Devon

Devon men recall the relay of the 1948 Olympic torch

Two men from Devon who were involved in the Olympic torch relay for the 1948 Games in England tell the story of their involvement in the torch's last journey through the UK.

The Runner

Mike Adams, who now lives in Torquay, ran with the torch in Wiltshire when he was 17, describing it as a "special moment".

He still has the torch from his leg of the relay and has asked to run with it again in 2012.

Image caption Mike Adams said his run was a night to remember

"What they did in those days was ask athletics clubs and police and people like that, and each county would provide the runners.

"I was in Wiltshire and my club was asked to provide two runners and I was one of them.

"I ran from Barford St Martin to just behind Wilton, going towards Sherborne in Dorset.

"They were hoping that you'd roughly run two miles in 15 minutes. Unfortunately, mine was a little bit uphill and I didn't expect that.

"You then lit the next person's torch, because it's the flame that was passed on, and you kept the torch."

Mike added that he was not alone in his journey either.

He said: "There was a police car in front, an AA bike and sidecar at the side, a police car behind and a coach picked you up when you finished. You had quite an entourage with you.

"It was a day to remember, or in my case a night, because it was 9.15pm, it was dusk, and then the flame went on from us to Exeter."

The Witness

Ted Ritson, 89, is a member of Torquay Royal Yacht Club.

He saw the relay in Torquay, which also hosted the water sports events of the Games.

Image caption Ted Ritson said he hoped to see the 2012 relay too

"It was a bit depressing seeing it and not taking part. I had applied, but had to watch from a boat.

"People came from all over the world.

"There were crowds as it came through Victoria Avenue, scout troops and other junior organisations were in parades.

"It was a good crowd when they said it was coming. It was fascinating."

He added: "If I'm still about, I'll see if I can go and see again."

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