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.
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."
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- 2 Jailed: Burglar who stole equipment worth more than £3k from car repair centre
- 3 Jailed: Dagenham man pressed groin against pregnant woman on Tube train
- 4 Dagenham man in court over Zara Aleena murder
- 5 Two 'child abduction' arrests after three-year-old girl reported missing
- 6 No injuries after car and van collide in Dagenham Heathway
- 7 Man taken to hospital after fight reported on Heathway in Dagenham
- 8 Jailed: Hornchurch man found with weapons in Dagenham
- 9 Vigil to be held this Saturday for 'pure of heart' Zara Aleena
- 10 Man charged after staff assault at Barking Asda
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.