Olympic torch relay in Cornwall was 'brilliant success'

Tassy Swallow
Image caption Tassy Swallow was the second torchbearer in Cornwall to carry the Olympic flame

The first day of the torch relay, which travelled through Cornwall, has been hailed a "brilliant success".

The relay started from Land's End on Saturday at 07:15 BST where several thousand people watched sailor Ben Ainslie run the first leg.

Malcolm Bell, from Visit Cornwall, said it had been "a brilliant day" and "showcased the county to the world".

The first day of the relay ended at Plymouth Hoe, Devon, where 55,000 people attended a live event.

'Rousing welcome'

Mr Bell said: "It was just amazing. The torch relay was kicked off to a great start, it showcased Cornwall and the people of Cornwall had a great day and celebration."

He added: "I was relieved to see it get over the [Tamar] bridge though because I didn't want anything to happen to the torch."

Cornwall Council tweeted that it had been "a great day" and Gaynor Coley from the Eden Project said: "What a day for Cornwall."

She added: "To be among the first places to witness this extraordinary spectacle was a moment we will remember forever.

"The rousing welcome that Cornwall gave the Olympic flame shows the true spirit of this special place to the rest of the world."

Some elderly residents in Marazion were left disappointed when the viewing point they had been allocated was missed by the torch relay.

But town mayor Bernadette Hall said the disappointment of St Theresa's Home was made up when torchbearer Duncan Graham visited the residents.

She said: "He met every resident and they were overwhelmed.

"Residents were able to hold the torch and it was an emotional experience because it was just very personal. It was a great ending to the day."

In Falmouth, the 10th stop for the torch, police estimated that the town's population doubled and its Business Improvement District said about £1.1m had been spent by visitors.

Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson said: "We said from the start that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the very best we have to offer and we certainly achieved our aim.

"I am very proud of Cornwall for coming out and supporting this event in such an incredible way."

Madeline Wood, 12, from St Austell, was the final torchbearer on day one of the relay and lit the cauldron on the stage at Plymouth Hoe.

Councillor Pete Smith, deputy leader of Plymouth City Council said: "Everyone has worked so hard to stage this event and I'm delighted it has been such a huge success."

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