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The Baton Relay Car leads the way – Pictures Courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN

18th June, 2014 (ISN) Nine months and nine days ago on the 9th of October 2013, the Queen’s Baton relay began. A much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games that symbolises the coming together of all nations and territories in preparation for the four yearly celebration of Sport and Culture.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who is the Head of the Commonwealth entrusts the baton with her unique message to the athletes to the first honorary Batonbearer. This then signals the start of the relay.

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Michael Hutton – Picture Courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN

Having travelled 190,000km and having been through the hands of nearly 4000 people, the baton is currently in its final stages where it will be presented back to Queen Elizabeth II at Celtic Park for the opening ceremony on July the 23rd. The message that was placed in the baton back in October 2013 will be removed and read to the athletes and spectators in the stadium and beamed across the 71 competing nations.

Today the baton is in Duntocher and Clydebank near where i grew up. I decided to take the opportunity to see the baton and speak to one of the baton bearers. Arriving in Duntocher the streets were very quiet just like an average friday morning!

Just before the start the spectators managed to turn out waving flags and cheering on the locals who had been selected to run with the baton.

I started at the front, Bearer number 001 James MacDonald flew out of the traps at a ferocious pace! I was certainly not expecting to properly run and take photo’s at the same time! Thankfully the first change over was only 200m away and I used that time to jump straight onto the back of the media van (thankfully i had my games accreditation with me!) After that it was plain sailing chauffeur driven up the main street.

I caught up with Frank Duffie who carried the famous baton for in Duntocher.

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Frank Duffie runs with the Queen’s Baton – Picture Courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN

Frank works for Clydebank based Charity Bankie Talk who provide audio recordings of popular magazines for people with young people with visual impairment and learning difficulties.

I had a few questions for Frank as he was catching his breath! 


How does it feel to be one of the Queen’s baton bearers?

“I was absolutely delighted and it was an honour and a privilege to take part in the QBR”


When was the last time you pulled on a tracksuit and went running (I’m guessing not yesterday!)

The last time i went running was with the Tutankhmun when he was a boy!


Did you have to embark on a vigerous training regime.

“I had to bulk up and go from one roll and sausage to two!”


How were you chosen to become a baton bearer?

I was put forward by West Dumbartonshire Voluntary Services, as a prominent member of the local community”


How did you find out?

“First of all I was sent an email. Then afterwards an official letter from the Commonwealth Family”


Are you looking forward to the Commonwealth Games in your home city?

“Very much so, I think it will be great for Glasgow and will also boost the local economy”


What events are you most looking forward to?


I am looking forward to all of the games as a whole, really excited to see so many big names in sport coming to Glasgow. I have not gone for tickets as with my visual impairment it would be better for me to enjoy all of the events on the TV at home. I am right behind team Scotland win lose or draw and looking forward to them winning medals!

With 5 days to go until the games, even the famous Scottish weather is behaving itself and the sun is out with lovely blue skies! *This may not last and can change at a moments notice. The Canadian team are now starting to arrive and get settled into the Athletes village and make final preparations to be ready to compete when the time comes.


5 from ISN,


1. Can you name 10 competing nations at the commonwealth games? 

Frank managed 8 out of 10 


2. Can you name where the last commonwealth games was held? 

Dehli, India


3. If you were to be picked for a sport to compete at the games what would it be? 

Pole Vault


4. Maple Syrup or Jam?

Maple Syrup – {I think this is dubious as as Glaswegian i know it is too sweet to go with chips!}


5. Do you have any advice for any Canadian’s coming to Glasgow? Things to see or things to do?

I would say to everyone coming over to Glasgow, enjoy the Games but of course enjoy the atmosphere of Glasgow. It is a vibrant city with lots of history. Also if you can get out of the city and visit Loch Lomond or Aberfoyle just a short journey out of Glasgow and you can see some stunning scenery.