THE Queen’s Baton, carried around the world to mark the build-up to the Commonwealth Games, is to go on display as part of an exhibition on Glasgow 2014.
Created in Scotland and made of titanium, wood and granite, the baton was carried more than 120,000 miles through 70 nations and territories until the secret message it contained was read aloud by the Queen at the Games’ opening ceremony at Celtic Park in July.
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The relay is a tradition that started in 1958 and shares similarities with the Olympic torch relay, but there is only one baton rather than the hundreds of torches used to carry the Olympic flame.
The Queen’s message was housed in a transparent cylinder within the baton’s pure titanium lattice-work frame and there was a memorable moment at the opening ceremony when Prince Imran of Malaysia, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, struggled to release the note.
The Queen gave a brief clap of apparent relief when Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy eventually managed to help release the contents.
The baton was carried through communities across Scotland and Glasgow, with baton-bearers including top athletes and celebrities such as Sir Chris, diver Tom Daley and singer Susan Boyle.
Thousands more ‘’local champions’’ also held aloft the baton on its journey. One couple even got engaged while carrying it - David McSkimming proposed to partner and fellow relay runner Susan Kirkpatrick as he passed her the baton in Greenock, Inverclyde.
The symbol of the Games will now be part of an exhibition due to open at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum early next year.
The exact details of the exhibition have not been finalised but part of it will focus on the para-sports cycling competitions in the velodrome as it was the first time the event had ever been staged in the Games.
Scotland’s Aileen McGlynn and partner Louise Haston and Neil Fachie and partner Craig McLean tasted success in the tandem sprint events for blind and visually impaired athletes.
Councillor Archie Graham, chair of Glasgow Life, said: “We’re delighted to have secured such a significant piece of Commonwealth Games history for the people of Glasgow.
“Across three magical days in July, the baton touched every community of this great city and brought to life the passion and excitement everyone felt in the run-up to what would become the best Games ever.
“What’s more, the Queen’s Baton Relay touched communities right across the world, bringing them together in the true spirit of our commonwealth - friendship, equality and respect.
“The Queen’s Baton was unveiled in the Riverside Museum, which was apt, given it would travel the world in boats, planes and even by zip-wire.
“It is absolutely fitting that it should return to our spectacular museum of transport and travel, where we can explore its journey and the impact if made on both individuals and athletes.”
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