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Torch Relay comes to Southwark

London SE1 website team

The Olympic Torch Relay came to Southwark on Saturday, passing along the riverside from Tower Bridge to the Millennium Bridge.

Olympic Torch Relay
The flame was preceded over Tower Bridge by a gospel choir on an open top bus

Swimmer Sharron Davies brought the flame from the north bank to the centre of Tower Bridge, where Sir Ian McKellan was waiting to carry the flame as far as Tooley Street.

Olympic Torch Relay
Sir Ian McKellan carries the flame onto the south bank of the Thames

Olympic Torch Relay
93 year old Fauja Singh carries the flame past City Hall

Fauja Singh, who at 93 was the oldest person to run the London Marathon back in April, carried the flame past City Hall where a steel band was playing. 5000 balloons were released from the Scoop, the amphitheatre next to City Hall.

Olympic Torch Relay
5000 balloons were released in The Scoop next to City Hall as the flame passed by

The bells of Southwark Cathedral rang out as the torch relay reached Borough High Street.

Olympic Torch Relay
Stiltwalkers and a steel band added to the atmosphere at City Hall

Confusion reigned by the time the flame reached Bankside. Although the biggest crowds were on the riverside, local residents waiting on Stoney Street and Park Street were disappointed when the relay took an unexpected diversion to avoid parked cars.

Olympic Torch Relay
Children from St James's Primary School display their banner outside Shakepeare's Globe

Olympic Torch Relay
Relay officials hand over new torches for the next runners in Park Street

Meanwhile members of the Free Tibet campaign unfurled a banner from Southwark Bridge, which was soon removed by police as a hazard to navigation. Their protest was against the selection of Beijing as host city for the 2008 Olympic Games. The demonstration continued on Bankside where another banner was hoisted aloft.

Olympic Torch Relay
The flame crossing the Millennium Bridge

Nell McAndrew was on the Millennium Bridge to take up the relay.

Olympic Torch Relay
Crowds gathered on Bankside

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