An event which will create lifetime memories is a unique one - and for some in Linlithgow and Queensferry that day came on Sunday, June 15 as the Queen’s Baton Relay rolled into town.
The motorcade, escorted by six police outriders and flanked by a hand-picked security team saw the baton arriving at The Hawes Pier, before making its way to Linlithgow.
The magic of the moment was self-evident with the grins and smiles plastered over both the baton runners faces and the watching crowd.
The first leg of Sunday’s relay started in South Queensferry at the Hawes Pier with comedian Rhona Cameron the first bearer of Her Majesty’s message.
Eight bearers in total carried the baton on the promenade, along the High Street and up The Loan.
The baton then made its way through Broxburn and Uphall before arriving in Linlithgow.
The baton was picked up by Craig Bathgate at Riccarton Road, passed to Maya Kamat then brought down Preston Road by Abbie Copland and Andrew Mitchell before being taken on to the canal boat by Alastair Hay. At the canal basin, Cameron Wright picked up the baton and passed it to Davie “Deep Sea” Paterson on Back Station Road.
The baton then made its way along the High Street to the cross and up into the Peel.
Margaret Greich from Colorado, on a touring holiday of Scotland with her husband, Marvin, were in the burgh to visit the Palace, but were overjoyed on learning of their luck to be in the right place at the right time. Margaret said: “We thought it was odd when we arrived this morning and there was so many people around, it took us ages to even get parked.
“It didn’t take long before we realised we had landed slap bang in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“This will definitely be the highlight of our holiday. I can’t wait to get home to show everyone my pictures.”
Our very own Journal and Gazette photographer, Alistair Pryde was embedded with the West Lothian leg of the relay travelling on the media bus from Queensferry through to Linlithgow. He commented: “I followed the relay and could see how infectious the event was becoming. The baton bearers wore ear-to-ear smiles encouraged on by the hundreds lining the streets shouting messages of support, cheering and clapping as the baton passed. It was a very happy day from start to finish with memories to last a lifetime.”
Runner Nicola Welsh, coordinator of the West Lothian branch of SANDS said: “It was the best day and I can’t explain how proud I felt.
“Just before I was due to take the baton I looked around and could see three local bereaved families I knew and it brought it home why I was doing this.
“I held it high and with such honour for all the babies and children loved and missed everyday.
“There were so many familiar faces on my section and it was wonderful seeing them there cheering me on.
“I didn’t want it to end.
“I’m sure my own little boy Theo was with me in his own way and would be proud of my achievements in his name.
“Never in a million years would I believe I’d have been given such an honour and looking back over the last five years, I’m amazed at how far we have come as a family and individually. “Our son was a blessing who left many gifts.
“I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to carry the baton for all the grieving parents and incomplete families coming to terms of the loss of a little loved one.
“The baton went all round the world but today for a small section all bereaved families and their loved ones were remembered while I carried it for them - surely there is no greater honour than that!
“I’ll remember this forever.”