Olympic fever sweeps the Wetherby district on day 32

19 June 2012.....  HRH Princess Beatrice meets children at Harewood House where the Olympic Torch visited on  its tour of Britain.
19 June 2012..... HRH Princess Beatrice meets children at Harewood House where the Olympic Torch visited on its tour of Britain.

THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of the surrounding villages and towns of Wetherby to watch the iconic flame make its way through their communities on Tuesday.

As well as visiting Wetherby town centre, day 32 of the torch relay route saw the flame being welcomed at Monk Fryston, Barkston Ash, Tadcaster, Boston Spa and Harewood.

Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry'Picture shows The Olympic torch arriving at Harewood House in Yorkshire being carried by Janet Baker & is greeted by HRH Princess Beatrice of York.

Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry'Picture shows The Olympic torch arriving at Harewood House in Yorkshire being carried by Janet Baker & is greeted by HRH Princess Beatrice of York.

The torch received a real royal welcome when Princess Beatrice made a visit for the flame’s arrival at Harewood House.

The princess was the special guest as the torch relay arrived to greet hundreds of schoolchildren who cheered torchbearer Janet Baker along the entrance of Harewood House.

Beatrice met Miss Baker, 33, on the steps of the house along with the Earl of Harewood.

Earlier on in the day, in Tadcaster, crowds turned out in force to watch the historic relay as four torchbearers were cheered along by hundreds of schoolchildren outside Tadcaster Riverside Community school.

The Olympic torch in Wetherby

The Olympic torch in Wetherby

Claire Wood, Yorkshire Community Hero 2010, was one of the torchbearers. Mrs Wood, 32, suffers from a rare form of arthritis and has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

In Boston Spa, the first village in West Yorkshire to welcome the torch, Wetherby resident Maureen Brewer, chairman of Wetherby and District Crime Prevention Panel, carried the torch down Boston Spa’s High Street.

Maureen, 73, who has been a Wetherby police volunteer for more than 26 years, said: “It was absolutely unbelievable and really really exciting.”

“The crowd was deafening. It was a day I will never forget.”

The torch also visited the village of Barkston Ash, which came to a standstill as hundreds came out in the sunshine to see the torch pass through.

Louise Hanen, 50, from Castley, had her torch lit by the Olympic flame before running into the village. She said: “I am doing this in memory of my father and people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

Louise is a member of the Acorn committee, which raises awareness and funds for sufferers of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia and their families in the Ripon and Harrogate area.