Olympic torch: Flame carried on SVR steam train
- 24 May 2012
- From the section UK
The Olympic flame rode on a Severn Valley Railway steam train on its journey from Gloucester to Worcester on day six of the torch relay.
The flame was carried from Bewdley to Kidderminster on the footplate of the Worcestershire Express, receiving an elephant's salute en route.
Earlier, large crowds cheered on former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies who carried the torch through Leominster.
In Worcester, West Mercia Police said about 60,000 people lined the streets.
A total of 119 bearers - and that one special locomotive - carried the torch over Thursday's 99-mile route.
After departing from Bewdley station at 16:05 the Worcestershire Express travelled to Kidderminster, via a stop at West Midlands Safari Park - right outside the elephants' enclosure.
Keepers at the park had prepared their two female African elephants, 20-year-old Five and Latabe, 19, for their special moment to give a "trunk salute".
They had a time slot of five minutes to wave the Union Jack flag before the train had to carry on its journey to Kidderminster.
Bob Lawrence, head warden at the park, told the BBC there had been "a huge amount of interest" in the elephants.
"It's a magnificent advert for the two principal attractions in the region," he said.
Earlier in the day London 2012 fencing hopeful, Sophie Williams, 21, was the third person to carry the flame as it passed from Gloucester Docks through crowded streets towards the city's cathedral.
Davies, who was the third of five torchbearers in Leominster, was only 13 years old when she competed for Britain at the 1976 Games in Montreal and four years later won silver in Moscow in the 400m medley.
As well as Davies' Olympic feats, she won six Commonwealth Games medals, including two golds at Edmonton in 1978, and was later awarded an MBE for her services to swimming.
The Olympian is now a TV commentator, has written a number of books and is currently patron of Disabled Sport England and The Sports Aid Foundation.
She also oversees her own annual event, Swim for Life, which involves more than 2,000 pools nationwide and helps raise money for many different causes.
She will be co-presenting BBC South's Olympic torch programme from Weymouth on 12 July.
Also at home in the pool is Samuel Leveitt, a 12-year-olds who carried the torch in Bewdley.
He has competed in national competitions organised by the British Disability Swimming Association despite losing parts of both legs and one hand after contracting meningitis in 2006.
The relay then passed through Droitwich Spa before arriving in Worcester, where the torchbearers included 28-year-old Thomas Neathway, a former member of the Parachute Regiment who was badly injured four years ago when he triggered a bomb while serving in Afghanistan.
An evening celebration at New Road, the home of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, followed with a specially composed piece about the city's history called Raise The Sky sung by a 1,000-strong choir.
West Mercia Police tweeted that approximately 10,000 people attended the event.
A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame on its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey around the UK to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.