OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY: Massive crowds watch torch on journey to Worcester
AND the crowds just keep getting bigger. The Olympic torch was carried from Gloucester to Worcester, cheered every step of the way as those on the packed pavements basked not just in the glow of the flame but the arrival of summer.
SALUTE: George Livingstone-Thompson passing through military standards as he exits Gloucester Docks during his leg between Gloucester and Hartpury (Getty Images)
The heart of England certainly took the relay to its heart, with police estimates for crowd sizes more than double even the most optimistic expectation.
Olympic silver medallist and BBC swimming commentator Sharron Davies carried the flame in Leominster while Christopher Stokes, 43, took the torch for a ride on the Severn Valley Railway.
Charity worker Sally Flood was the last torchbearer, igniting a celebration cauldron at Worcester's County Cricket Ground.
"The Olympic torch relay signifies the start of an exciting summer of sport across the UK," said London 2012 chairman Seb Coe.
"The relay will last for 70 days and the flame will carry with it the values and spirit of the Olympic Games across the UK.
"A huge thank you to everyone in the south west and the west Midlands who gave the Olympic flame such a magnificent welcome and who helped us start the relay off in such style.
"We are looking forward to a fabulous five days in Wales, giving hundreds of inspirational people and many communities in Wales their moment to shine."
MOMENT TO SHINE: Christopher Stokes carries the Olympic Flame by train on the Torch Relay leg between Cleobury Mortimer and Bewdley (Getty Images)
Friday will see the Olympic flame across from England to Wales with 117 torchbearers carrying it from Worcester to Cardiff.
Grand Slam winning Welsh rugby captain Sam Warburton will carry the flame at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, where Team GB will kick off the London 2012 Olympics with a women's football match against New Zealand on July 25.
Lynn Davies, who won long jump gold at the 1964 Tokyo Games and is the president of UK Athletics, will also carry the torch in the Welsh capital.
While Darren Campbell, a member of the 4x100m gold medal quartet at the 2004 Athens Games, will take the flame in Worcester.
The 70-day relay will then spend five days crossing the Principality with evening celebrations also staged in Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor
"It is good to welcome the Olympic torch to Wales as this is a fantastic opportunity for all those chosen to carry the torch to show the world the things that make Wales unique," said Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.
"From journeying on a Ceredigion Cob and Llangollen canal boat to passing through our landmarks old and new, such as Caerphilly Castle and the Millennium Stadium, this looks set to be an exciting week for the relay and everyone involved."
© Sportsbeat 2012