Living in an Olympic City – Part 11 – The Torch in Camden Town

a digital clock with numbers and symbols

Countdown Clock

On the last full day of the Olympic Torch relay it came closest to my house in London. I decided I would get up early this morning and go down to Camden Town in the hope that being nearly at the start for the 26th July would mean less crowds than later.

I arrived at Camden Town, familiar to many tourists from visits to the huge Camden Market, at around 6.15am. The torch was due to leave the next stop up the Northern Line at 6.50am, and the initially small crowed grew as people, young and old, from the UK and abroad, turned up to see it.

a group of people outside of a building

Around 6.30am

The cavalcade started with Police motorcycle outriders, all sporting stuffed models of the Olympic mascots. The Police waved, the Paramedics waved, and the growing crowd cheered as the sponsors vehicles arrived first:


a group of people on top of a truck


a group of people in a parade

Coca Cola

a green and white bus on a street

LLoyds TSB Bank

A minibus carrying the other runners went past – they all seemed a little surprised by the size of the crowd, and a little nervous of the task ahead of them.

people on a bus looking out a window

Other runners in their minibus

Then, all of a sudden, the runner was there. The torch, tall and gold in the morning light, with a large flame, really did seem special. More special than I had expected it to be, the crowd cheered, the runner asked us to make it ‘louder’ and even at 7.15am in the morning the crowd raised the voices in reply

a man running in a parade

Torch outside Camden Town Station

A great start to the games for me- 1,000 Londoners carried the torch during its visit to the capital; 7,000 across the UK. As I write this, the day is nearly complete – the torch is awaited at Buckingham Palace where some of the younger members of the Royal Family will receive it.

So, in 27 hours, the games will have started – I can almost not wait.

a white flag with rings on it

Olympic Flag in The Mall