Commonwealth Games fever gripped Aberdeen yesterday as inspirational residents transported the Queen’s Baton across the city.
School children lined the streets in some parts, with choirs welcoming baton bearers trundling the streets with song and loud applause.
Dons legend Willie Miller started the celebrations by teeing off at The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club at 8am.
Following this the baton made it’s way south, pausing for Commonwealth Games events at Bridge of Don and Northfield academies.
In Northfield itself, pupils from Quarryhill Primary School’s choir greeted the Provost Fraser Drive baton bearer with renditions of the Commonwealth theme, Hallelujah – including a verse sung in Polish – and Diamond Jubilee song, Sing.
At King’s Gate, Fernielea Primary School pupils greeted the baton bearers with Scottish saltires intermingled with the flags of the other Commonwealth nations.
Sarah Webb, head teacher of Fernielea, said: “We have had all the flags from our Aberdeen School Group Commonwealth Games. Each class has been studying the Commonwealth countries. The seniors were doing Scotland.
“We have got children from different parts of the Commonwealth in the school. This makes them feel as though they are part of it.”
One of the baton bearers on this section of the relay, on King’s Gate, was Mel Edwards, 71, from Summerhill.
He said: “I have been a runner for over 50 years, I still run but I’m coaching just now. I began coaching I suppose in the 1970s, and before that I took it extremely seriously as an athlete.”
Mr Edwards, who narrowly missed out on competing as a runner in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, was diagnosed with myeloma, a type of bone cancer, eight years ago.
He described carrying the baton as an “amazing” feeling.
Callum Turner, 17, was nominated to be a baton bearer by workers at Camphill School for children and young people with specials needs, and a ran a section of the relay at Garthdee.
He said: “I can’t believe it, I’m thrilled and honoured to be here doing it, it was a very great experience. I will savour ever last moment of it.”
The relay team stopped at RGU’s Garthdee campus and Aberdeen Snowsports Centre before taking to the waters of the River Dee at Fisherman’s Bothy with pupils from Kaimhill School and Kincorth Academy.
The pupils formed part of a canoe flotilla which carried Olympic gold medalist Tim Baillie and the baton down the river, travelling under Victoria Bridge to Aberdeen Boat Club.
At 3pm the baton passed to the Petrofac Training Services depot at Aberdeen Harbour, before heading via the company’s freefall lifeboat to Footdee and up along the Beach Espalande to Transition Extreme Sports.
Duncan Skinner, 56, was nominated for the honour after retiring from Woodgroup PSN and devoting his life to charitable causes full time.
The father-of-two is now chairman of both the Aberdeen Football Community Trust and Glencraft.
Mr Skinner said carrying the baton was “fantastic”, adding: “It was a wonderful congregation, it’s a real honour to carry the baton.”
In the evening, runners took the baton inside Pittodrie Stadium itself, to the popular Richard Donald Stand.
Here Dons mascot, Angus the Bull greeted the procession along with local community groups involved with Aberdeen FC Community Trust.
Following this, a staff strip the willow was held at the Aberdeen City Council headquarters in Marischal College.