Send us news by text, start your message CN News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Surbiton basks in glow of Olympic torch
Huge crowds gathered in Surbiton this morning as the Olympic torch came through the town centre.
A cheeky sports fan gave them something to cheer about as they bathed in glorious sunshine eagerly anticipation the flame’s arrival.
Matt Parker, 30, worked up a sweat as he strutted along Victoria Street dressed head to toe in a purple jump suit, moments before the iconic beacon arrived.
He was carrying a homemade torch to roars from the amused crowds before dodging an irate-looking policemen to escape over the barriers.
The sales worker was dared to don the dashing dress by boss Liz Holmes at Crystal Ski Firm based in Victoria Road.
He said: “That has just won me a fiver so think it was worth it.
"I was a little bit worried they might mistake me for a terrorist and all the police would grab me, guess the suit threw them off the scent.
“I seemed to get a good reaction from the crowd so I'm glad I did it now."
Thousands lined the street dressed in their best summer garb, giving the appearance that the people of Surbiton had declared the torch relay parade a bank holiday.
Instead of beavering away at their desks, Maddie Thake and her boyfriend Daryl Burgess, both 28, hung around to see the torch pass through Surbiton Crescent.
Miss Thake said: “We might be a little bit late but this is a chance that does not come round everyday so am sure it will be ok to miss 5-10 minutes.
“I am looking forward to seeing it pass but worried about the traffic when the whole thing starts because it might be a bit of struggle getting in.
“I will probably love it at the weekend when we can sit and watch it and then hate it for the rest of the week when all the traffic starts.”
Anticipating big crowds the Leighs family arrived early to get a good position, soak up the sun and enjoy the atmosphere.
Mum Anya, five year old Armin and two year old Olga made the five minute trip down St Mark’s Hill from Berrylands to take up a prime spot just outside Surbiton station.
Mrs Leigh said: “Because we only live just up the road we thought it best to get here early. I don’t think we will get a chance in our lifetime again so it could not be missed.
“The school holidays are here so we thought why not. The weather is nice and everyone is enjoying the party mood.”
Whistle blew and crowds cheered as the torch, accompanied by a motorcade, arrived and then quickly left, heading towards Kingston.
As office workers scrambled to catch their trains into work and families dispersed into cafes to enjoy a well-earned cup of tea, others lingered to reflect on a historic day.
Jonathan Miller took the day off work to watch the torch relay with his daughter Natalie.
He said: “It is well worth taking the day off for and has really got us in the mood for the real thing starting on Friday.
“The crowds cheered. The weather was out to greet us, what more could we ask for?"