THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Maldon to welcome the Olympic torch to Essex today.
Undeterred by the rain, hundreds of flags waved and whistles blew as Scarlett Scott, 16, of Epping, handed the flame to Paul Goddard, 32, a football coach and marathon runner from Chelmsford, in Maldon High Street at 9.15am.
Tony Roberts, 75, of Tiptree, who was with his wife of 55 years Gill, said: “We got here at just before 7am and the atmosphere is just brilliant,
“We are so excited at seeing the torch, we can remember the last London Olympic in 1948 and there was not this much excitement.
“The Olympics have got so much bigger; it’s a fantastic community event.”
From the top of Fambridge Road, Rachel Aston, 19, of Southminster, took the torch and passed hundreds of Plume School pupils, who will later try to break the Guinness World Record for the most people doing aerobics at the same time.
By Tanya Braun