On Monday 9th July at 6:30am the Torch left Luton by the Dunstable Road, passing close to Holy Ghost, and was due by 08:30 in Milton Keynes town centre (but was not going near any of our churches).
A local news source reported:
"The Olympic Torch passed through Milton Keynes and Bletchley this morning to a rapturous welcome as thousands of supporters lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the relay. The torchbearers were joined by Gail Emms and were met with a city festooned with Union Jacks and enthusiatic crowds as the torch was carried along the H6 Childs Way, on to Secklow Gate and then to Silbury Boulevard before heading to Bletchley and a private engagement at Bletchley Park
. . .Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said: "This event has brought the whole city together, even early on a Monday morning and it is doubly special to have it come to Bletchley Park. I was so excited when it came past. This is the sort of thing that happens once in a lifetime. I remember when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee and came to my town and this is another one of those memories."
Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, added: "It's not often you get to see something like this. It is one of the few occasions that the adults were making more noise than the children - we're just as excited as they were to see the Olympic Torch come past. It's fantastic for the city and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of it." ."
At 9am it started its route through Bletchley, passing by the far end of Shenley Road from All Saints, and at 10:20 started through Buckingham, passing by the top of Chandos Rd where St Bernardines is situated.
Local news says:
" Well, it was really exciting ! Buckingham town centre was packed but we parked easily and followed the throng of people to find a place to watch the relay, buying a blow up Olympic torch along the way. Lots of flag waving and high fives from motorbike riding policemen added to the excitement and the atmosphere. Then the cavalcade arrived, first with promotional buses, lots of music playing and horns blowing and then the torch bearer with the lit Olympic Torch. Blink and you would have missed it - but my daughter was really excited and having been learning all about the Olympics, its history and ideals at school thought it was great. It is the first Olympics to be held in the UK in most people's lifetime and I thought it was brilliant. Roll on the Olympic opening ceremony and the lighting of the big Olympic Torch at the Games. "
By 10:40 it iwas to be in Winslow, passing in front of St Albans Chapel. Here, 69-year-old Buckingham parishioner Gloria Chaplin was one of the Winslow torchbearers, selected by her employer, BP.
At 11:15 the Torch was to enter Aylesbury from the north, its convoy passing by St Clares, then going through the town centre, but not past St Josephs. On its way out of Aylesbury it was to pass not far from Our Lady of Lourdes. It then doubled back towards the west side of town to visit Stoke Mandeville Hospital, honouring the birthplace of the Paralympics (where the Paralympic Flame will be lit on 28th August).
The Bucks Herald says:
"The Olympic flame has been cheered by thousands of people through the streets of Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville. A sea of colour and noise greeted the torch as it arrived in Aylesbury’s Market Square, where the crowds were five-deep, with many gathering long before the flame’s arrival. But there was plenty of entertainment on offer while they waited, with men on stilts and music helping to whip up a carnival atmosphere. After a torch ‘kiss’ between two torchbearers in the square, the flame headed up Walton Street and Walton Road, before receiving whoops of delight from hundreds of schoolchildren as it passed Aylesbury Grammar School and the Grange School. Spirits remained high even as the rain came down along Wendover Road, and as the relay travelled down Station Road it was greeted by church bells and endless applause. At Stoke Mandeville Stadium, more than 1,000 people, including children from local schools and the PACE Centre were out to celebrate the once in a lifetime moment. After a trip up and down the stadium track, with a ‘kiss’ at one end, the torch headed to the Mandeville School, before continuing its journey to Waddesdon. Earlier in the day, the relay passed through Winslow and Whitchurch."
By 2:15 it iwas passing through Waddesdon on its way to Oxford.