THE roar of a thousand cheers echoed out across the waters of Windermere to welcome in the Olympic Torch, last night.

In one of largest spectacles ever seen in the Lake District, the flame crossed the lake on a boat, escorted by a hundred other vessels.

An estimated five thousand people lined The Glebe, in Bowness-on-Windermere, to watch as torch-bearer Stephanie Booth, 14, of Windermere, brought the sporting symbol in, on the 1891 ship MV Tern.

She arrived at Bowness around 8pm, along with about 100 excited primary school children, who shared her once in a lifetime ride with the torch, from Waterhead, in Ambleside.

Miss Booth waved to onlookers, with many waving Union Jack flags. She then transferred the flame to Jan Booth, 23, of Kendal.

The young torch holder, who is chairman of Cumbria Young Farmers, said she was ‘excited but very nervous’.

“It’s a huge honour to be able to do this,” she added.

Miss Booth, who is set to marry her fiancee Gary Mason, 31, of Levens, in three weeks, said she had chartered the flame’s progress and could not believe she would play a part in its tour across the UK.

She raced through masses of people, who had braved the Cumbria weather to watch the historic procession. The torch was carried up onto a concert stage on the Glebe, where it lit up a ceremonial beacon.