The Olympic torch visits Lewisham [UPDATED]

We went down to greet the (Brockley-born) Olympic Torch as it made its way past the Deptford Lounge early this morning.

The procession was like the Dance of Seven Veils - a succession of outriders got everyone excited that the torch must be just around the corner, long before the golden cornet made its appearance. First the cars. Then the bicycles. Then some motorbikes. Then some more cars. Then three massive sponsor trucks (Samsung's electric-blue version of Dead Reckoning beat Coke and Lloyds TSB for sheer spectacle). Then some more bikes.

Then came the torch-bearer herself. The News Shopper reports that she was:

Ceinwen Giles, aged 37, from Lewisham. Ceinwen was diagnosed with Stage 4B Non-Hodgkins in Lymphoma, a highly aggressive cancer, in early 2010, just four weeks after giving birth to her daughter. She battled through months of harsh chemotherapy while a hospital in-patient.

Prior to becoming ill she was a keen cross-country runner, and throughout her treatment has dreamt of getting back to her running best. She is now in remission.

Giles looked great and the sense of pride was palpable, not only from her, but from the crowd, which was pretty impressive for 7.30am.

Deptford looked great in the morning sun and the new public square in front of the library was completed in time for the event and played host to a local karate school, which used the occasion to recruit new young members.

News Shopper has photos from the whole tour, but if you want to send us your photos of the day, please email us and we'll post any good shots.

From Susan - Daniel Gee runs through Lewisham
From John, who stood on the right side of the street to get pictures
Also from John, who is just showing off now
John captures the battle bus
Chitro sent us this photo of Doreen Lawrence on Deptford Broadway


Whealie said...

Sophi Tranchell, boss of Divine Chocolate, who lives locally, was at the start this morning and had a photo of Doreeen Lawrence with the torch.

Lep Recorn said...

The torch relay was only introduced into the modern Olympics at the 1936 nazi games. It has nothing to do with the ancient games.

The fascistic iconography of it is obvious and it should be removed from the games.

Four years ago when the Bejing torch was paraded through London the police had to fight a way through for it. Quite appropriate given its semiotic message.

Brockley Nick said...

@LR - I get where you're coming from, but it's a bit like saying that because of unfortunate historical associations with the Union Flag or the English flag, that we should refrain from flying it during sporting events.

It's perfectly possible to wrest iconography away from fascists. 'Carrying the fire' is a universal symbol.

People protested the Beijing flame because of the Chinese government's human rights policies, not because they saw it as a symbol of Naziism. If people want to object to China (or indeed the UK) then it gives them a good hook to do so - I don't see that as a reason to abandon the thing.

To me, it represented local civic pride. To the carrier, no doubt, it must have represented a personal triumph. I'm sure for others it represented the commercialisation of the games and a million other things.

Anonymous said...

what happened to Dorren Lawrence?

Anonymous said...

Those fascistic iconographers pinched a lot that symbols when they cobbled together their nationalistic image.

It would be more constructive to pinch them back again rather than simply concede their possession, don't you think?

Anyway, wasn't the torch something to do with the Ancient Greeks?

Mb said...

The last time baying mobs were running around lewisham with flaming torches they were heading for foot locker.

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