OLYMPIC fever rolled in to Forfar on Tuesday (yesterday) on day 25 of the torch relay through the country.
It was Forfar’s chance to shine - and the crowds did not disappoint.
The excitement was palpable as school pupils were bused in and office and shop workers prepared to cheer on the torch-bearers as they made their way down Brechin Road, along Castle Street and out along the Glamis Road.
Along the route groups of school pupils and nursery pupils cheered the torch on.
There were loud cheers from Whitehills Primary School pupils outside the Reid Hall, whilst pupils at Langlands Primary School took prime position as the torch headed along Glamis Road. Across the road at St David’s Nursing Home, residents had made their own Olympic torches to join in the celebrations.
As a warm-up to the torch’s arrival, some 156 pupils from every school in Angus took part in a world-record breaking attempt to break the men’s 10,000 metre relay time of 27 minutes, 1.17 seconds.
They were counted down by three Angus pupils who had won a design competition - Gemma McCabe of Isla Primary, Glen Kelly of Seaview and Zara Hill of Whitehills.
The six pupils from every secondary school and two from every primary school in Angus threw their hearts and souls into trying to break the record, and at the time of going to press there were unconfirmed reports that, whilst they hadn’t beaten the men’s record, they had beaten the 10,000m women’s record. Proud parents, grand-parents and friends cheered the youngsters on.
Among the crowd were Angus Provost Helen Oswald and Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton, who praised the youngsters’ enthusiasm and commitmOLYMPIC fever rolled in to Forfar on Tuesday (yesterday) on day 25 of the torch relay through the country.
Provost Oswald said: “It is great to see the young people rising to the challenge. It is great that the young people have been involved and hopefully it will encourage them, and those who are older, to become involved in sports. This is a once in a life-time opportunity to welcome the Olympic flame to our communities.
“4500 schoolchildren will be out on the route to experience this historic moment.
“I’m sure that many Angus residents will join them and give a rousing reception to the 20+ inspiring community torchbearers who are carrying the flame through our streets.”
Councillor Middleton added: “I am absolutely delighted to see all these young people representing every school in Angus taking part. They are a credit to themselves, to their parents and to their school.
“We hear so much bad things about young people, it is a delight to see them so enthusiastic.”
Proud parents Kay and Billy Stewart were among the crowds at the Myre as their ten-year-old daughter Eve took part in the relay, representing Langlands Primary School.
Kay said: “Eve was really excited about this. It is great seeing everyone with their flags. It is a once in a life-time event and you just have to see it. It is good for the kids being involved.”
Forfar woman Frances Robertson was also in the crowd, commenting: “I think it is wonderful that the torch is passing through Forfar. It is brilliant that they have got such a good support but I think all the school children should have been a part of it.”
After the relay event all attention turned to the Brechin Road and the expectant arrival of the torch.
An entourage of sponsor buses got the party started, with a short wait of five minutes before the first Olympic torch bearer appeared as the flame was carried through the town.
There was a special treat for youngsters from Jack and Jill’s Elite Nursery as the first torch-bearer through the town “high fived” the pre-school kids, who had made their own special Olympic torches for the occasion.
Along the route the crowds cheered as six torch-bearers carried the flame - lit by the sun’s rays in Greece - as the relay wound its way out of Forfar and along to Meigle and Burrelton before arriving in Dundee.
There was only one sour note among the crowds; the fact that pupils at Forfar Academy had missed out on seeing the torch despite the fact the route passed so close to the school. For more on this and full picture coverage, see next week’s paper.