2:46pm Friday 25th May 2012
By Ruth Mansfield
HISTORY was made in Monmouth today as around 20,000 people gathered in the town to see the Olympic torch make its first appearance in Wales.
Despite the torch not being due at Monmouth School until 10.44am, crowds were beginning to fill the street as early as 9am ready for the special event.
Waving their Union Jack and Welsh flags, tens of thousands of people including around 6,000 local schoolchildren, were soon cheering and clapping loudly as the excitement built up to the big moment.
Among the special outfits on display in the crowd were special red, white and blue dresses and Union Jack headbands and sunglasses. Accessories included hand-made crowns and paper torches.
With the sun shining brightly, the crowds raised their cheers as Hazel Cave-Browne-Cave, 44, of Raglan, Robyn Tyler, 21, of Monmouth and Kelvin Perrett, 64, of Cwmbran all enjoyed the honour of bringing the torch into Wales.
Mr Perrett, who has survived cancer and overcome a heart attack and knee replacement all in the past three years, waved proudly to the crowd as he carried the flame over Monnow Bridge before the torch left Monmouth.
Claire Reynolds, of Monmouth, was in the crowd with her mum Kim and daughter Jessica, four.
She said: "I’m not going to see something like this again. It’s quite a unique moment. It’s a moment of history."
Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and First Minister Carwyn Jones were also among those watching the celebrations.
Mr Jones said: "It is great to see so many people in Wales being part of such a big event."
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