Olympic flame lights up town as thousands watch

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WHAT a boost for Barnsley!

That was the verdict of jubilant shoppers, workers and families who turned out in their thousands to watch the Olympic flame.

As flag-waving youngsters banged tambourines and danced to live drum music, there was a huge cheer from the crowds as the procession made its way past the market and town hall.

Grandma Elaine Marsh, aged 76, who had travelled from Oxspring, near Penistone, to enjoy the carnival atmosphere, said: “I saw the last Olympic torch in London more than 60 years ago but I was too young to really appreciate it so I’ve come back today. My granddaughter is here from school too and very excited.

“I think it is wonderful, just what the country needs.

“We had a great jubilee, sadly we lost out at the football but this is another boost for everyone.”

Proud Beth Howell, 15, was waiting to see mum Tina carry the torch as she was nominated through work at Halifax bank.

Beth, of High Green, said: “I am really excited to see her running with the torch.

“The whole thing is great because we never get to see anything like this.”

Robert Aitkin, 25, said: “It’s part of being British and supporting the country to be here today.

“It is just about getting behind the country.”

Mum Jayne Marshall and daughter Destiny, three, used a stepladder from the stockroom of Gia Menswear to get a better view.

Jayne, 41, of Barnsley, said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I think everybody has to support it. ”

And mum-of-three Louise Cawthrow had dressed baby Laila Wilson in a patriotic Union Jack skirt for the occasion.

She said: “I’ll never get to see this again. It’s so nice the kids are out of school to watch.”