Olympic torch comes to St Albans

UNSUNG heroes from St Albans and elsewhere have their chance to shine today, Sunday July 8, as 14 inspirational torch-bearers carry the Olympic flame through the city.

Thousands are expected to line the streets of the torch route to show their support of those successfully nominated to carry the flame, which will enter the district along Hatfield Road at 4.06pm.

It will be carried by torch-bearers along the length of Hatfield Road from its junction with Charlotte Close, near Oaklands College, crossing over St Peter’s Street into Catherine Street, along Folly Lane, joining Verulam Road before finishing near the Batchwood roundabout.

From Oysterfields the flame will be placed back inside one of two convoys at 4.50pm as it travels on to Hemel Hempstead via Bluehouse Hill and Hemel Hempstead Road.

Twelve of the 14 torchbearers aged between 12 and 81 successfully nominated to carry the torch already know which leg of the relay they will carry the flame through the city.

However the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will not apparently reveal the final two until this morning.

Runners include Claire Weston, 34, a Year 5 teacher at Colney Heath School and Natalie B, presenter on Heart FM, St Albans.

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Kate Thomas, also of St Albans, was nominated for her fostering work.

St Albans district council is encouraging people to join this “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to watch the relay and support runners ahead of London 2012 from July 27 to August 12.

With large crowds expected, the council has advised spectators to line the route early for a good view, about an hour before the flame arrives.

Activities taking place alongside the route include:

• Fleetville recreation ground (1.30-5pm): play in the parks, music, ultimate frisbee, zumba, salsa;

• Clarence Park (2-4.30pm): sports activities, St Albans City Football Club open for refreshments, bouncy castle, mobile climbing wall;

• City centre (1.30-5pm): judo demos, zumba, play in the parks, street entertainers.