Olympic Torch Relay day one: Grimsby, Immingham and Cleethorpes
THE Olympic torch was cheered on by thousands of onlookers as it arrived in North East Lincolnshire today.
People lined the streets in Immingham, Grimsby and Cleethorpes to watch as torch bearers carried the flame towards its overnight stop at Meridian Park.
The cauldron at the Cleethorpes venue was lit by 92-year-old World War II veteran Jack Andrew.
View a gallery of pictures from the Cleethorpes torch celebrations here.
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6.55pm: The cauldron is lit and the evening's entertainment gets into full swing at Meridian Park.
That's it for today. Join us again from 6am tomorrow for coverage of the flame's abseil down Grimsby Dock Tower and its journey towards Louth.
You can see where the torch is heading by checking out our guide.
6.48pm: Jack Andrew, the last torch bearer of the day, has arrived at Meridian Park and will soon light the cauldron. Jack, 92, is a World War II veteran and was nominated through the Lloyds TSB campaign for his inspirational passion for sport, which has seen him coach local football and cricket teams and continue to play golf for despite having both knees replaced.
6.33pm: Mick Clorley of Grimsby takes the torch onto the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. There are dozens of people either side of the tracks cheering him on. Mick was nominated to be a torch bearer because of his outstanding contribution to local sport and his 'never give in' attitude, which has seen him battle bowel cancer and also set up a charity that supports others affected by this illness.
6.23pm: Huge crowds gather as the torch heads towards its ride on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway.
6.15pm: Meridian Park is packed for the evening celebration. Not long now till the torch arrives there.
6.08pm: Nik Forman from Grimsby has the torch.
Nik, 52, was nominated after taking up long-distance running again after a break of more than 25 years.
He ran the Humber Bridge half-marathon in 1983 and this summer, 28 years later, he ran the London Marathon.
He said: “It was actually easier this time around as I trained properly. When you’re young, you think you can just do these things on a whim.”
5.58pm: Surinder Fowler is used to running marathons but this short run will surely have been her most momentous.
“I want to thank everybody,” she says. “I am overwhelmed by what people think of me.
“I do everything from Diabetes UK and children who are deaf and blind and belong to the Sense charity.
“They have a home at Louth and I run out to see them three times a week.
“It is about 15 miles one way. The distance does not matter, so long as I am doing good.”
Surinder hands over to Jenny Clark, 68, who looks absolutely thrilled. She was nominated after beating breast cancer and a serious skiing accident.
5.50pm: It's a great day for young Jo Axcell, 12, from Grimsby. Jo, who had two gold medals in the kickboxing world championships, may well be a future Olympian, but this is his first taste of the games.
Will the rain hold off for this evening's celebrations? It is spitting with rain at Daubney Street corner, where crowds are waiting for Surinder Fowler to hand over to Jenny Clark.
5.45pm: Athletics coach Roy Saxby now has the torch. Great scenes! He's telling the crowd to cheer louder!
The 64-year-old, of Itterby Crescent, has been involved in sports ranging from trampolining, canoeing and athletics – notably high jump at Cleethorpes AC – for well over two decades.
Roy has recently also turned his hand to hockey setting up the North East Lincolnshire Veterans’ Hockey Club, while also running anti-bullying courses and helping out at Ormiston Maritime Academy.
And all this has seen Roy chosen as a torchbearer in Grimsby on June 26.
He said: “I have always been involved in sport and to be part of the Olympics is great – I have been involved in trampoline, canoe, high jump with Cleethorpes AC and athletics in primary schools.
“I think, through the primary schools programme I have done, 10,000 kids have competed. I have also run anti-bullying courses and that is all primarily in North East Lincolnshire.
“I retired last April but it is all voluntary. I always find something to do and it is great to have been involved in everything I have.”
5.41pm: The first torchbearer takes the flame!
Alan Rayment is a double amputee who is an ambassador for Triathlon England disabled athletes. He is swapping the torch between hands to allow himself to power forward in his wheelchair. Inspirational stuff.
5.32pm: The torch is nearing Grimsby.
5.15pm: Vincent Gibson is now carrying the torch.
He was nominated by his colleague at Lincolnshire County Council, Shantelle Grundy, for his efforts to get children onto bicycles.
Vincent travels to schools in Lincolnshire to teach children bike ability, maintenance and lots of different games.
He said: “I loved cycling as a kid and after talking to children around the country it’s clear they do, too.
“However only two per cent of children in the UK cycle to school. It’s no fun being strapped in car.
“It’s nice to know people value what you do for the community.”
5.02pm The convoy is currently taking a rest break and will continue from Oasis Academy Immingham soon.
4.41pm: The rain has held off for now as a house decorated with Olympic bunting greets Immingham's first torch bearer Megan Harris. She has been playing football since she was six years old and now plays for Lincoln Ladies Football Club. After her stint, Megan tweeted: "Wow!!! What an absolutely amazing feeling that was, such a massive honour and great to see so many people out to support!!"
4.31pm: A large crowd has gathered at Oasis Academy Immingham. The flame is due to arrive in the town in around ten minutes.
4.26pm: A few drops of rain are now falling as the convoy travels along the A18 towards Immingham.
4.21pm: The flame is now back in the convoy and on its way to Immingham. However, rather dark clouds are now looming over the area. Will the rain stay away?
4.11pm: Dominic hands the flame over to Keith Tyler of North Kelsey Moor. He has raised £37,000 for charities since he started running in 1995. Prior to that he had been a competitive speed-cyclist but gave up after a serious crash and took up running.
He said: “I had a nasty smash and woke up in hospital with parts of my face missing.
“I recovered but didn’t fancy cycling much any more and took up running because I was never any good at it before.”
4.09pm: Dominic Robinson is now carrying the flame through Wrawby. Dominic became the youngest Tetney parish councillor by some margin when he joined at the age of 19.
4.02pm: Community Arts Group Artlandish tweet: "Look out for our Olympic banner at Meridian Park designed by our local artists. You can't miss it."
3.46pm: Cleethorpes People's Elsa Williamson says there's "a real atmosphere" building aroung Meridian Point ahead of the torch's arrival this evening.
3.34pm: The flame is back in the lantern and on its way to Brigg. Not long now until it reaches North East Lincolnshire. Meanwhile, Telegraph deputy editor Michelle Hurst tweets that Meridian Point is already "a hive of Olympic Torch activity".
2.49pm: The excitement is building in Immingham ahead of the flame's arrival. Nina Stobart tweets: "Oooooh I've just seen the Olympic bus complete with 8 torches at Oasis Academy Immingham."
2.44pm: NELCSportsArts tweets the news from North East Lincolnshire Council that "a special Olympic Torch anthem will be performed for 1st time tonight in Cleethorpes."
2.40pm: Laura Taylor passes the torch over to John Tomlinson, manager of Grimsby Freestyle Kick-boxing Club.
He was nominated by his close friend Paul Chapman for his charity and community work.
John, 35, said: “As well as teaching people the martial art we also raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
“We try to get everyone in the club involved in all our events. We have done triathlons and race nights. I’ve climbed mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest for the charity.”
John has a family history of various heart conditions, which has led him to be involved in the charity.
He said: “I'm gobsmacked when I heard the news about being a torchbearer.
“It feels fantastic to know that out of the people in the world I will be the only holding the Torch at that specific moment.”
2.36pm: Science teacher Laura Taylor, from Cleethorpes, is now carrying the flame along Doncaster Road in Scunthorpe.
Miss Taylor, 31, who works at John Spendluffe Technology College, in Alford, said: “I was nominated for the Torch relay last June by my brother-in-law.
“He told them about my time in Africa working on a game reserve and helping to save endangered species such as black rhino.
“We also held talks for pupils who don’t have the opportunity of an education. This in turn inspired me to become a teacher.”
2.30pm: 12-year-old Archie Swain of Redbourne has become northern Lincolnshire's first torch bearer. There's a strong turn-out in Scunthorpe to see him begin the relay's leg through the town.
2.15pm: The flame has now entered northern Lincolnshire. Its first stop is Scunthorpe at 2.22pm.
1.50pm: This is Grimsby user 'bluebluecow' has posted some useful information for anybody going to see the torch in Immingham:
St Andrew's Church is open from 3pm, with free crafts for children and adults, a sweet stall, refreshments and face painting. A VIP area has been set up for the children with great views down Bluestone Lane and round the corner.
The flame is expected to arrive in the town at 4.41pm.
1.40pm: As the flame heads ever closer to North East Lincolnshire, it has been carried through Doncaster by Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson. 27-year-old Ben is the most seriously injured soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan. He lost both legs and suffered brain and back injuries in a bomb attack in 2006.
1pm: Roy Saxby is set to be one of the first torchbearers in Grimsby. Athletics coach Roy has been volunteering in sport for 30 years. "I just enjoy what i do", he says. "If people, children, young people get something out of it, then that is enough and satisfying for me."
Roy's son, Mark, has been tweeting updates as the time draws near. "Go on, Roy Saxby!," he says. "You deserve your special moment!"
You can see Roy on his leg of the relay in Riby Square.
11.40am update: The torch is in Doncaster where huge crowds are applauding forces hero Ben Parkinson, who was badly injured in Afghanistan, through the streets. It is due to arrive in Scunthorpe at 2.22pm this afternoon.
8.30am: The torch set off from Sheffield at 7.30am this morning, starting the 39th day of its UK tour which will take it through the streets of North East
It will arrive in Immingham at 4.41pm before making its way to Grimsby where torchbearers will carry the flame from Riby Square at 5.39pm to the evening celebration at Meridian Park in Cleethorpes.
Though cloud is expected, the weather is expected to remain dry as the torch makes its way through the region though light, patchy rain is possible. Temperatures should be comfortable at around 16c. Check on the forecast here.
Yesterday, residents of the Nunsthorpe estate got into the Olympic spirit by organising their own Nunny Torch Relay.
Year 4 pupils of Nunsthorpe Community School designed a paper version of the Torch, which was carried across the estate.
Events today (Tuesday) will include a "Grand Fete" at Immingham's Oasis Academy. Family fun and live music will get under way at 3.30pm with the torch due to arrive shortly after 4.40pm.
Among the torchbearers over the next two days will be former Telegraph sports writer David Jordan, who will carry the flame in Legbourne.