Crowds defy storms to cheer on Olympic Torch

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Heavy rain and thunder failed to stop the crowds gathering to greet the Olympic torch yesterday as it continued its journey through the East Midlands.

Hundreds of well-wishers and schoolchildren wearing green caps and brandishing brollies cheered as 16-year-old Laura Graves, from Grantham, was greeted by Robin Hood and Maid Marian as she ran through Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire with the flame.

Ignoring the “no fire” signs in the forest, Miss Graves stopped briefly at the Major Oak for a photo, before continuing on to Edwinstowe. The 800-year-old oak tree was, according to folklore, Robin Hood’s shelter.

Miss Graves, who attends Kevesten and Grantham Girls School, was nominated for her work with Guides and Brownies.

The torch also travelled through Mansfield, Kelham, Newark, Balderton, Grantham, Radcliffe on Trent and West Bridgford before reaching Nottingham, where Olympic and world champion ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean greeted the flame.