Olympic torch: Flame boards steam train for York to Carlisle leg

Josephine Loughran on the Scots Guardsman steam locomotive
Image caption Josephine Loughran carried the Olympic flame on the Scots Guardsman steam locomotive

A runner who donated part of her lung to her sister has taken the Olympic flame on board a steam train as the relay travelled from York to Carlisle .

Josephine Loughran carried the flame on the Scots Guardsman from York's National Railway Museum to Thirsk.

A woman who helped two drivers who crashed on a railway crossing was also among the day's 85 torchbearers.

And some 20,000 people flocked to Carlisle's Bitts Park to see the flame light a cauldron at an evening event.

Day 33 of the torch relay started at York Minster where Jessica Hoggarth-Hall - who was celebrating her 14th birthday - got proceedings under way.

She was selected for overcoming her dyslexia through regular participation in drama activities.

The flame was then carried from the 14th Century cathedral, through the city's cobbled streets, to the National Railway Museum.

There Ms Loughran, from Esholt Shipley, climbed on the front of the Scots Guardsman for a photograph before the rail journey to Thirsk.

The 54-year-old underwent surgery to give a lung lobe to her sister Sheila, who had cystic fibrosis.

The Flying Scotsman train was originally going to be used for this leg of the journey, but more remedial work was needed on the engine, which could not be done in time.

Pipes and drums from the First Battalion, the Scots Guards piped the flame's arrival.

All Creatures Great and Small

Mrs Loughran used to run every day but gave up her passion temporarily so she could undergo an operation to donate one of the lobes of her lungs to her sister Sheila.

Image caption Birthday girl Jessica Hoggarth-Hall kicked off day 33 of the relay outside York Minster

The transplant worked but Sheila has since died.

During the day the flame travelled 134 miles to Bitts Park in Carlisle.

After taking in Thirsk - the home town of James Herriot, author of the All Creatures Great and Small series of books - the torch travelled to Northallerton, Aiskew and Bedale.

Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale provided a picturesque spot for Lucy Gale to take her turn with the torch.

Ms Gale helped the drivers of two cars, who had crashed on a railway crossing, to safety as a freight train approached.

Later arriving in Richmond, Helen Jackson, 38, from Huddersfield, took the flame to Richmond Castle.

She was chosen for the voluntary work she does at local hospices to repay them for the care they have given to some of her friends and family in recent years.

After a lunch stop, the relay travelled to Barnard Castle, where 48-year-old John McBride lived up to his local billing as the "barefoot runner" by completing his relay leg without shoes.

The torch relay the headed to Brough, Appleby-in-Westmorland and Penrith, where mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington made a return to the relay after carrying the flame to the summit of Snowdon on day 11 .

Bonington, who lives in Cumbria, told the BBC that he plans to auction his torch for charity. "It [the torch] is a very treasured item but at the same time I don't think I will keep it," he said. "It is something that can do good for charity and I have a charity in mind.

The torch relay culminated in England's second-most northerly city, Carlisle, where it received a rapturous welcome.

There, the day's final torchbearer, Jordan Little, lit the cauldron at an evening celebration in his home city. The 20-year-old was nominated for his work as activities co-ordinator for the Carlisle Youth Council.

The cauldron-lighting event was part of a celebration in Bitts Park, starring singer Katy B and Twist & Pulse, finalists in TV show Britain's Got Talent.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.

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