Well today was the day the Olympic flame arrived at the station.
It was dull humid and intermittently wet, the ideal day to draw a crowd.
Before the main event we had the security train check the line.
Here it is passing the signal box. This picture is © Jacquie Dart
And here it is arriving at my platform 1, as you can see nothing very flash just a class 14 with a guards van.
The tension was building for the main event. The crowds gathered as you can see from this picture again © Jacquie Dart
The event was covered by Anglia TV who did a live interview with the railways President. Here are a few pictures of the proceedings.
Then the main event, the Olympic flame arrived, now note I say flame rather than Torch as the flame was carried in a lantern on the train.
Not an ideal picture but my priority was the train not photography. Still it captures the moment I think.
Here is a picture taken by the wife which at least is in focus!!!
Then it was all over the flame was run to the convoy then out towards the city centre. The crowds disappeared quickly and that was it.
Now the keen amongst you may have detected that Old Arkwright seems less than keen on the event. Well spotted!!!
Now I appreciate this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but several things failed to get my interest.
First was that we had the lantern and the flame rather than the torch and the flame, several people commented to us as we were leaving what a disappointment that fact was.
Second, as I have said to a few people I can’t help but think that the money this has cost could have been better spent on things like hospitals, education and the like.
Finally because we had the lantern and not a torch it will perhaps remain in the minds of many as a disappointment, and that’s surely not a legacy we want.
Sure we had the shop open and took some money, but whether we get any long term benefit come to the railway is another matter, certainly with the exception of a couple of regulars in the crowd I recognised nobody as a past customer or a regular visitor, and I would hazard a guess that 99% of those present will likely as not ever have visited the railway before, nor will they visit it again.
So how we stand to benefit as a railway long term is beyond me, so I do ask myself the question “Was it worth it?” and I am sorry to say personally I don’t really think it was to be honest. But that’s just my opinion, what do you think?
Finally I would like to thank Sue my wife, Jason, Nathan and of course David Smith the President and his wife Judith for their help today, I could not have done it without you. Thanks especially to Judith for kindly bringing along a couple of cakes she had made, they were excellent and if any of you reading this blog get the opportunity to taste one of Judith’s cakes don’t turn it down because if you do you will miss a treat.