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Coldstream welcomes Queen’s Baton to Scotland

Samantha Kinghorn, the Gordon wheelchair athlete who will compete for Scotland at Glasgow 2014, carries the Queen's Baton through Coldstream. Picture: David Cheskinl/PA Wire

Samantha Kinghorn, the Gordon wheelchair athlete who will compete for Scotland at Glasgow 2014, carries the Queen's Baton through Coldstream. Picture: David Cheskinl/PA Wire


Coldstream welcomed the arrival of the Queen’s Baton to Scotland for the first time, marking the start of the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Hundreds gathered on Coldstream Bridge and Henderson Park at 7.30am to see the baton handed across the border on a morning of celebration and music. The event was screened live on BBC.

WATCH OUR VIDEO REPORT OF THE BATON’S ARRIVAL IN COLDSTREAM

The baton will travel the length and breadth of the country over the next 40 days, after a 248-day journey around the Commonwealth.

Triple Commonwealth gold medallist Daley Thompson passed it across the border to Team Scotland athlete Eilidh Child on Coldstream Bridge.

It was welcomed to Scotland by a guard of honour of young volunteers from across the Borders, holding flags of the Commonwealth, along the bridge.

The baton was then passed to Gordon wheelchair athlete Samantha Kinghorn on its way to Henderson Park, where a large and enthusiastic crowd welcomed its arrival.

Coldstream Pipe Band and the primary school choir were among a host of performers in the park during what was a carnival occasion.

Child, a Team Scotland silver medallist, said: “Today brings the Commonwealth Games that little bit closer, not just for me, but for people right across Scotland.

“I know that it is going to be something special. I can’t wait to run in front of the home crowd at Hampden.”

Thompson, who represented England, said he felt “honoured” to carry the baton into Scotland.

Over the past 248 days the baton has visited 69 nations and territories around the Commonwealth on a 100,000-mile journey ahead of the Games.

For the next 40 days, it will visit more than 400 Scottish communities and be carried by more than 4,000 baton bearers, who are being recognised for their inspiration, hard work and impact on the lives of others.

After celebrations in Colstream, the baton headed to Edinburgh where it visited the castle as a 21-gun salute was fired to mark the Queen's official birthday.

The District Gunner, Sergeant David Beveridge, who fires the castle's famous One O'Clock Gun, held the baton as the salute was fired by 105 Regiment Royal Artillery.

Sgt Beveridge carried the baton to the castle drawbridge, accompanied by members of the Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, before passing it on to Lorraine Kelly.

It went on to visit the Scottish Parliament and a host of locations in the city including Heriot Watt University, 1986 Commonwealth Games venues such as Meadowbank Stadium and the Royal Commonwealth Pool, which will host the diving competitions.

Finally the baton was brought to the city's Princes Street Gardens where a celebratory concert featuring music and dance was presented by actor Sanjeev Kohli.

It was carried on stage to huge cheers by former British, European, Commonwealth and World boxing champion Alex Arthur.

The baton was sent on its way by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on October 9 last year, travelling to Glasgow for a civic reception the following day before leaving with a delegation of organisers for Delhi, host of the last Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Its final destination will be the opening ceremony in Glasgow on July 23 where the Queen will read the special message inside the baton.

Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said: "Today marks a very special moment for the Glasgow 2014 organising committee, and for Scotland as a whole, as the countdown to our biggest-ever sporting and cultural celebration truly begins.

"Over the next 40 days thousands of people across Scotland can share the building excitement of our moment in history as we all get set to welcome the world to Scotland for what we all aim to be the best Commonwealth Games ever."

During its journey around Scotland the baton will pass landmarks including the Forth Bridge, Loch Ness, the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands and Skara Brae in Orkney.

 

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