Thousands turned out to watch the Olympic Procession come through Henley on Thames and to catch a glimse of the Olympic Flame. Shops and Offices had let their staff out to watch, and Schools had closed for the morning to let the children attend – many were there with their parents as a family outing. The Olympic Flame was to travel through the centre of Henley, with the highlight of the event was the row pass planned with the torch to highlight the strength of the GB Rowing tem and the contribution that Henley has made to it. At about 9.30am the Torch bearer entered Riverside and passed the famous Henley Bridge and the Red Lion Hotel.
The large crowds made it difficult to really see the torch with its runner. However the huge cheering from the throng let you know where it was as it travelled towards the River and Rowing Museum iby Hills Meadow. The torch then passed to Sir Steve Redgrave and travelled in an Eight downstream to Leander, made up of young rowers from Henley, Leander and UTRC. This allowed the crowds to see the Olympic Flame in the open space of the river and to focus their cheering the more.
Crowds lining up on the bridge cheered loudly as the eight went underneath before turning around to disembark at Leander Club. Sir Steve graciously shook hands with all the other rowers in the eight before turning to the camreas. The Torch then left on its next leg out of Henley towards Bisham.
Once the Torch was out of sight, people started to return home, back to work or back to school. The coffee shops were heaving and there was a general air of residual exitement; Not just because of the upcoming Olympics, but more because the spectacle of the Torch was very much a shared once-in-a-lifetime event.
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