For the school children of Wensleydale and Swaledale the visit of the Olympic Torch to Aysgarth Falls on June 20 was a very special occasion thanks to the torchbearers, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Police and many others, including parents and teachers. The torchbearers at Aysgarth Falls were Lucy Gale (left), Caroline Curtis and 89-years-old Maurice Collett.
Official school groups from Arkengarthdale, Reeth with Gunnerside, Bainbridge and West Burton lined part of the National Park’s car park above those famous falls along with some of the children from Askrigg school who had been brought by their parents. And children from Middleton Tyas CofE Primary School also had a chance to see the torch at Aysgarth Falls thanks to their parents (below).
One of the big surprises was how the Police motorcyclists, in their leathers and fluorescent jackets, took time off from their duty of providing those rolling road closures (or rolloing as it was shown on the sign at Aysgarth) to enjoy themselves as impromptu cheer leaders (below).
The other surprise was to find that Caroline Curtis was not mentioned on the official London Olympics website. Only Maurice Collett and Lucy Gale, who carried the torch into the car park and on to the photo call overlooking the middle falls, were listed as being at Aysgarth. Thankfully the BBC news site did mention Caroline and showed a fantastic photograph of Maurice handing over to her on the bridge overlooking the river. For many of the children Caroline was the star of the show in the way that she spent time with them. Both she and Maurice took time to let the children touch the torch and to answer their questions.
Above – Maurice with Richmondshire District Councillor Yvonne Peacock behind him.
The Chief Executives of the YDNPA, David Butterworth, and of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity, were there to see what an exceptional job had been done to make it so special for the children.