Friendly gesture saves the day ...

Blackhall Primary School twins Abbi (left) and Holly Tuck get a hand holding the banner they designed from Lucy Harris and fellow pupils who feared they would miss seeing the Olympic torch

Blackhall Primary School twins Abbi (left) and Holly Tuck get a hand holding the banner they designed from Lucy Harris and fellow pupils who feared they would miss seeing the Olympic torch

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THE day has been saved for pupils who feared they may miss out on a rare opportunity to see the Olympic torch pass through their village.

Youngsters from Blackhall Colliery Primary School are set to go on their annual residential trip to Broomley, near Stocksfield, in Northumberland.

They were disappointed to hear that they will be away when the Olympic torch passes through Blackhall on Sunday, June 17.

But their spirits have been lifted after Friends of Blackhall Primary School paid to lay on a coach to take them from Broomley Grange to Stocksfield, which is around three miles away, where the torch will also be paraded.

Without their generous donation of £150, the 28 Year 5 and Year 6 children and seven staff would have missed out on the historic opportunity.

They will be taking a school banner with them to cheer on the sporting flame.

The Middle Street-based school is sports-mad and two lucky pupils are set for an extra treat when Year 5 teacher Kay Stephenson takes them to the Olympic Stadium in September to watch the Paralympic athletics.

Mrs Stephenson said: “We have been going away on this residential for the past 20 years and the children really wanted to go.

“But when the torch route was announced they were really disappointed that they would miss it.”

The children will be busy doing outdoor activities with instructors on the Saturday when the flame reaches Stocksfield.

It would have been impossible for them to walk the distance from their base to Stocksfield in time.

But the Friends of the school were determined that they would step in and make sure the youngsters did not miss out.

Mrs Stephenson added: “The children are very excited and I think the parents are very pleased that their children still get the opportunity.

“We are well into our sports, having achieved the Activemark Gold award.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of the Friends and we can’t thank them enough.”