Flotilla helps Olympic Torch across Windermere

Torchbearer Stephanie Booth stands on the Tern, on Lake Windermere, as she carries the Olympic Flame Credit: LOCOG

A flotilla joined the Olympic Torch as it was carried on a steamboat across Lake Windermere tonight.

It made its 122-mile journey from the Robert Burns statue in Dumfries to finish in Bowness-on-Windermere ahead of a spectacular firework and dance party which is part of the London 2012 Festival.

Talented triathlete Stephie Booth, 14, from Windermere, was given the honour of carrying the torch on its journey across the lake and into her home town in front of a huge crowd.

She said: "I was really nervous, my arms were killing me and my face felt like rubber coming across.

"It was quite surreal with all the people and the cameras flashing.

"I was very nervous at the start because I didn't want to singe anyone's hair and everyone kept coming up to me. It would have been a bit embarrassing."

Earlier, the Olympic Torch was taken through the West Cumbria towns of Cockermouth, Workington and Whitehaven, which have seen the tragedies of devastating floods and shootings by taxi driver Derrick Bird in recent years.

Among the torchbearers was local GP Tim Sowton, who tended to the injured at the roadside two years ago when Bird was still on the loose.

His wife applied for him to be involved in the relay on the anniversary of the rampage as she saw it as a positive thing to do.

Suzanne Day was chosen as well in recognition of her support for people affected by the floods and the shootings.

And volunteer mountain rescue leader Michael Park was chosen to take part in Cockermouth after he worked for his community in both incidents.

Tomorrow the torch heads south to Blackpool where Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd from boyband McFly and his dance partner will strut into the famous Tower ballroom.