Olympic torch relay: Royal Manor's moment to shine

Image caption Harry carries the Olympic torch in Weymouth

A crowd of around 100 people were up and out early to watch the Olympic Torch pass Royal Manor Arts College on Day 56 of the Olympic torch relay.

Dozens of well-wishers arrived before 0700 with bunting, flags and banners. Everyone was in good spirits and the excitement was obvious as the police escort bikes came along Weston Road. Cheers were loud as the buses and support vehicles paraded by.

Keira and Jake were some of the first pupils to arrive outside the school, Keira representing the Sea Cadets, and looking very smart. They explained why being there was so important to them.

Keira said: "Because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the torch and to be a part of the celebrations and the great atmosphere it brought to the island and the community. Also because it is being a part of history and because it is something you can tell your kids and other people in years to come - that I was there on Portland watching the torch relay."

'Fancy dress'

Year 8 students Lia and Natalie ran along so as not to miss it: "We went to watch the Olympic flame go by at Royal Manor, it was great fun and everyone was getting in to the Olympic spirit ready for when the sailing starts at the Portland Sailing Academy. Once we watched the torch go past we went Easton to see the torch go up to The Grove. It was so much fun."

Talia and Sam were in fancy dress to stand out. They said: "It was amazing and worth getting up so early because Britain is the best! We were the only ones in all-in-ones.

"And everyone thought that we were joking but we were the warmest. We watched the relay on BBC iPlayer live with Sophie, Hannah, Beth, Jacob, Jemma, Abi & Harriet.

The girls also supported Harry, a Year 7 student at RMAC who carried the Olympic torch.

"We cheered on Harry in Year 7 because we love him! We saw Dan, Kian and Mrs Read running beside him and Tom outside his house, it was a very good experience and we are glad we saw it! Our favourite bit was running from Royal Manor down to Easton to watch the flame being passed over in an Olympic 'kiss'."

'Part of history'

Jake said: "Last night I went down to the concert on the beach it was amazing! Wretch 32 was great it was really loud and a great atmosphere. I also saw the Olympic Cauldron in Weymouth being lit.

"My Mum woke me up at 0500 to get ready to see the torch relay up at school. I got up there to see Keira and Mrs Parkes and lots of other people to watch the torch go past. The experience was amazing and knowing it is most likely going to be a one in a life time opportunity and we are part of History - wow!"

Melody and Danielle said: "It was great seeing the torch come past the school. We got up at 0530 in the morning to get up to see the torch, it was a great atmosphere, then we followed Mr Smith and Dr Mertens to go and get free bacon rolls and tea at the Methodist church!"

Savannah and Jessica were among those braving the weather on Weymouth beach; "We were all getting into a rave with Twist and Pulse when suddenly the Olympic Torch arrived and this brought the whole crowd to a memorable moment. We all thought that it would be a great historical moment to remember."