Olympic torch draws huge crowd in Thurlby

Natalie Spires, of Stamford, runs with the torch in Thurlby
Natalie Spires, of Stamford, runs with the torch in Thurlby
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SCORES of families filled the streets of Thurlby to see the Olympic torch pass through the village.

At 8.30am the iconic beacon was greeted by people in Peterborough Road and then High Street and The Green before finishing in Northorpe Lane.

First to carry the flame was inspirational charity fundraiser Natalie Spires from Stamford.

Natalie, 26, was nominated to be a torchbearer for her work in co-founding charity Coppers for Cancer following the death of her sister Becky from cancer.

Friend and colleague Zellah Kowalczyk could not hold back her tears as she saw Natalie carry the flame along Peterborough Road.

Zelllah, 32, of Tennyson Drive, Bourne, said: “She’s just an inspiration.

“Nobody deserves to carry the torch more than Natalie.

“After all what she has done and been through, it is only right she gets her time to run with the torch.”

Iain Grundy, 37, from Crowland, who works with Natalie at Bauer Media in Peterborough, said: “I’m really proud of her. She’s an inspiration to everyone and really deserves it.

“It’s a fitting tribute to her sister.”

Kimberley Waterfall, 23, from Ryhall Road, Stamford, who also knows Natalie, said: “We saw Natalie and it was amazing.

“It was great to see it come through a village like Thurlby and it was a really good and different show.”

Other Thurlby and Northorpe villagers said time and again that they had been surprised but delighted to be part of the torch route on its journey from Peterborough to Norwich.

The Horseshoe pub on the main road did a roaring trade charging cars £3 to park but with a bacon buttie and drink thrown in. The Methodist church chapel was also a hive of activity providing refreshments.

Christopher Wade, who sat in his wheelchair outside his house in The Green with his wife Cherry, said: “We’ve been looking forward to it - we’re really lucky to get it here.”

Nine-year-old Baston Primary School pupil Ben Asplin saw the torch with his school friend William Hawkins, nine, and his mum Nicky, 40.

He said: “The highlight for me was see the flame being exchanged. And I also like the policeman on his motorbike giving high fives to everyone.”