THE stage was set, the Olympic torch was to pass through Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Hexham and Riding Mill that June.

Ten-years-ago, preparations to mark the once-in-a-lifetime Olympic Torch Relay could now begin - in earnest - after the official route was released.

A meticulous, minute-by-minute schedule was prepared which would see the torch make its Tynedale debut in Prudhoe, arriving from Blaydon.

A big celebration was planned for the town, including the resurrection of the Miners Race of the 1920s.

Planned for Stocksfield, its next stop, was a fair at Broomley First School and a cricket match in the village.

The torch - and its associated convoy of around 50 vehicles - would then take the A69 to Hexham.

It would then finally take in Riding Mill.

Early indications were that the torch would come straight down through Alnwick into Newcastle.

And although delighted, communities in our parts could be part of the big day, there was disappointment that the torch wouldn't be carried through Hexham town centre - instead stopping in Wentworth Leisure Centre - or into the 7th Century crypt of Hexham Abbey.

With the route mapped out, the local torchbearers where also announced with Tynedale residents - both old and young - chosen to carry the torch over a distance of approximately 300 metres.

Then Ovingham Middle School pupil Sam Smith, aged 12, was the youngest person from the area chosen to carry the flame.

Sam, of Wylam, who has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, would carry the torch through Ashington - the day before it hit Tynedale - on June 15.

Former Prudhoe High School student, James Caroll was chosen to carry the flame through Alnwick. The then 24-year-old from Stocksfield was teaching in Seoul, South Korea, at the time.

The late Hexham footballing hero Doug Robson, Tynedale's Sports Personality of the Year, was also delighted to be selected as a torchbearer - but a little nonplussed to find he was dong his stint at Gordon in the Scottish Borders.

Dick Moules, one of the driving forces behind the award-winning Humshaugh Village Shop, would run from Alnwick.

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