Kinneil Estate and Falkirk Council were honoured to host the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay on Monday 20 June as it makes its way across the Commonwealth.
The Relay began on 7 October 2021 at Buckingham Place and has been travelling ever since, taking in all 72 nations and territories connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures, and sharing stories. The Relay is a Games tradition that celebrates, connects, and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build-up to the Games, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
Councillor Laura Murtagh, Portfolio Holder for Education and Leisure at Falkirk Council, said: “We are thrilled to play a part in this international tour, and it gives us the opportunity to further celebrate the work of Falkirk Council’s Leisure and Culture venues and services. More than ever before personal health and well-being are at the forefront of people’s minds and our teams in our health & fitness and leisure venues, as well as our sports development teams, work tirelessly to ensure Falkirk’s communities are the most active they can be.”
Ian Shearer, Chairman, Friends of Kinneil said: “We are delighted that Team Scotland selected Kinneil as the location for the visit, as this is where James Watt developed and patented his steam engine, which he then took to Birmingham almost exactly 250 years ago. It soon revolutionised industry across Britain, and further improvements went on to power the world. It is a very apt association for the Relay to Birmingham which is hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“This year and next are also the centenary of Kinneil Estate and House becoming public heritage assets. This event will help to mark this occasion as well as being an excellent start to Bo’ness Fair week.”
Colin Millar, Head of Marketing and Communication, Team Scotland, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay started in Scotland on Saturday 18 June in Inverness, and will conclude in Dumfries on Wednesday 22 June, with visits to Arran, Ayrshire, Glasgow, Bo’ness, Edinburgh, and the Borders. It’s been a privilege to accompany the Baton around Scotland and Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, was an obvious choice due to the links with James Watt and Birmingham.”
The Baton was welcomed by a selection of groups and individuals representing the area, including Sing Forth, the Kinneil Band, and, Bo’ness Fair Queen – Ellie Van Der Hoek, popularly known as Queen Ellie.
[All pictures credit: Lisa Evans / Falkirk Council]