Matlock - Flame In June
w/e 01 July 2012
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
"Flaming June" used to mean it was the
month of hot summer weather but more recently the addition of
an exclamation mark and a derogatory tone of voice "Flaming
June!" has intimated anything but fine weather. This year
however a play on those words giving us "Flame In June"
could only mean one thing - the Olympic Torch Relay. Day 41 of
the relay took the relay into Nottingham but we didn't fancy
milling around in the Old Market Square after tea and it had
left the city before breakfast the following morning.
On Day 42 (Friday) the torch made the short trip down the A52
to Derby but it's route was a circuitous 100 mile trip that took
in several other towns on the way. Again it didn't arrive in
Derby's Darley Park to be met by a 20,000 crowd until nearly
8pm so we decided to turn the event into a day out and travelled
the 18 miles up to Matlock where the relay was expected to be
passing through in mid afternoon.
We arrived in Matlock shortly before lunch
when local schoolchildren were to assemble at Crown Bridge and
walk into Hall Leys Park. A short sharp shower (left) resulted
in a change of plan and they sheltered under the trees (right)
but as the weather improved they paraded into the park carrying
their banners and imitation torches in what was described as
the Schools' Olympic Parade.
Many local schools were represented and they all gathered around
the bandstand in the centre of the park for a formal welcome.
There were many parents and bystanders taking photos as well
as myself and some of them went to extraordinary lengths to get
that special shot. This gentleman was balancing on a park bench
and I suppose if he was connected to one of the schools, his
pupils would have no trouble in locating him among the thousands
of people present.
From a similar position I captured this shot of some of the children
around the bandstand as a local Councillor made the welcome speech
and introduced the schools one by one.
An "Olympicnic" lunch was followed
by many events in the park. There was a painting project on a
100 meter long canvas where children could design and sign their
work and get rather messy adding hand prints. They loved it!
There was also a climbing tower, tennis taster sessions (left)
and Paralympic multi-sports activities. Matlock Town Band also
entertained from the bandstand (right).
But by 2pm everyone started to line the roads through the town
as they waited for the arrival of the torch which was preceded
by police motorbikes and cars and the sponsor's vehicles, the
two on the right above being Samsung and Coca Cola.
Lloyds TSB were another sponsor and the occupants of all the
sponsor's vehicles were doing their best as they came down Steep
Turnpike and into Causeway Lane to whip the crowd up into a frenzy
begging them to cheer and shout.
The junction of Steep Turnpike and Causeway Lane was an exchange
or "kiss" point and 50 year old Philippa "Pip"
Leach from Alfreton who had been nominated as an outstanding
role model for youngsters, moved about among the crown letting
them touch the torch as she awaited the arrival of the flame.
Philippa who has completed the Everest Marathon seemed as high
as the mountain itself with excitement before the flame arrived.
As the clock moved around to three o'clock and right on schedule,
more vehicles descended Steep Turnpike but the grey clad runners
indicated that the Olympic Torch was almost here.
And there among the thronging crowd appeared the beaming 15 year
old Kate Dewhirst from Nottingham, a member of the Nottinghamshire
Boccia Club and captain of a pan disability team who plays boccia
at a National Level.
After the exchange Pip continued through the streets of Matlock
holding her torch now topped by that important flame high above
her head for everyone to see. Listening to television reports
later, two words cropped up again and again - "exciting"
and "amazing" - and whilst I wouldn't say I was excited
at seeing the torch, it is pretty amazing to think that the flame
has been kept alight all the way from Greece. The build up to
the Olympic Games has been long but as the flame passes through
each city, town or village the start of the London 2012 gets
that much closer. Before you know it, it will be nothing but