We had a full team on duty last Sunday and Monday as the Olympic Torch came to town.
It was an incredible time for Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth and organisers of the relay say it was one of the highlights of the entire run towards London.
Of course the 70,000-strong crowd on Southsea Common on Sunday night was an amazing feature of the Torch’s stay here.
It came as no surprise to us when relay organisers said they believed it was the biggest attendance for any Torch event yet.
But that was just one feature of the day that will live long in the memories of those who turned out to catch a glimpse of the iconic symbol of the Olympic Games.
For thousands, it was a moment not to be missed. I was away for the weekend but, at the last minute, decided it just wasn’t on to miss a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Torch in Portsmouth so, in a quick turnaround, headed home early in time to get to the Guildhall Square.
It was a great venue in which to see the Torch, not least because of the great build-up to its arrival.
Full marks to the youngsters who sang and danced on the Guildhall steps to entertain the crowd – they put on a great show.
And on the big screen in the square, people were able to keep an eye on the progress of the Torch towards Portsmouth.
The number of people who lined the streets of Fareham and Gosport to watch it carried past was truly amazing, as was their enthusiasm. As well as our live internet coverage at portsmouth.co.uk we featured extensive coverage of the relay in the paper on Monday and Tuesday.
I have to say though in the rush to get as much as possible into Monday’s paper, we didn’t run many pictures of the scenes in the Bridgemary area of Gosport, which were truly spectacular.
A few readers from the area rang us to complain at the lack of balance and, although it wasn’t intentional, I agree having looked again at the pages that they had a point.
So on this page we’re running a few more pictures of the Torch’s progress through the Bridgemary area, where readers – just like those across the patch – did the area proud in showing how we can really celebrate a big event.
It was a moment of history – now let the Games commence!