Credit: Radio Gateshead.
Baton handover between Jakob and Bernard in Whitely Bay.

Across the 14th and 15th of July, the Queen’s Baton relay has made its way around the North East.

I went to Whitely Bay to catch the very start of the second day of the North Eastern leg of the Queen’s Baton relay. Across the day I got to meet and chat to some of those nominated to carry the baton.

Jakob, who skateboarded with the baton, said “it was surprisingly quite heavy to be honest so I did have to adjust my skating and the fact that it was wet but I felt so much pride holding it [the baton].” When asked how he was nominated for the role of a baton carrier he said “I think I’ve been nominated because I’ve been representing skateboarding in the North East of England and I’ve been representing it sort of competitively down South.”

Credit: Claire Christensen
Jakob skateboarding with the baton.

Another baton bearer, Bernard, 82, was nominated for his contribution in athletics, of which he spent 70 years in the field. He said “the first competition, track and field, I got for our youngsters were postal ones” and said about carrying the baton “if you don’t talk and involve people it’s wrong” showing the importance of interacting with the many people who came to watch the baton being passed.

Mid afternoon was when the baton finally reached Gateshead. One baton holder said “I’d practiced my bit a few times but nothing prepared me for how lovely the police were from Birmingham who were so lovely and clapped all the way through, the crowd including my family, friends and work colleagues were absolutely amazing, I couldn’t stop smiling.”

Credit: Shaun Fenton
A Gateshead baton bearer with a young supporter.

Despite the grey weather, there was still a good turnout to the relay and all those who came out were extremely supportive of the baton bearers. What a lovely event to witness.

Credit: Shaun Fenton.
Gateshead Baton Bearers.

Keira Edwards

Keira is an A-Level student and aspiring journalist for Radio Gateshead, circus performer and musician.

Interests: Writing, expressing things creatively, and writing podcasts.