Riding a royal wave...
WE go back just 20 years for this week s Days of the Old School Yard when a disabled youngster was riding on the crest of a royal wave. It was back in 1989 when Spina Bifida sufferer John Paul Gray found it was plain sailing when he met Princess Michael o
WE go back just 20 years for this week's Days of the Old School Yard when a disabled youngster was riding on the crest of a royal wave.
It was back in 1989 when Spina Bifida sufferer John Paul Gray found it was plain sailing when he met Princess Michael of Kent for a right royal chat.
She boarded SPARKLE, the first boat of kind designed to accommodate wheelchjairs - at St Katherine's Dock in Wapping.
John Paul, who was 11 back then, from East Ham, had been on a trip to Greenwich before the royal guest arrived.
You may also want to watch:
He said: "It was great fun. I have been on other boats before, but never one where you can use your wheelchair.
"The Princess was very nice. She was very easy to talk to."
- 1 Barking butcher 'thankful' for loyal customers through pandemic
- 2 Former council offices to be transformed into 'workspace and cultural hub'
- 3 Butcher fined £40k for selling 'poor quality chicken'
- 4 Dagenham school receives Unicef UK award
- 5 Barking and Dagenham Council chief executive to depart
- 6 Parade through Barking celebrates borough's 'inspirational' youngsters
- 7 Man in 50s stabbed in Barking
- 8 Hospitality Day: Barking and Dagenham's favourite cafe, pub and restaurant revealed
- 9 Stephen Port victims' delayed inquest set to begin in Barking
- 10 Restaurant ordered to pay £5k after 2019 fly-tipping offences
SPARKLE is managed by SPARKS, Sports Aiding Research Intro Crippling Injuries, which raised funds through celebrities sporting activities.
The Princess was then the organisation's royal patron.
John Paul, a pupil at Plaistow's Elizabeth Fry School back then, has also just completed a wheelchair mini-marathon for the Newham Rollers group, raising almost �200.