John Carries Olympic Torch

On Friday 6th July Bandsman John Willson got up extra early. He had to be in Maldon for 6.00am briefing ready for his part in the official Olympic torch relay. At 08:47 he picked the flame from another runner and travelled the 300 yards along Maldon Road Hatfield Peverel with a broad smile on his face interacting with the thousands of well-wishers that had turned out to greet the flame.

John Willson carries the Olympic torch
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John Willson carries the Olympic torch

It was a wet morning as crowds jostled for position whilst trying to control their umbrellas. Sponsors vehicles came through as did a plethora of police motorcycles from various forces, with their riders ‘high-fiving’ the youngsters on the route.

Then, strangely, came a horse box. But there were no horses. It was the media van with reporters on board and  a metal framework on which cameras were mounted.

There was one point of interest to Salvationists that the media van missed. Just after John handed over the torch, the procession passed London North-East Divisional headquarters. Divisional staff were handing out hot and cold drinks – and bacon sandwiches! Sharing the shelter of the Army’s gazebo was a handful of young bandsmen brought together by Divisional Youth Officer Ben Still to provide music.  Meanwhile,  Paul Garnham, a Salvationist from Colchester was on hand to contact people and hand out the special edition of the War Cry and Kids Alive.

Hadleigh

Later that morning, John arrived in Hadleigh with his torch and posed for photographs before the same processing – but with different torchbearers – passed the Temple.

Photographs

Hatfield Peverel

Maldon Road waits for John
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Maldon Road waits for John

 

Making the most of the occasion (1)
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Making the most of the occasion (1)

 

Making the most of the occasion (2)
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Making the most of the occasion (2)

 

Policeman greets the youngsters
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Policeman greets the youngsters

 

John arrives with the torch
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John arrives with the torch

 

St John' class=
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St John’s volunteers take sustenace at the Army

 

Ben' class=
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Ben’s Band

 

Paul Garnham and literature evangelism
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Paul Garnham and literature evangelism

Hadleigh

John brings the torch to Hadleigh Temple
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John brings the torch to Hadleigh Temple alongside the flag held by associate officer Major Geoff Ashdown

 

Photo call
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Photo call

 

Crowds waiting to welcome the procession
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Crowds waiting to welcome the procession

 

Army flags greet the sponsors vehicles ahead of the torch
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Army flags greet the sponsors vehicles ahead of the torch

 

Robin Bryant demonstrates proper photography is a risky business
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Robin Bryant demonstrates proper photography is a risky business

 

The media ' class=
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The media ‘horsebox’ indicates that the torch is nearly there

 

The torch fleetingly passes the Temple
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The torch fleetingly passes the Temple


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