A momentous sight for us all

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BLINK and you missed it - and with it a moment in history you would probably never get the chance to see again.

The Olympic torch arrived in South Yorkshire yesterday and was greeted by tumultuous crowds.

Thousands upon thousands of people lined the streets along the torch’s procession through Barnsley and into Sheffield.

At every corner as the excitement built, the roar of the crowd reached a crescendo - until finally the golden flame came into view.

And the torchbearers carried the excitement and anticipation with them.

Why would people turn out to see the flickering image of a flame as it made its way through the streets of our towns and cities?

Better the question should be why not?

It is a golden moment in our lifetime and not to have made an effort to see the flame after the efforts of the organising committee to ensure it came within walking distance of most households would be a missed opportunity.

And so our torchbearers had their moment in the limelight. Their honour was to carry the flame. Our honour was to cheer them along their way.

It now moves on to Rotherham and Doncaster, carried by yet more community heroes.

And we will next see it lighting up the Games in London, in what we hope will be a summer of great achievement for our sports men and women. We wish them luck.

In praise of our community spirit

COMMUNITY spirit is alive and well in Sheffield as this summer’s series of carnivals and galas is showing.

Each weekend, villages, estates and suburbs have taken the chance to get together and celebrate.

Take the Firth Park Festival, which attracted more than 2,000 people to this year’s event.

That’s a lot of people and as our pictures on page 12 show, they had a ball.

Events like this, where the community has fun, show why we should pull together when times are tough.

It’s easy to feel isolated, particularly when there’s little spare cash and less inclination to go out, but your neighbours are there for you.

Just take the outcome of the Firth Park Festival as your source of inspiration. The organisers feared a downpour but carried on regardless and were rewarded with a great day.

It sums up all that is good in their community and they are left with only one issue - organising an equally successful event for next year