Paralympic star completes last leg of Norfolk charity challenge
Paralympic star Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson got a Norfolk charity over the finishing line of a mountainous challenge.
She drove a 1947 mobility trike in the final lap, at Westminster, of an 18,000-mile journey across the Alps that recreated a pioneering trip made by 'Denny' Denly, the founder of the Disabled Drivers' Association, which has now become the Ashwellthorpe-based Disabled Motoring UK.
Mr Denley died last year, and it was decided to do a re-run, with his original Argson trike, of the journey he made to prove that being left paralysed from the waist down by polio would not stop him getting to Switzerland and conquering the Alps.
Five people took the 64-year-old vehicle on the 13-day trip which involved mountain climbs totalling 29,000 feet, which finished on Thursday.
They included Sergeant Andy 'Dinger' Bell of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers at Swanton Morley. The trike broke down virtually every day, and did so again yesterday when Lady Grey-Thompson was driving it alongside the Houses of Parliament just 100 yards from the end of its voyage. It has a maximum speed of 35mph.
Graham Footer, the chief executive of Disabled Motoring UK, said that Mr Denly had been a 'trail-blazer' who had 'inspired many people to become independent'.
His Alpine journey had been repeated, he said, as a tribute to him and also to raise the profile of the charity after its change of name. There was the further purpose of lobbying parliament on the reform of the disability living allowance and the effect of increasing fuel prices.
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Lady Grey-Thompson won 16 Paralympics medals, including 11 golds.