By air, sea and land the Queen’s Baton Relay’s travel through Moray was greeted by ecstatic crowds everywhere it went.
After expressing disappointment when the 2012 Olympic Flame passed through just a corner of the region two years ago the Moray public were determined to make the most of the Commonwealth Games’ standard as it passed through villages and towns.
An incredible day for Moray started out at sea when an rescue helicopter transported the baton from its overnight stopover at RAF Lossiemouth to a waiting RNLI launch on the Moray Firth just outside Buckie.
By the time the Baton arrived in Elgin for an evening celebration at Cooper Park it had passed through the hands of around 100 bearers – and was paraded before an estimated 10,000 people lining the streets.
RNLI voluntary crew member George Cowie described his task of carrying the baton into Buckie harbour as “amazing”. He said: “This was a great honour not only for me personally but for the crew as a whole and the RNLI.
“It is something I will never have the chance to do again and is the sort of thing you’ll never forget no matter where you live.”
Onshore the ‘Joyful Voice’ choir were waiting to greet the baton as it entered Fochabers, before hundreds of noisy schoolchildren lined the streets of Lossiemouth to cheer on High School pupil Frazer Bushell as he led the parade into the town.
Surrounded by ecstatic friends Frazer said: “That was a real honour – I absolutely loved every moment of it.”
After a stopover at RAF Lossiemouth the baton made its way through Hopeman and on to Kinloss Barracks, where Army families and local children once again provided an honour guard for the parade.
There was a little controversy, however, in Forres where a 44-year-old man left a pub as the parade passed by and tried to grab hold of the baton. A police spokesman said: “A man has been arrested after the Queen’s baton parade was disrupted in Moray.
“He has been detained in policy custody in connection with an incident in High Street, Forres at around 5.30pm.
“The incident had no impact on the carrying of the baton by the baton bearer and no impact on the event.”
The largest crowd of the day gathered in Cooper Park to welcome the baton into Elgin and to enjoy an evening of celebration.
This morning the Baton will make its way out of Moray via Rothes and Aberlour.
More images of the baton’s passage through Moray can be found on the insideMoray Facebook page.