A day to remember

Abigail Nelson at the Olympic torch relay in Girvan.
Abigail Nelson at the Olympic torch relay in Girvan.

After months of preparation and planning it seemed to be all over very quickly. Cheered on by hundreds of people including bus loads of school pupils from all over the area, the Olympic torch and its accompanying entourage of sponsors vehicles, camera trucks, motorcylce outriders and, it seemed, every Council street cleaning cart in Ayrshire, swept through the towns and villages of South Carrick with the speed of Usain Bolt on a good day.

From Ballantrae right through to Maybole, the local populations caught the spirit of the occasion and turned out en-masse to cheer the torch bearers on their way. In Girvan the whole route was crammed with families and flag-waving schoolchildren.

With half an hour to go before the torch’s arrival you could have been forgiven for thinking it was just an ordinary, fairly grey, day in Girvan.

Then slowly at first Mums, Dads, children, Grannies and Grandpas began to trickle down to line the torch’s route. In thirty minutes, the trickle had become a flood – it was 7.36 precisely, and Girvan was ready!

The first two runners gave everyone a chance to see the torch close up and get their pictures.

But it all got a bit frantic as the third runner took off towards the harbour like a 100 metres finalist, leaving photographers gasping for breath in a vain attempt to catch up. Wee Abigail Nelson, pictured left, waved and cheered the torch to the rafters as it passed through Stumpy Corner.

And then just as speedily as it had arrived, it was gone.

In 24 minutes it was all over and the cavalcade was on its way to Turnberry. Henrietta Street was empty and silent once more. Stumpy Tower was still sporting its finery – but Abigail’s party was over!

r see pages 16-19