Baton day bringing pride on to Falkirk streets

Gavin Hastings carried the baton in Edinburgh
Gavin Hastings carried the baton in Edinburgh
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Real pride and 
Commonwealth spirit will spill on to streets throughout the Falkirk area tomorrow.

The Queen’s Baton will 
arrive in Denny just after 8 a.m. and then progress 
eastward towards the Helix Park and an evening of massive celebrations organised by Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust.

Ensuring the symbolic baton passes safely through each town and village on its way to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be 102 local people handpicked for the commitment they have shown to their local 

People like Falkirk Girls Football Club founder Alison Mackie, who helped create opportunities for hundreds of girls and young women to take part in the beautiful game over the past two decades.

She said: “There are over 100 baton bearers for the Falkirk area each with their own inspirational story. Hopefully the baton coming through Falkirk and the games in Glasgow will be an inspiration for people to get into sport.”

Bill Wintrup’s daughters nominated him to be a baton bearer because of his years of selfless work for the Boys’ Brigade, walking group Braveheart and Strathcarron Hospice.

Bill (83), the oldest baton bearer from the Falkirk district, said: “I’m looking forward most to the get together of all the baton bearers down a the Helix, it should be a great celebration.”

Robert Callahan, the founder of Falkirk School of Gymnastics, will carry the baton at the Helix Park. Still coaching gymnastics as he approaches his 70s, Robert received an MBE for his services to sport in 2005.

He said: “This will be the greatest games ever and I am delighted to be part of it, especially in my home town of Falkirk.

“It is my hope the Scottish Government and Falkirk Council and Community Trust will grasp this unique opportunity to get children involved in sport.”

Alison, Bill, Robert and the other baton bearers will carry their precious cargo round the Falkirk Council area, visiting key landmarks along the way including Forth Valley Royal Hospital, the Falkirk Wheel, Callender Park, Grangemouth Stadium and finally the Kelpies and Helix Park.

A wide range of free events will take place along the route and include singing and dancing at Falkirk Wheel (9.45 a.m.); picnic, sports displays and live music at Callendar Park (11.15 a.m.); choirs and more music from Brian McNeill and friends and former Red Hot Chilli Piper Stuart Cassells at The Helix (5 p.m)

The main relay route is: 8 a.m. Stirling Street and Broad Street, Denny; 8.15 a.m. Denny High School; 8.44 a.m. Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert; 9.14 a.m. Bellsdyke Road, Muirhall Road, Main Street, Kirk Avenue, Carrongrange Road, Larbert; 9.56 a.m. New Carron Road, Ronades Road, Carron/Bainsford; 10.11 a.m. Main Street, Glasgow Road, Camelon; 10.29 a.m. The Falkirk Wheel, Tamfourhill; 11.53 a.m. Port Downie, Lock 16, Glenfuir Road, Camelon; 12.22 p.m. Camelon Road, High Street, Falkirk; 12.48 a.m. Callendar Park, Falkirk; 2.27 p.m. Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness; 4.22 p.m. Sports Stadium, Kersiebank Avenue, Grangemouth; 5.28 p.m. Bo’ness Road, Grangemouth; 6 p.m. Devon Street, Grangemouth Old Town; 6.45 p.m. The Kelpies, Falkirk.

Falkirk Council state traffic disruption is a possibility due to the scale of the event.