Torch day – and the eyes of the world are upon us

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Thousands of people will gather in north Northumberland today and tomorrow to witness the passage of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

Enormous crowds are expected in the towns and villages through which the iconic flame will travel in the next 24 hours, not least in Alnwick, where it will remain tonight for a spectacular evening roadshow at the Pastures.

Scenes like those which greeted the Queen last June are expected, as months of preparations are finally put into action.

And the whole world will watch the spectacle unfold, as the images are beamed live around the globe.

Alnwick’s county councillor Gordon Castle said: “Just think how many millions of people across the world will be watching the Torch pass through our county. It’s incredible.

“We want to see the streets of Alnwick full and the Torch Relay getting the kind of reception the Queen did a year ago.

“It’s a very proud day.”

Northumberland County Council’s highways department and neighbourhood services teams have been out in force over the last week to spruce up the relay route, which covers 136 miles.