2012 Olympic countdown sees thousands celebrate in Barkingside

There may have been 369 days until the 2012 games, but Olympic fever gripped the thousands of people who turned out for the Inspiration Festival in Fairlop Waters on Sunday.

People came out in their numbers to show their support for the looming Olympic Games, with about 300 taking part in a 10,000m run around the lake, and were greeted at the finish line by Tessa Sanderson.

About 60 members of the Golden Years and Dance Troupe took part in a chair dance, while the Recorder’s mascot Scoopy met youngsters and learned some karate moves.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince held a meet the leader session at the event, which he hailed as a great success.

“I spoke with many residents and was able to give good advice,” he said.

“As I was very busy doing this I didn’t get much of a chance to take in the sights and sounds, but I did see the singing and dancing displays put on by a variety of cultures, which was fantastic. “I’d like to be able to repeat this next year, although obviously it will be a slightly different festival as the Olympic Games will be in full swing”

Fairlop resident Ron Jeffries said: “I am hoping this will become a fixture in Redbridge’s calendar. It was such a fantastic event and really well received.

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“I’ve lived near Fairlop for years and I’ve never had a chance to go across the lake in a ferry. So much time and effort was put into this and it was such a brilliant success,” he added.