More than 10,000 people are thought to have crammed into Sheffield's city centre to welcome gold medal-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis back home.
She told the crowd: "This is my home and this is the place that I love."
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The department store chain said nearly 400 jobs would be lost as it grapples with the pressures facing the retail sector.
Consumer prices have rocketed by 58% since 2003, with the UK industry paying the biggest bills in Europe.
Friday will be a much calmer day for many, with the weather set to remain dryer with sunny periods and much lighter winds than on Thursday.