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Thousands see Paralympic torch pass through Deptford and Greenwich
THOUSANDS waited patiently in the rain yesterday for the arrival of the Paralympic torch in Deptford and Greenwich.
The torch had been running 90 minutes behind schedule throughout the day but crowds of people were kept occupied along the route, particularly at the Deptford Lounge where entertainment was laid on.
Lewisham Council said around 3,000 people watched as the torch made its way along Evelyn Street and the High Street.
One of the torch bearers was Ryan Kalifa from Bickley, a 16-year-old with autism who attends a specialist school in Surrey which helps with speech and language disorder.
Ryan said afterwards: "It was amazing. It was just outstanding really because you were supporting your country and you're holding something which is for history, like gold dust."
He said: "The people there were friendly and they had lots of fascinating stories to tell about themselves.
"There were big crowds - it was mad. Lots of people were cheering me and everybody seemed proud."
An estimated 1,500 also saw the torch in Greenwich as it was carried along Creek Road, arriving in Cutty Sark Gardens a short while later.
It then left, crossing the river onboard the Havengore, one of the ships which led the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant back in June and best known for carrying Sir Winston Churchill on his final journey during his state funeral.
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