A ONCE in a lifetime experience.
That is the sentiment that echoed around Bridlington on Monday afternoon as up to 15,000 locals turned out to greet the Olympic Torch on its path through the town.
Crowds lined the streets from the torch’s starting point at Scarborough Road roundabout, and did the town proud by cheering on the four torchbearers as they carried the iconic flame through Bridlington for the first time.
Union Jacks waved as the sun shone down on Bridlington, as the town did itself proud as it gave the flame the warmest of welcomes.
Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Chad Chadwick, a Bridlington South Councillor, greeted the torch as it reached Scarborough Road and said that the occasion was one that Brid residents would never forget.
“It is an honour to greet the torch in Bridlington, and a memorable occasion for all those who have come out to see it pass by,” said Coun Chadwick.
“I would like to thank the schools for letting the children out to see the torch. I think the community spirit of Bridlington has shone through.”
The torch began its route on Scarborough Road, close to the roundabout, where Dr Badr Alshibani, a health and fitness entrepeneur from Saudi Arabia, was the first to hold the flame aloft for all to see.
The torch then passed on to Gareth Thomas of 35 Wetherby Squadron, who carried it along Quay Road before handing it on to Hornsea’s Neil Sergeant.
At Hilderthorpe Road, the torch was taken on the final leg of its journey through the town by inspirational 18-year-old Sophie McMullen, who has cerebral palsy, completed the relay from her wheelchair as it left Bridlington for its journey out of the town towards Beverley.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It was a very proud moment for the East Riding and I would like to congratulate all those people who carried the torch through our area and thank visitors and our residents for their fantastic support. “The Olympic Torch Relay was an opportunity for the East Riding to shine on a global platform and it certainly didn’t disappoint.”
PCSO Liz Smith MBE, who was on duty at the start of the torch relay, said: “It’s a wonderful experience. Just looking at all the people who have gathered here, and the lovely atmosphere, makes you proud to be in Bridlington.”