The Queen's Baton Relay visited East Ayrshire on Saturday 21 June 2014.
The relay, which involved almost 100 local batonbearers, set off from Dalmellington and travelled through New Cumnock, Cumnock, Auchinleck, Mauchline, Galston, Stewarton, Kilmaurs and Crosshouse before ending the day in Kilmarnock at a fun filled Commonwealth Carnival celebration event.
Photos of the day
View and download photos of the day on our Flickr page
Find out more about some of the East Ayrshire batonbearers
More about the day
Sun shine, big breakfasts, picnic lunches, gala days and action packed community events were the order of the day as the whole of East Ayrshire came out onto the streets to cheer on our batonbearers as they carried the Queen’s Baton through towns across East Ayrshire from Dalmellington to Kilmarnock.
The day kicked off with an early start in Dalmellington, and batonbearer Alan Brown was greeted by Provost Jim Todd, Depute Leader Tom Cook, Councillor Maureen McKay, local members Councillors John Bell, Elaine Dinwoodie and Moira Pirie and Chief Executive Fiona Lees. Paige McMahon and Lorna Dempsey carried the baton on to the bandstand on High Street where Dalmellington Brass Band played a rousing rendition of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in honour of the local batonbearers.
The baton moved on to New Cumnock open air swimming pool where Afton Water Leisure hosted a family fun day. Gette Fulton held the baton aloft, making sure it stayed safe and dry, before passing it to Gemma Thomson.
In Cumnock, hundreds of people from the local community gathered at Broomfield Park to welcome the baton at Cumnock Community Council’s gala day before it stopped in at Visions Leisure Centre to mark the centre’s tenth anniversary.
Team Scotland athlete Claire Johnston, from Auchinleck, proudly carried the baton through her home town, to the delight of the gathered crowds. The baton then moved on to Mauchline where a raucous welcome awaited the local batonbearers including special athlete Gillian Johnstone.
Frank Dawson carried the baton through Galston, with a fun filled lunch stop at Loudoun Academy. Commonwealth cupcakes produced by the school kitchen staff received rave reviews, with BBC and Police Scotland tweeting photos of the ‘best cakes’ on the relay so far.
Lunch break over, the relay restarted in Stewarton, where it joined gala queen, Jennifer Pryce, and her royal court and local celebrity, Betty Bennett, MBE (89) who carried the baton through the gala held at Lainshaw Primary.
The relay continued in Kilmaurs then on to Crosshouse and Crosshouse Community Council’s gala where the crowds had an opportunity to touch the baton as it passed by. Team Scotland athlete Georgi Black carried the baton through Lindsay Park before passing it to veteran Kilmarnock Harrier Jim Young.
Later in the day, Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde delighted children in the paediatric ward at Crosshouse Hospital when he popped in to visit, carrying the baton.
Ayrshire Athletics Arena was the next stop for the relay and Team Scotland coach Chick Hamilton had the honour of carrying the baton, before passing it to Kilmarnock Harrier stalwart Hugh Rankin.
The baton departed the Arena and made its way into Kilmarnock town centre for a closing ceremony at the Cross.
An action packed Commonwealth Carnival had been running since 2pm in the afternoon and King Street was full of families enjoying all the fun activities and street performances.
The last batonbearer of the day was Team Scotland athlete Peter Kirkbride who carried the baton on to the stage to meet Provost Jim Todd and Commonwealth Games representative Carolyn Morgan for the closing ceremony. Carolyn Morgan presented a replica baton to the Provost on behalf of Glasgow 2014 and local batonbearers received one final cheer from the gathered crowds before the baton departed.
Provost Jim Todd said: “Saturday may have been the longest day but it felt like it was over in a blink of an eye. It was such an exciting day. I had the honour of joining almost all our communities for the entire length of the baton relay route, cheering our local heroes who carried the baton through our towns and villages.
“This was a day for our communities. The people in our communities make East Ayrshire what it is and a strong community spirit was on display in abundance from 8am in the morning at Dalmellington right through to 7pm at Kilmarnock Cross. I couldn’t have been prouder of the people who made all these events happen; of the batonbearers who all have incredible reasons for being selected and of course, the people of East Ayrshire.”