My Brother, a Torch Bearer

I’ve just got back to Gaskell Towers from Sevenoaks in Kent, whereupon my family all descended to cheer on my brother Mike Thorn who had his ‘Moment to Shine’ this lunchtime as a Torch Bearer.

This morning there was much debate, as none of us knew Sevenoaks well, if at all, about where to park, which resulted in my daughter and I arriving ridiculously early to bag space in a nearby sideroad. But that gave us nearly two hours to get into the spirit.  We walked the route of his section at the top of the town near the hospital (320yds so we were told), and the rest of the family joined us at the bus-stop where we’d been told the handover was happening, along with loads of his work colleagues and other friends.

Initially there was a lot of hanging around. Mike’s work colleagues from British Airways gave out lots of boom stick balloons – an opportunity to ‘Fly the flag’! We chatted to the stewards and found out he was being handed over to by a twelve year old called Georgia.  I also found out that the point at which one flame lights the other is called the ‘kissing point’ – sweet!

Mike was nominated by British Airways, where he works at Heathrow, for his addiction to marathon running, and through that fund raising for various charities, and charitable good works locally to his home. He’s a Rotarian too, and will shortly be a District Governor; some of his Rotary Colleagues were also there to cheer him on.

Then things started happening … policemen on motorcycles came down, followed by various coaches, a car with Wenlock the mascot, then some sponsor’s lorries.  

Then we realised that we’d not seen Mike yet!  We were all waiting at the official handover point that we’d been told, but it turned out that they decided to do it further up the road so the young girl before didn’t have to carry the heavy torch so far.  So several of us ran as fast as we could (that meant a slow jog for me!) up the road, to get the all important pictures…

Well done little brother!

We’re all very proud of you.

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9 thoughts on “My Brother, a Torch Bearer

  1. Fab! There’s something very special about that torch procession – it gave me tingles when we saw it in Abingdon (even if we did have to get up at stupid o’clock to make sure we could get there on time). Congrats to your brother.

  2. Thanks Ali. We were in Wales when it came through Abingdon, so I’m glad we could go and see my brother. It’s all over in a flash though, and I didn’t get to see the crowds round the corner where he and the next torch bearer apparently did a little dance – typical! Looking forward to those other photos.

  3. That’s brilliant for him – I live near Tunbridge wells (not far from Sevenoaks), and the atmosphere was great on Tuesday when the torch passed through!

  4. You must be so proud of your brother and it’s quite a memory to have!
    I must admit that I haven’t had any personal experience of seeing the torch relay although I know there was a huge crowd when it came through Harrogate in June and some people had been staking out their places six hours before it came through!

    A friend of ours who has raised thousands of pounds for Parkinsons research carried it in Thirsk and my other half went to support him but sadly I was stuck in the office with a client crisis.
    Another friend who runs a youth club for disadvantaged kids carried it in Leeds but we missed that too!

    • Very proud indeed Liz. It’s over too quickly though – all that waiting then you see it for a minute if that – but he was worth it!

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