Crowds fill Bedlington streets for Olympic torch relay – Video

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THOUSANDS of residents and schoolchildren braved the weather to come out and watch the Olympic flame pass through Bedlington today.

Children from schools in the town lined the streets to watch a parade organised by Leading Link, which included a giant Chinese dragon-style Bedlington Terrier, before the torch passed through.

Torchbearer 091 Neil Douglass carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Tynemouth and Wallsend. The Torchbearer's name is provided in good faith, however the Press Association has been unable to verify it independently.

Torchbearer 091 Neil Douglass carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Tynemouth and Wallsend. The Torchbearer's name is provided in good faith, however the Press Association has been unable to verify it independently.

Barbara Gorton ran through the town with the torch, and later, Neil Douglass from Bedlington ran through North Shields.

He said: “It was absolutely incredibley. I can’t believe it, it’s really surreal.

“It was over before you known it, but the whole day was amazing, you are looked after from the minute you arrive until the minute they saty you can leave.”

Neil was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2010, and was nominated to run by his sister for his fundraising efforts.

“When she nominated me I never thought for one minute I would get it, and I would be standing there with a torch.

“I’m not an emotional guy, but it was quite emotional, seeing all the kids and all the crowds who had come out in the rain, it was trememdous.

“I felt such pride when I ran along, it was absolutely brilliant.”

Lisa Jones, from Bedlington, said: “It is amazing to be here, the wind and the rain have been awful but there are still thousands of people here ready and waiting to cheer on the torchbearers.

“It’s something that we just had to be part of and we didn’t want to miss it, it’s a cliche but it really is a once in a lifetime event and we are so proud that it is coming through Bedlington.”