Hammersmith Welcomes the Olympic Torch

Residents flock in their thousands to greet relay on way to the Games

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BBC Torch Relay - Day 69

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Hammersmith finally got to see the Olympic Torch today with the passage of Gloriana along the Thames.

Having been bypassed by the torch relay yesterday it was a chance for local residents to line the river bank and bridges to see it make its way to the Olympic Park for the opening ceremony. Hammersmith Bridge was packed with people despite the light rain that fell this morning.

The boat reached Furnivall Gardens in Hammersmith at around 10.30am and Putney Bridge shortly afterwards on its way to Tower Bridge and then to Stratford for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

The torch relay did not go through Hammersmith town centre, but toured Fulham and Shepherd's Bush. Thousands of enthusiastic people lined Fulham Road and North End Road to greet the Olympic Torch as it reached the borough on Thursday July 26.

Gloriana at the Harrods Depository

The excitement built outside Stamford Bridge around 2pm as the crowds waited for their first glimpse of the torch.

Crowds wait at Stamford Bridge for arrival of Olympic torch

Cheers filled the air as the torch arrived, held aloft by mum Georgina Moseley, who was carrying it in memory of her son Harry. Harry was nominated to be a torchbearer by John Terry for raising £700,000 for Brain Tumour charities, but tragically passed away last year.

Georgie Mosley carries the Olympic torch in Fulham

At 2.05pm Georgie handed the torch to rugby star Lawrence Dallaglio, who carried it past Chelsea Football Clun to the sounds of  Chariots of Fire.

Lawrence Dallaglio

He handed over to fellow rugby star Lewis Moody, who then gave it to 19 year old Sureena Sharma, who was nominated for her sterling mentor work in her school and tireless fundraising for the NSPCC.

As the torch travelled around Fulham Broadway and onto North End Road, it was taken over by a succession of torchbearers -  19 year-old Sureena Sharma, nominated for mentor work at school and tireless fundraising for the NSPCC; Emma Harley, a 28 year-old A&E nurse who has led groups of British young people to Kenya to work on charity projects in severely disadvantaged communities and Lydia Mantle  who gives up her own time to help run a youth club in Hammersmith every Friday night.

On North End Road, it was taken over by Bridget Stevenson, a part of the Hammersmith community for over 40 years, having run the St John Ambulance team, the local St Peters Festival and now in charge of the Brownies and at 2.27pm the torch was passed to Samantha Timms, who manages to find time for voluntary work as well as being a full-time carer for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

The torch route turned right at the top of North End Road, leaving the borough for Kensington and Chelsea before re-emerging in Shepherd's Bush half an hour later, where the torchbearers included St Bruce Forsyth.

Crowds on North End Road. Pic - Nick Coombs

Crowds on North End Road. Pic - Nick Coombs

Crowds on North End Road. Pic - Nick Coombs

 

The torchbearers for the Borough were Antoine De Navacelle, Bridget Stevenson, Catherine Nicoll, Chris Basiurski, Dan Cooper, Eileen Hobson, Emma Harley, Felix Allocca, George Fielding, Georgie Moseley, Lydia Mantle, Mary Mangan, Maurizio Stroppiana, Ollie Boylan, Penny Midgley, Permie Dadhiala, Samantha Timms, Sophie Papps and Sureena Sharma.

You can read more about them and their stories here.

Though there are no official celebrations in Hammersmith, in Shepherd's Bush Westfield is holding a free outdoor party with crafts for kids, free giveaways, entertainment from a live band and ribbon gymnasts and a visit from the England Netball Association.

West 12 is also celebrating with special Family Fun Days today.

 

July 27, 2012

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