Nothing immerses one more into the spirit of the place like public celebrations. Universal good mood, loud cheers, big smiles, flag waiving, public performances, kids’ antics and, of course, quaint local traditional touches – all were present at the Queen’s Baton Relay for Commonwealth games arrival in Dumfries. I couldn’t resist bringing out my camera to photograph this photogenic hustle-and-bustle event, perfect my my Dumfries Diaries project! I wanted to capture the town alive and in its ‘Sunday best’.
Thousands of locals and visitors turned up on the street to cheer the baton on its 200,000km journey towards the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In my way to the ceremony near the Midsteeple in the town centre I wavered to the Whitesands to see the river and met a flock of Excelsior cheerleaders hurrying to the performance stand. Eager spectators were already waiting for them there and thoroughly enjoyed dancing and acrobatics.
To my uneducated eye the whole welcoming procession had a distinctly Scottish flavour. Local council members and distinguished guests were led by a piper, followed by the Commonwealth flag bearers, not particularly sporty but well-humoured and enthusiastic. NHS advisers were amidst the crowd handing out leaflets and inviting the onlookers to take up sport and lead more healthy lifestyles. I took one!
Cornet Chris Beattie, his Lass and Pursuivant were arriving on horseback, later joined by the Queen of the South and her attendants.The horses were so well-behaved despite the heat the loud noises around them.
Kids, lining the streets and furnished with Scottish flags, were waving Queen’s Baton Relay in. One of the runners carried the Glasgow Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde, much liked by the young spectators. Charlotte Smith, one for the Silver participants from the Dumfries Open DofE Centre, proudly brought the baton to pass it to Cornet. So much excitement in the air – hope I managed to convey it in my photographs.