Hethersett set to welcome Olympic torch

Hethersett residents toasted their success after it was announced the 2012 Olympic torch will be making a special detour to their village next year.

Although the village is not named on next year's torch relay route - as was revealed on Monday - organisers have decided to make a brief diversion on the morning of July 5 as a thank you to the hard work carried out by the community for its efforts to raise the excitement surrounding the London games.

Hethersett earned praise last year for organising more Olympic-themed public events per head of its population than anywhere else in the UK.

It was singled out by Sir Keith Mills, deputy chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, who visited the village last July to launch the eastern region's Open Weekend.

This summer, children from Hethersett's four schools – Woodside Infant and Nursery School, Hethersett Junior School, Hethersett High School and Hethersett Old Hall School – were given the chance to hold the original torch from the 1948 London Olympic Games which was on loan from Loughborough College.

On Monday night, local councillors, schoolchildren and residents toasted their success at attracting the latest Olympic torch to their village with a celebration at the library.

Shane Hull, chairman of Hethersett's Olympic committee, said he had known of the good news for weeks but had been sworn to secrecy until the official route was announced.

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He said: 'We feel very proud and honoured that the village has been recognised for its community spirit and efforts on its Olympic theme over the last two to three years. I speak for all of the village when I say we're as pleased as punch.'

Mr Hull added that the committee would be formulating plans for the special day in the new year, but hoped to have as many villagers involved as possible.

The Olympic torch relay route will include King's Lynn, Fakenham, Cromer, Aylsham, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowstoft and Southwold.