HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Pontypool to welcome the Olympic Torch this afternoon.

Crowds started to form a couple of hours before the event and were armed with flags, balloons and whistles on this day of glorious sunshine.

Maddie Hewitt, from Cwmbran celebrated her 21st birthday today and said the torch passing through Torfaen made it that extra bit special.

Alison Hill, 47, from Griffithstown was with her grandson Cole Jacob, nine, from Cwmbran for the special occasion.

She said: "I'm just so excited. I wanted to bring Cole here today so we could experience this once in a lifetime opportunity together."

The torch arrived in Pontypool Town Centre after making its way down from Blaenavon and through Abersychan.

As the convoy arrived crowds were cheering and waving their flags.

Julie Pearce, 50, who has lived in Trevethin all her life managed to touch the torch on the handover in the relay on Commercial Street.

She said: "It was absolutely fantastic. I stood there for more than an hour and it was well worth the wait.

"It's an experience you will never see again."

As the torch made its way out of Pontypool the crowds dispersed full of cheer.