Who’s off to cheer on the Paralympic torch?

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With the Paralympic bunting up and less than a week to go until the torch relay comes through the area, the question on everyone’s lips is ‘how many people will turn up?’

About 100,000 people went to see the Olympic torch in Hemel Hempstead and although organisers are not expecting as many for the Paralympic torch in Berkhamsted, Tring and Bourne End they are hoping for big crowds.

The 24 torch relay from Stoke Mandeville to London will be the first of its kind and will travel through Tring at 11.10pm, Berkhamsted at 11.33pm and Bourne End at 12.18am next Tuesday night.

Dacorum Borough Council is working with the town councils and Bourne End Neighbourhood Action Group to make sure it goes smoothly.

Pubs and cafes will be open and spectators are being asked to make their own lanterns or bring torches to light up the route and give the torchbearers a well-deserved cheer.

Berkhamsted town councillor Penella Warren said: “We have been advised not to underestimate crowds.

“We’re hoping to put banners up and St Peter’s Church will fly the flag and ring a short peal of bells.”

Tring deputy mayor Roxanne Ransley said: “There is a lot of speculation about the numbers that will turn up. We just want to see as many people as possible and not just people from Tring but those from the wider area too. If they missed the Olympic torch this is their last opportunity to see something like this for some time.”

There will also be a peal of bells at The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Tring, where a beacon will be lit on the roof.

People are invited to High Street Baptist Church, The Conservative Club and pubs along the high street for refreshments.

There will be a cocktail party at The Akeman from 8pm and hot soup will be served outside from 10pm while its sister pub, The Kings Arms in Berkhamsted, will have a live band and barbecue.