'Amazing' torch relay passes through Lowestoft on 550 journey

The Festival of Suffolk torch relay was welcomed by a crowd at Pathways Care Farm, Lowestoft.

Service users Sally and Isaak carried the torch to Pathways Care Farm - Credit: Pathways Care Farm

Celebrations ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee were stepped up in Waveney last week as a torch relay visited towns and villages around the region.

The 550-mile torch relay is part of celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and made its way through Waveney last week.

Having arrived in Bungay on Thursday afternoon, May 26, the torch left Beccles the following morning to head to Lowestoft, via Barnby, Carlton Colville, Oulton Broad, Blundeston and Corton.

As part of the relay, two of Pathways' service users, Sally and Isaak, carried the torch in the rickshaw from Ness Park to the Care Farm in north Lowestoft, where they were greeted with cheers and clapping from dozens of excited guests.

Sally Payne said: "Riding in the rickshaw was a really fun experience.

"It was great waving at everyone in the passing vehicles and getting lots of waves, hoots and smiles back.

"It was interesting hearing about the torch and there was a fab turnout at Pathways waiting for us too."

The charity uses a 13 acre farm in north Lowestoft to provide therapeutic support and care for people with mental ill-health, learning difficulties or dementia.

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Geoff Stevens, director at Pathways Care Farm said: "The farm looked amazing and visitors really enjoyed the ambiance, the atmosphere and the generous welcome.

"The whole event was a huge success full of joy and enthusiasm.

"A great remedy for the last few years of gloom and lockdowns."

Following its visit to Lowestoft, the torch was carried to Kessingland, Wrentham, Reydon, Southwold and Wenhaston on Saturday.

On Sunday, May 29, it headed south from Halesworth, and was set to arrive back in Ipswich on June 1 for the Suffolk show, where a 500-person pageant is expected at Trinity Park.

The torch relay began last month in Brandon on May 13 and has visited 250 towns and villages in the county.

The festival is set to be one of Suffolk’s biggest ever community celebrations and the county’s way of marking the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

The torch designers say it symbolises a bright future for Suffolk and has been manufactured using high-tech design and production methods, including 3D print with ultra-lightweight carbon fibre.

It also references the past, particularly focusing on the 70 year reign of Queen Elizabeth.