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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Torch goes Underground


A week of late finishes and early starts. As the dust settles on Monday night's dress rehearsal for the Olympic Opening Ceremony Tuesday morning sees me on an early train to Wimbledon to be ready for the arrival of the Olympic Torch for its historic ride on the Underground.

The Torch is now visiting every London Borough before arriving at the Olympic Park on Friday. The last time I saw it was in Newcastle when it arrived on a high wire on the quayside. Now it was transferred to the care of long-serving London Underground employee John Light, a Signalling Operator who has worked for us since 1963.

John, 64, carried the Olympic Torch along platform 1 at Wimbledon station this morning before taking it into the cab of the train adorned with Olympic rings for its unique journey one stop to Wimbledon Park.

On arrival there were media interviews and photographs before the flame was carefully taken onto its next whole day run which ended in Ealing tonight.

The public were delighted to see the Torch travel by train and many early morning commuters were surprised to be part of the trip.

Later on, a flag bearing the Olympic rings was hoisted on the flagpole at 55 Broadway in a short ceremony.

So we approach the final few hours before the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. In that short time the Torch has more Boroughs to visit, there is a further rehearsal at the Olympic Park, and tonight the last of the mayor works on London's roads takes place. Tomorrow morning at 0600 the Olympic Route Network is operational. As a result the "big peel" takes place as the next layer of road signs is unveiled.

The hot weather has certainly cheered everyone up. Not long to go!

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