Baton runners and flag bearers across the Borders are primed and ready to go when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in the region at the weekend.
In the run-up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the baton left London in October last year on its journey through 70 nations and territories, covering 190,000km.
Carried by volunteers throughout each country the baton, which contains a message from the Queen, reaches the last leg of its journey when it arrives back in Scotland at Coldstream Bridge at 7.40am on Saturday, June 14, and quite a reception is being organised to welcome it to the host country.
Its arrival in Coldstream will be screened live on the BBC and a ceremony hosted by BBC’s Fred Macaulay, welcoming the baton into Scotland, will be held on Coldstream Bridge which will be lined by 75 young volunteers from across the Borders, each holding either a Commonwealth flag or a Glasgow 2014 flag. Coldstream Pipe Band will be there and four runners will take it in turn to carry the baton from the bridge up to the town’s Henderson Park where a special QBR event is being held, hosted by TV presenter Jenni Falconer.
The baton will stay in Coldstream until 8.30am before heading for Edinburgh then on to the rest of Scotland.
Coldstream appears to be a late addition to the relay route and until Monday the official 2014 Commonwealth Games website or the VisitScotland site, both described Edinburgh as being “the first leg of the domestic route”. However, the town has rallied, put together a programme of entertainment in Henderson Park, is displaying banners announcing the arrival of the baton relay and will be decked out in bunting and looking its best to welcome the relay into Scotland.
The baton returns to the Scottish Borders on Wednesday, June 18, travelling through Duns, Greenlaw, Earlston, Melrose, Selkirk, Kelso, Jedburgh and Hawick.
It arrives in Duns for an hour at 8.25am on Wednesday, June 18, and 12 local baton bearers will carry it through the town - Glebe Park, Castle Street, Currie Street, Easter Street, Market Square, South Street, Langton Gate, Duns Primary School, Berwickshire High School.
It will be greeted at Berwickshire High School at 9.03am by a guard of honour, the high school students being joined by pupils from the school’s feeder primary schools and its departure at 9.23am will herald a festival of sport taking place at both the high school and primary schools.
Greenlaw is the next stop where it is due to arrive at 9.35am and depart at 9.45am - The Avenue, Greenlaw Health Centre, Church Street, West High Street (A697), Wester Row, then on to Earlston.
The finish line is in Glasgow where Her Majesty The Queen will read aloud her message to the Commonwealth at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.