Torch passes through Deeside

Almost 20,000 people lined the streets of Royal Deeside on Monday to watch the Olympic Torch Relay pass on its historic journey across the country.

Nearly 100 Torchbearers carried the Olympic Flame through Grampian in a two-day relay, which stretched from Tomintoul in Moray to Aberdeen and out through Stonehaven.

The Olympic Convoy was welcomed into Grampian by nearly 3,500 people at Tomintoul before arriving for a formal reception at Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside.

The weather remained dry for the Torchbearers as the Torch made its way down Royal Deeside, passing through Crathie, Ballater, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O’Neil, Banchory, Drumoak and Peterculter, Bieldside and Cults, before heading along Great Western Road in Aberdeen to a reception in the Castlegate.

Excited Torchbearer Izzy Tolometti, 12, a member of Garioch Gymnastics Club, was nominated by her school, Alford Academy. She carried the torch through Ballater.

Her mum Adele, of Alford, said: “Izzy took the torch to show all the girls at the club last night and is taking it to Alford Academy today (Tuesday).

“She felt really proud to have this opportunity and be part of a once in a lifetime experience. She was overwhelmed by the number of people, most of which were strangers, lining the way waving and taking pictures as she ran her stretch of the road in Ballater. Her grandparents and family, as well as members of the gymnastics club were there to support too. She has proudly taken her torch into school today to thank the school for this fantastic experience.”

Thousands lined the streets of both Aboyne and Banchory eager to catch a glimpse of the famous Torch - including flag-waving children from several local schools.

Thousands welcomed the Flame into Aberdeen before it arrived at the Castlegate for a free celebration, headlined by singer Emeli Sande and attended by 14,000 revellers with a further 11,000 celebrating in the city centre.

Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie said: “The Olympic Torch has been welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm by the people of Grampian. It is thanks to their patience and forward-planning that this leg of the Relay can be hailed as a success.”