London 2012: Torch in touching distance of Olympic Park

There’s now just days to go before the Olympic Games finally comes to town in earnest when tens of thousands of people will daily flood into Stratford to witness the ‘Greatest sporting show on Earth’.

It’s the “Big One” as London Mayor Boris Johnson keeps telling us.

But for those who have not been lucky enough to win tickets for the sports extravaganza there is the chance to get an up-close and personal taste of Games fever.

The Olympic torch relay nears the climax to its 70-day tour of the nation, ferried around the high streets of many a town and city carried in relay by 8,000 successfully nominated torchbearers.

And in Newham’s case that time is at 10.40am today, Saturday, when the flame finally arrives at our shores via the Woolwich Ferry after completing its relay leg across the Thames from Greenwich.

From there it will make its way to Woolwich Manor Way, through Beckton to the steps of the Town Hall, East Ham at 11.20am, cheered into Central Park and the Mayor’s Show before making its way further down the high street before turning into Plashet Grove at 12.05pm.

It will then travel passed cheering crowds in Green Street at 12.15pm and into Romford Road, still with its escort in tow, before entering The Grove at Stratford at 1.30pm.

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In a change to the route, as the relay winds its way round the gyratory road system and Great Eastern Road runners will enter the �9bn Westfield Stratford City shops development before passing Theatre Royal East for a second time at 1.30pm, along the High Street before the Olympic Flame, lit in Greece, is official handed over to the running squad of Tower Hamlets.

It returns to Newham to end its relay journey six days later, on July 27, as the yet to be named last Torchbearer lights the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, Stratford, marking the official start of the Games.

The Flame then stays lit until it is extinguished at the Closing Ceremony, which will signify the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games.