Olympic Torch Relay day two: Grimsby Dock Tower abseil, Louth
AFTER thousands of people greeted the arrival of the Olympic torch in North East Lincolnshire yesterday, the flame was abseiled down Grimsby Dock Tower this morning before making its way out of Grimsby.
It then made a visit to Louth before heading off on a tour of Lincolnshire.
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6am: Crowds - and traffic - already building near the Dock Tower. About 200 people gathered to watch so far. A short delay before the torch arrives because of travel problems - it was originally due at 6.09am.
6.19am: The torch begins its descent of the Dock Tower with climber Alan Ellinson.
6.44am: Impressive turnout to cheer on the torch despite the early hour. Ed Holt, 19, from Waltham is now carrying the flame.
Two years ago, Ed's leg was amputated after he was diagnosed with cancer. Now he plays tennis for Britain.
He said: “Getting to carry the torch is a huge honour. When I was first diagnosed with cancer I thought my life was over.
“What happened to me made me realise that you have to make the best of the cards you get dealt and the opportunities that present themselves to you.”
“Now I find I am getting opportunities that I would never have had before.”
As well as playing tennis, the former Franklin student is doing a sports performance degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, after completing an A Level in leisure studies while in hospital.
The torch is now approaching Riverhead Square. Crowds are walking beside Ed to cheer him on. Remarkable effort from Ed as he hops on one crutch.
6.55am: The torch is now making its way down Victoria Street.
7.15am: The flame is now being carried on Scartho Road by Penny Garrett-Pughe. Penny suffers from cerebral palsy and had three children, although one of her sons sadly died.
7.22am: Firefighter Rois Lorenz now takes the flame.
Rois, assistant chief fire officer at the Lindsey Oil Refinery, was nominated by his eldest daughter for his service to the community.
“I have this habit of helping people,” he said.
“I’m a bit of a first-aider; if I see someone in need of help, I will help them.
“Sometimes you have just got to step into the breach and do what needs to be done.
“If I can’t jog the 300 metres, I think my employers would want a word with me!
“I feel I’m not just carrying the Torch for me but for everyone who helps their community.”
7.28am: As the flame heads through Scartho, John Mitchell takes over.
John set up the Cleethorpes Disabilities Football Club with his wife Sue, more than ten years ago.
Their son, Simon, 26, is autistic and it was while looking for a club for him to join that the idea came about.
Now, about 24 people are a part of the club, which is made up of players, coaches and helpers.
John has always enjoyed sport, especially football, and has played in teams himself between the ages of 15 and 44.
When he received confirmation of carrying the Torch, he said it came as a complete shock – because he had no idea he had been nominated.
“To get my hands on the Torch will be magical,” said John, whose wife nominated him for the honour.
“I am so happy to have been chosen out of the thousands who must have applied as well. There are a mind-blowing backlog of stars who have held the Torch so to say I have done the same will be great.”
7.39am: The flame has now been returned to the lantern and it's now on its way to Louth in the convoy.
8.00am: The flame has arrived in Louth and the first torch bearer, Michelle Brown, gets things underway.
Michelle was nominated by her sister in recognition for all she has done to encourage children of all abilities to take part in sport at school.
She has instigated dance sessions, yoga, cheerleading and skipping club at Humberston Primary School and much of the work for these sessions is in her free time.
The classroom assistant said: “Louth is where I really wanted to run with the Torch as I was brought up there and my friends and family are there.
“I am really excited to be involved in the Olympics. It is such a privilege and honour to be involved and I think I will be emotional on the day, especially seeing my family supporting me.”
As well as inspiring children to get involved with sport, Michelle has completed three marathons all for charity and wants to complete a marathon again once she recovers from two fractured vertebrae.
8.18am: A warm reception greeted the Olympic flame on the streets of Louth and now it's on its way to Lincoln taking in a number of towns in the county including Sutton-on-Sea, Skegness and Boston.
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