The Olympic Torch arrived in Wimbledon on Monday the 23rd July, and brought with it a heat wave after what seems likes two months of constant rain and dreary weather! Villagers, tourists and school children all came out to line the pavement on Leopold Road, a quaint little street of independent retailers and restaurants in Wimbledon to cheer on the Torch Relay runner.
The early birds began to make their way down at 2:30pm to reserve their spot on the side of the street, bringing with them camping chairs and snacks. No one was really sure what time the torch would arrive some thought as early as 3pm and some thought as late as 6pm, so there was a bit of a wait.
MaByLand, a baby brand who will be celebrating their 2nd year after opening their first shop in 2010, opened their doors to parents and their little ones to escape the hot afternoon sun whilst waiting for the torch to arrive. Sheena Woods (owner and mum of two) brought along her two little ones, Brannon and Siobhan as seeing the torch was a once in a life time opportunity! Sheena and the MaByLand team set up a table outside offering cold Squash, lollipops and best of all Free Union Jack Flags, so that everyone could really get into the spirit and cheer on the Torch Bearer in true Brit style!
More and more people gathered as the word spread that Leopold Road was the place to be. MaByLand were giving away free drinks, sweets and free flags, and other traders joined in too! In true Wimbledon style there were strawberries and cream, even a barbecue with Champagne (for the grown ups!) all laid on by the Leopold Road traders.
Siobhan (3years) invited lots of her friends from nursery and welcomed in other children who were escaping the hot sun. They all played Chinese whispers, ate far too many sweets and sang songs whilst waiting for the torch. It finally arrived at around 5pm carried by Charity worker and British Airways employee Kelly Gura. There was a huge cheers when she past the MaByLand shop heading down Leopold Road towards Wimbledon Viallge.
The traders, locals, and tourists all seemed to have a really brilliant afternoon in the sunshine, Sheena Woods said “Being able to see the Olympic Torch made everyone feel so much closer to the games, the children and our local community had a really fantastic time, it was great to get everyone together!”
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