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Thousands line the streets as the Olympic Torch sets off from Leisurezone

Around 20,000 people lined the streets in Harlow on Saturday (7 July 2012) to see the Olympic Flame.

The Olympic Torch Relay, which had been in Essex for two days, started just outside the entrance here at 8.20am.

The Olympic Flame was carried from outside the entrance of Harlow Leisurezone on Second Avenue before making its way up Velizy Avenue. The torch then went through Eastgate, Market Square, Westgate and onto Haydens Road down to the roundabout at Third Avenue.

The Community Torchbearers who carried the flame were:

Following the relay the town has been taking part in a day of celebration in the town centre, where children enjoyed the Leisurezone bouncy castle amongst many other fun activities available.

The Torch Relay can be watched back by following this link at http://www.bbc.co.uk/torchrelay/day50, starting from 08:20 at Leisurezone.

Jeanne Stacey, said: "Being a torchbearer was such an amazing experience and I will never forget it. The Harlow crowds were fantastic and I am enormously proud to be part of this community. I was completely caught up in the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my 300 metres with the flame.

I count myself incredibly lucky to have played a part in this historic event, and to have had my family, friends, and some of my past and present students there too just made the moment magical!"

Chair of Harlow Council, Councillor Maggie Hulcoop, said:“There were people watching the Torch Relay from car parks, out of their windows, on the grass verges - it seemed like people were everywhere and it was great to see. The atmosphere on the relay route was electric and the reception the torchbearers received was magical. The whole day left me with a lump in my throat and as part of my year in office a day I will never forget it. This is unlikely ever to happen again in my lifetime and I'm so glad I witnessed history being made in Harlow.

“Later on in the day I witnessed Jeanne Stacey and other torchbearers, who had taken part in the relay in Chelmsford, Harlow and Waltham Abbey, arrive back at Leisurezone and get presented with their torches. They were all extremely proud of what they had just taken part in.”

Earlier that day, Leisurezone staff had worked together with Harlow Council employees and volunteers to prepare for the arrival of the torch. The dedicated teams started at 4am to display banners and bunting to make Harlow bright for the celebratory day!

Leisurezone staff help set up for the Olympic torch relay

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