After months of planning, preparation and anticipation, the Olympic Torch arrived in Northumberland today, Thursday June 14, amid a wave of excitement.
At 4.30pm the iconic torch crossed the Scottish border back into England to journey through the streets of Berwick-upon-Tweed, which are packed with thousands of cheering well wishers who had turned out to line the route and witness the momentous occasion.
An activation convoy headed by Coco-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB - the key sponsors of the relay - added some razzmatazz to the proceedings entertaining the crowds with music and free gifts ahead of the main torch convoy.
After crossing the New Bridge and heading out of town, the torch will switch from torchbearer to convoy mode to travel down the A1 to Bamburgh where an eager crowd awaits its arrival.
The village has laid on a day of festivities to mark this historic occasion.
After Bamburgh, the torch will head down to Alnwick. Here an evening celebration will take place in Alnwick Castle Pastures in front of the magnificent Medieval Castle of Alnwick, which featured in the Harry Potter movies.
The evening celebration will see a variety of entertainment staged by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay - Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung - with support from Northumberland County Council. The show will start at 5.30pm.
The line-up includes music from Little Comets, a dance troupe who will provide a unique fusion of street performance, theatre and sport, and dance act Twist and Pulse. There will also be entertainment from local acts.
Towards the end of the two-hour show, the last Torchbearer of the day will light a celebration cauldron on stage at the event which will enable the Olympic Flame to be seen by the audience and mark the end of the flame’s travels for the day.
The torch is now on day 27 of its journey across the UK, travelling the 140 miles from Edinburgh to Alnwick and carried by 130 torchbearers.
Over recent months Northumberland County Council and event producer Culture Creative have been working behind the scenes with LOCOG (The London 2012 Organising Committee), Alnwick Castle, community partners and key sponsors to co-ordinate the event.
Councillor Neil Bradbury, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council said: “The buzz and excitement of the torch’s arrival has surpassed all expectations. It really is a momentous few days for our county. The interest and impetus has been building for months and massive crowds of people are already turning out to see the torch and cheer on the torchbearers, each of whom has an inspirational story to tell.
“Northumberland is certainly going to get its 15 minutes of fame this week. The torch relay has enabled us to put the spotlight on our beautiful county and showcase it on a national and international stage.”