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Youngsters recreate Olympic torch on Cerne Abbas' chalk giant
YOUNGSTERS were fired with Olympic enthusiasm when they took part in an unusual celebration in advance of the 2012 games.
Pupils from Cerne Abbas First School joined forces with members of their local community and children from other schools to climb the hill and recreate the Olympic torch on the famous chalk giant that overlooks their village.
Members of Sydling Pre-school, Leweston School near Sherborne and Dorchester and District Lions Club also took part and everyone dressed in yellow, red and orange to create a living flame on the giant’s club.
To add to the excitement, a Lynx helicopter from RNAS Yeovilton did a special flypast and dipped its nose in respect to everyone’s hard work and a light airplane also flew by to see what was going on.
Cerne Abbas First School head teacher Helen Williams said: “We wanted to do something special for the children who are not on the route when the Olympic torch comes. They might not see the torch, but we wanted to commemorate it in some way.
“We also wanted to do something that says ‘this is Dorset, it is beautiful and we are very proud of it’. It is an advert for and celebration of our beautiful county and we want people to come here and visit it.”
Mrs Williams, who celebrated her birthday on the hill, added: “It was brilliant, a fabulous thing to do and I can’t thank everyone enough who took part and helped to make it happen.”
Year 4 pupil Emily said: “It took a long time to get up the hill and was a long walk but it’s a really good thing to have done.”
Once on the hill, everyone taking part was marshalled by Thomas Hardye School teacher Jane Still whose husband Jonathan is the vicar of St Mary’s Church in Cerne.
Jane, who used flour to make an outline of where the children would stand, said: “We were planning on doing this in February but thought that it would be too cold and too dangerous if the weather was wet.
“The February date would have coincided with the feast of Candlemass, and also the Pagan spring festival of Imbolc, which we thought was appropriate for the flame.
“But whatever your faith, we felt that the flame was a lovely thing to do and that everyone would enjoy doing it and remember it.”