OLYMPIC TORCH 7.45am: 500-strong early morning turn-out in Battle to greet the torch

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THE historic town of Battle was preparing to welcome the Olympic torch this morning as it began its journey from 1066 country to Dover on day 61 of its journey.

By 7.30am, more than 500 people had gathered in the Battle Abbey grounds, including a number of children dressed in school uniform and Brownie outfits. Many were carrying flags and home made Olympic torches.

Despite the overcast and blustery weather, there was a party atmosphere in the crowd, who also included the town crier, while a number of dignitaries stood on the balcony over Memorial Hall waiting for the torch’s arrival.

It was a real festival atmosphere in Battle as they crowd waited for the torch’s arrival.

It was then due to make a trip on the East Hill Cliff Railway before heading on to Rye, Hamstreet, Ashford, Hythe, Sandgate, Folkestone and Samphire Hoe.