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  • "I am a great fan of the olympics and am very much looking forward to when it starts in August. I cannot, however, understand the hysteria that appears to be surrounding this relay! Thousands of people are turning out - can anyone explain why?

    I get the fact that worthy people consider it an honour to carry the torch (with the exception of the corporate runners who are not worthy at all!!). I get the fact that lindyloon is enjoying watching it on the i/n in the Canaries - I suspect it has nothing to do with the "torch" at all but it must be nice to see familiar places and the odd familiar face. However, I cannot understand why 1000s and 1000s of people are lining the streets. All it is to me is a **** nuisance guaranteed to **** up my journey home tonight and the journey to work tomorrow!!"
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LIVE: Olympic Torch in York

LIVE: Olympic Torch in York

The Olympic torch comes over Lendal Bridge .

Luke Young carries the Olympic torch along Shambles.

Luke Young carries the Olympic torch into Kings Square.

The scene on Knavesmire as the torch arrived.

First published in News by

>>> Picture gallery from today's torch relay

7.20pm - So the torch is ready to spend the night in York and its bearers can put their feet up after a day they will never forget. But the party isn't over yet, as the thousands of people who have flocked to Knavesmire are treated to a huge free concert.

Thanks for following our coverage today. Our photographers have got some fantastic pictures of a memorable day for York and North Yorkshire, so don't miss The Press tomorrow.

And remember: you can keep sending us your pictures of the day the Olympic Torch came to town. You can email newsdesk@thepress.co.uk, text them to 80360 starting with the word YORK, or tweet them to @yorkpress

7.08pm - The ever-unflappable Harvey Smith has told the Knavesmire crowd that he is "very honoured" to have been asked to play his part in the torch relay, adding that Paddy, his horse, was "a bit frightened to start with but then he settled down". Paddy is apparently not used to large crowds, so this has been a big day for him as well, and Harvey says the horse is "a perfect gentleman".

7.02pm - Tens of thousands of people are at the Knavesmire to welcome the Olympic flame and play their part in York's day of celebrations.

6.58pm - Harvey's horse has now calmed down, the showjumper has dismounted and, following a countdown, the cauldron at Knavesmire has been lit. Our reporter Richard Catton has tweeted that there is an "incredible atmosphere".

6.52pm - Things have gone ever so slightly awry at York Racecourse, with showjumping legend Harvey Smith dropping the torch as his horse, Paddy, failed to settle. The flame has stayed alight, though, so no real disasters. Phew. It all adds to the fun, really.

6.50pm - Having passed through the streets of York for the last hour-and-a-half to cheering crowds, the torch is now about to make its appearance on the York Stage at the city's racecourse.

6.35pm - Our reporter Mark Stead has just got back from seeing the torch relay head down Shambles and along Pavement and said: "Even the weather has come good for the Olympic torch today and that's only helped the atmosphere around the city centre.

"There was a huge sense of anticipation when the torch was being carried along Shambles and a huge roar when it was held aloft outside St Crux Church. People have been saying that, after they've seen so much of the relay on television from other parts of the country, they can't believe they were so close to it."

6.18pm - There's a huge cheer from the crowd as it reaches the foot of Shambles, as the band plays Land of Hope and Glory. It's great weather here, a great turnout and a great atmosphere.

Glenn Marshall, 41, from Fulford, said: "It's a massive day for York to be playing a part in the Olympics and it's great to see so many people out to see the torch.

"It really has been like a carnival in the city today - everybody has seemed to be in such a good mood because of this."

Susan Peters, 66, from Holgate, likened the occasion to the Pope's visit to York in 1982 for the "feeling of togetherness and happiness".

"However far the torch goes around the country, I bet it will not get as big a welcome as it's had in Yorkshire - people have really done the county and the city proud today," she said.

6.16pm - The torch is coming down Shambles now. The streets around here are packed.

6.06pm - Some people have climbed a tree at St Crux for a better view, and the warm-up acts are keeping the crowds entertained at the foot of Shambles and on Pavement. The torch is due in King's Square at 6.15pm, the foot of Shambles by 6.19pm, and then on to Coppergate, Clifford Street and then over Skeldergate Bridge to Bishopgate Street.

5.55pm - There are big crowds now at the foot of Shambles, awaiting the flame's arrival there. Bands are playing outside St Crux as anticipation builds.

5.35pm - The crowd went wild as the flame changed hands in Tadcaster Road, between 15-year-old James Hunter and ex-Olympian Matt Shirvington, and large crowds are already gathering in St Helen's Square ahead of the procession's arrival.

5.18pm - Reporter Richard Catton tweets via @yorkpress: "Excitement at fever pitch here", as the first Metropolitan Police outriders arrive at York College.

5.05pm - Reporter Richard Catton tweets via @yorkpress: "Excitement building here at York College", as 200 cyclists gather to escort the flame into the heart of the city.

4.40pm - Scattered crowds are already gathering along Tadcaster Road to welcome the flame, which is due to arrive in York in about 40 minutes.

4.38pm - The Olympic Flame is now back in Convoy Mode, inside a lantern on the bus, while it travels to York, where it is due to arrive at about 5.20pm.

4.05pm - The Torch relay crew have just started moving again, following a well-earned break at Fountain's Abbey, and are about to enter Ripon.

3.25pm - The flame is now back in Convoy Mode, trapped in a lantern on a bus, and heading from Harrogate, where a fantastic crowd turned out to greet the torchbearers, to Fountain's Abbey.

2.20pm - The torch is now in Harrogate, with Andy McMenemy bringing it into the town. Last year, he ran 66 marathons in 66 days in 66 cities around the country, so the quarter-of-a-mile relay leg shouldn't be a problem for him.

1.40pm - About 15,000 people watched the Olympic torch as it passed through Bridlington yesterday, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council's chairman Coun Chad Chadwick has described it as "a once-in-a-lifetime event".

"The atmosphere in Bridlington was fantastic and it was great to see so many people showing their support for those inspirational people selected to be torchbearers," he said.

"The day will long be remembered by those who witnessed it. I was also in Goole today to see the torch and the whole town turned out to welcome the flame with a real community spirit."

Council leader Stephen Parnaby said the torch's appearance in Beverley, where almost 25,000 people turned out to see it, was "a proud moment", saying: "I would like to congratulate all those people who carried the torch through our area and thank visitors and our residents for their fantastic support."

UPDATE: 12.20 - Dan Bean here, just got back with a few thoughts from Selby and Barkston Ash.

The size of the crowds were amazing, there were probably a good couple of thousand in Selby, while the torch procession actually got held up for a minute in Barkston Ash as people flocked in front of the vehicles to get a better look.

The atmosphere was incredible though, and everyone I spoke to was grinning from ear to ear. The weather probably helped (it's very warm when you're running around in a suit trying to stay ahead of the flame, in case you were wondering), but everyone seemed proud just to be seeing the torch.

11.49am - The flame is now in Wetherby, having travelled this morning from Hull to Goole, to Camblesforth, to Selby, to Monk Fryston, to Barkston Ash, to Tadcaster, to Boston Spa and now Wetherby. Erica Hughes, 72, from Pocklington, started today's activities with the flame at The Deep in Hull. The final torchbearer today will be Harvey Smith at York Racecourse this evening.

10.51am - The village of Barkston Ash came to a complete standstill as hundreds of residents, schoolchildren and families came out in the sunshine to see the torch pass through.

Louise Hanen, from Harrogate, had her torch lit by the Olympic flame before running into the village. She said: "I am doing this in memory of my father and people with Alzheimers and dementia."

Louise is a member of the Acorn committee, which raises awareness and funds for sufferers of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia and their families in the Ripon and Harrogate area.

10.43am - We've added a picture gallery from the relay so far today. More pics will be added throughout the day.

10.40am - Keep sending us your pictures. You can email newsdesk@thepress.co.uk, text them to 80360 starting with the word YORK, or tweet them to @yorkpress

10.35am - In total today, the torch is being carried for just under 150 miles, and is taking in 15 communities, beginning in Hull and ending tonight in York.

10.30am - Our reporter Dan is tracking the torch as it is carried around Selby District, and says it is getting a great reaction everywhere it goes. It should be reaching Barkston Ash at 10.39am, Tadcaster at 10.43am, then Boston Spa at 11.13am.

9.48am - Our reporter in Selby says an estimated 5,000 people turned out there to line the streets as the torch procession wound along Bawtry Road from the Three Lakes Shopping Centre towards the Abbey.

Barry Mawer, of Green Lane, Selby, who waited for about 45 minutes for the torch to arrive, said: "I think it's brilliant. I didn't expect to see so many people out. The build-up has been smashing. My two grandchildren are at Selby High School and were really looking forward to it."

9.40am - The Torch has been carried through Goole, Camblesforth and Selby already, greeted by cheering crowds along the route. Next stop Monk Fryston, at 10.18am. Remember to keep sending us your pictures and comments, either below or on newsdesk@thepress.co.uk or on twitter @yorkpress

9am - THE stage is set for the arrival of the Olympic Torch in York today is it continues its historic journey through North Yorkshire.

After making its way through the streets of York this afternoon, the torch will be handed to showjumping legend Harvey Smith, who will bring the flame on horseback to the stage at tonight’s huge free concert on Knavesmire.

Yesterday, the torch arrived in North Yorkshire for the first time. In the village of Lythe, near Whitby, it was taken through the streets by 66-year-old York marathon runner and charity fundraiser David Heppell.

At Whitby the torch was taken aboard the steam train Sir Nigel Gresley and carried to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Railway general manager Philip Benham said: “The sun came out and railway was looking great. It’s a great privilege to part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

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