The Olympic torch burst into flame at Magna Science Centre to begin its journey through Rotherham.
It was carried through the former Templeborough steelworks by children’s poet Debjani Chatterjee.
She first stood with it in front of the Big Melt, an original electric arc furnace which roars back to life with pyrotechnics and sound to recreate the steel-making process.
The Olympic flame mirrored those on the furnace behind her.
Ms Chatterjee, 59, said she was honoured to be asked to carry it.
Magna’s marketing manager Karen Staniforth said it was a chance to celebrate the vital role played by the region’s steel industry.
“We hope the Olympic torch will help shine a light on this heritage,” she said.
Magna Trust chairman Janet Lister said she was really proud that the torch had come to Rotherham.
“It’s a day of history for all of us,” she said.
Her godson Rafe Cawkwell-Stanfield, seven, of Woodsetts, was there to greet the town’s deputy mayor and the high sheriff of South Yorkshire.
Hundreds of schoolchildren lined Debjani’s route as she carried the torch through the vast centre.
The Johnston children, of Todwick, said they were thrilled to see the flame up close and described the event as “cool”.
From Magna the flame continued on its journey into the centre of Rotherham.