High school helps Herald capture spirit of Relay

Olympic Torch in Morpeth. Photo Angus Kirk.
Olympic Torch in Morpeth. Photo Angus Kirk.

STUDENTS and school staff were out on the streets as they joined the Herald’s reporting team for the Morpeth Olympic Torch Relay.

The team from Morpeth’s King Edward VI School was scattered at various locations throughout the town to be able to capture images and comments along the Torch route.

Dozens of photographs have been provided, including from school staff Victoria Najafi and Lewis Jackson, while pupils also chatted to spectators about their thoughts on the Relay. The following has been compiled by students Angus Kirk, Ashleigh Hunter and Jonathan Winfield.

Torchbearer David Taylor was the first to bring the flame to Morpeth and his Mum Brenda was waiting to watch his arrival at the bottom of Whorral Bank.

She said: “We’re all so proud of David. He deserves it for all the fund-raising he does and all the money he’s raised for St Oswald’s Hospice.”

Newminster Middle School pupil Lisa Hunter was another watching the Relay.

“Despite the weather conditions it was still a fantastic day and will be remembered for generations,” she said.

Waiting for the Torch near Telford Bridge were parents and children from Morpeth First School and local nurseries. One of the parents of nursery children said: “It is an event which probably won’t happen again in any of our lifetimes. The Torch creates a sense of occasion for the children who have seen the Torch on TV and then see it through Morpeth.”

An elderly Morpeth couple added: “It is going through the rest of the UK so why not Morpeth? We deserve to be part of it, but we could certainly do without the rain.”

And a parent from Morpeth First School said: “The fact that the Torch is coming through our home town makes us, and the children, more enthusiastic about the Olympics. It allows everyone to be involved even though the actual event is happening so far away.”

Angus was asked to provide a personal perspective on the event. He said: “The Olympic Torch spent a long time in Northumberland, three days in fact.

“From Berwick to Warkworth, to Morpeth, the Torch has seen all that Northumberland has to offer. It even spent a night at the beautiful Alnwick Castle following a spectacular evening celebration.

“Having seen the celebration and the Torch as it passed through Morpeth, I feel truly privileged. Northumberland is a beautiful place with so much to offer and I feel proud that the spotlight was on us for so long. It offers an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate the Olympics.”

A Morpeth resident said: “I feel proud that the symbol of the Olympics that is the Torch has passed through Morpeth. It makes me proud to live in Morpeth. Having seen the Torch, I feel part of the Olympics, and I can say that I will now be following the sporting events closely.”

Herald readers also answered our appeal for help on the day. Trevor Raper, Elaine Charlton, David Wilkinson, Sam Lowe and Carol Dixon were among those supplying photographs.

Ms Dixon said: “Pouring rain did nothing to douse the Torch, nor dampen the delight of the runner as he turned into Howard Terrace on the first leg of the Morpeth Olympic Torch Relay to be welcomed by flag waving, cheering and somewhat soggy crowds.

“Despite standing for over an hour and being soaked to the skin it was well worth the wait.”