but to know that it was within just over touching distance (and the reach of some rather burly looking SAS men), I'm quite proud to be English. Yes, I know it's team GB, but you've got to let the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish win something, haven't you?
Here's a pic of some lovely young ladies jumping about on the bus, while one gets rather hoarse from shouting at us lot all day. I think I've got some cream for that, somewhere, love.