Banchory braves the rain for Baton Relay

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Hardy Deesiders braved the rain early on Sunday June 29 to support the Queen’s Baton Relay as it passed through Banchory.

The dreary weather resulted in somewhat reduced crowds, but those who turned out were no less enthusiastic for the morning drizzle.

Deesiders were up bright and early on Sunday morning to watch the Commonwealth Baton pass through Banchory, entering the town at Station Road and running to Scott Skinner Square.

Spectators started to gather from around 8:30am and were kept in high spirits by the tuneful sound of the Banchory Singers, who welcomed the baton to Deeside in song.

Preceded by the obligatory flashing lights and a cheeky blare of his siren courtesy of a friendly police motorcyclist, the baton reached the High Street, where supporters waved paper flags and cheered.

Willie Russell, the driving force behind the Banchory and Stonehaven Athletics Club, ran with the baton on its final Banchory stretch, ending at Scott Skinner Square.

The baton and its team of runners then hopped about the bus as the relay continued its journey on to Donside, where it passed through Dunecht later in the morning.

A number of runners from Banchory and Aboyne took part in the relay, including Kirsten Brown, John Will and Caitlin Marno, Ian Finlayson of the Deeside Rugby Football Club, and Kirstie MacBeath, a budding judo star.

Mark Williams of Banchory carried the baton from Scott Skinners pub to Morrisons. He will be performing in the closing ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and has been selected as a VIP driver for the sporting event.

Aberdeenshire Provost, Jill Webster said: “It was fantastic to see that the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay has been enjoyed by so many people.”