Torch moves among highest in the land

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The Olympic Torch moved into Derbyshire yesterday, taking in a trip in a cable car above the Peak District at Matlock Bath.

Gymnast Dominick Cunningham was cheered on by hundreds of spectators as he proudly held the Torch in a Heights of Abraham cable car, appearing unconcerned as wind rushed through the open windows.

Benjamin Hope carries the Olympic Flame at Chatsworth House

Benjamin Hope carries the Olympic Flame at Chatsworth House

The Torch later travelled on to Chatsworth House, where it was welcomed onto the South Lawn by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

Cunningham, 17, from Birmingham, said: “It was just brilliant – bringing everyone together for the Olympics.

“It was just beautiful coming up in the hilltop to see everyone celebrating for the Olympics and just waiting for the competition now.”

He said he practised on the cable cars once before his big moment and the weather was actually worse than yesterday’s blustery conditions.

“I’ve done it once before, hanging out the window, as a trial run and today was actually better – it wasn’t as windy as the one before,” he said.

At last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, Cunningham was the most successful gymnast with a haul of two golds, a silver and a bronze.

Cunningham posed for photos with the Torch with a sweeping view of the Peak District behind him, close to an Olympic mural painted by artist Tess Willoughby and local schoolchildren.

The colourful mural was made up of students’ designs chosen for their “bold and energetic natures”, Ms Willoughby said.

“I am so proud of this Olympic mural and of the students who painted with me throughout the last week,” she said.

“Their designs look stunning against my simple woodland-inspired backdrop.”

After leaving Matlock Bath, the flame continued its journey towards Bakewell and Chatsworth House, having earlier also taken in Bolsover and Chesterfield.