The lead photo has to go to Myles Clark carrying the Olympic Torch through Tarbet at around 10.30 this morning – because he’s from Argyll and he’s bringing the flame to an Argyll audience. The other Argyll torchbearers have been rostered for duty elsewhere, with the honour of bearing the flame in his own area going to Myles.
The Flame came first to Luss where Fiona Phillips who covered the event there for us, estimated that around 500 people had come to see it.
The Loch Lomond Seaplane buzzed the Pier in Luss a few times and then, to general delight, came in to land. You could hear it in the air from Tarbet – it has a distinctive engine note – but not a wing in sight.
There must have been another 500 at Tarbet where the Marquee on the lochside lawn under Ben Lomond on the far side of the loch hosted the Pipes and Drums from Wild Biscuit’s MOVE and a ,joint choir from Tarbert Academy, Lochgilphead High School and Coisir Og Dhail Riata – singing The Flame, the song written by Wild Biscuit for the occasion.
Willie Young and Nicola Hackett for Argyll and Bute Council did a superb job, as did all of the other staff involved, David Campbell and the team from Dunoon’s Riverside doing the stewarding and the security detail – all of whom were good natured and helpful throughout.
We’re publishing this introduction to let everyone see what it was like at both Argyll venues waiting for and seeing the Olympic Flame pass through.
There’ll be more news and more photographs later from Luss and from Tarbet when we’ve had a chance to review them all – probably in a second article.
Argyll did not stint its welcome for the flame, nor for Myles Clark who is already an example to his peers in how to cope positively with adversity – and who will now be a wider hero. He had support from the crowd, from his classmates and from neighbours where he lives. like Chris Thornhill, who arrived with poster messages no one would dispute.
The weather eventually saw off the blight of midges which were taking copious advantage of early humidity, a rather overcast sky and no wind. The clouds thinned, the sun shone, the temperature rose and the midges chose cover.
Just down the road Arrochar school, which is on the lochside in Tarbet, was full of the most glorious flaming torches, made by the children in special T-shirts for the occasion designed by themselves. The scene in the school grounds was arguably the greatest spectacle of the day.
The event was well and tightly organised with nothing at all left to chance. Much interesting stuff in this – and some surprises – to come later.
We are endlessly grateful to Councillor Dougie Philand who emailed us the lead photo of Myles Clark in Tarbet with the Torch. For Argyll had a camera malfunction minutes before Myles and the torch arrived. Not what you want. Councillor George Freeman offered to do the same. The shot of Myles was the key shot we needed to get for everyone to see and we appreciated enormously the sense of teamwork in making sure it was possible.