The Queen’s Baton Relay continued its journey through Wales by celebrating a very special occasion, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas – the nation’s famous poet, writer and broadcaster. Highlights of the day included visiting the magnificent Dylan Thomas Boathouse, and meeting local children, poetry groups and dignitaries, with the historic Taf estuary as a backdrop.
The legacy of the Commonwealth Games in Wales was highlighted when former athlete Hedydd Davies once again carried the baton. The first time was at the inaugural Queen’s Baton Relay for the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, the second was at the relay for Manchester 2002.
Another proud batonbearer was Non Evans, a former Wales international rugby player and the only woman to have competed in three different disciplines at the Commonwealth Games – Judo, Weightlifting and Wrestling. Non helped to carry the baton in her home town of Llanelli, which boasted a carnival atmosphere with tribal dance troupe Zahirah performing for the baton’s arrival.
Later on the baton was greeted by a spectacular concert in the main square of Carmarthen – the perfect way to end the relay’s fourth day in Wales.
Commonwealth fever had certainly gripped the west of Wales on day 232 of the relay, with flocks of people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the baton.
This was quite a contrast to the start of the day, with thick fog covering the city of St Davids at the beginning of the relay. This soon cleared and a thousand or so people turned up to see the baton paraded by their local heroes.
Following a blessing at the famous city cathedral, the relay headed to the busy streets of Cardigan and then on to Aberaeron. Here the baton was cheered along its entire journey, stopping midway for photos with the children on the town bridge.
At Aberystwyth, the entire promenade was filled with well-wishers. Following the town tradition, the party ‘kicked the bar’ at the end of the prom before heading to Machynlleth for the day’s final celebrations.
Day 233 of the Queen’s Baton Relay kicked off with a journey to the peak of the UK’s second highest mountain – Mount Snowdon.
Paralympic champion Aled Davies was on hand to greet the Eryri Harriers, after they relayed the baton to the highest point of Wales in no less than an hour. Aled will be representing Wales at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer.
“Carrying the baton was a special moment. It’s totally unique, it’s the one and only baton, and it’s personalised by The Queen.
“Taking it to the highest point in Wales felt like I was planting my flag, showing people how big Wales can be!”
One of the nation’s most-loved TV shows, Rownd a Rownd was the setting for the next stage of the relay. A special web episode filmed on a boat saw the baton dock at the set before leaving for Menai Strait with The One Show’s Alex Jones.
After being run up a mountain and taken across water, the baton was whisked away by bike to Llanberis, where it raced with Glasgow 2014 Mascot Clyde on a train!
After meeting legendary athletes and TV personalities, it seemed fitting for the baton to end its penultimate day in Wales on The One Show – with the final relay providing a spectacular backdrop.
The baton was welcomed to Rhyl Harbour by a 12ft statue of The Queen, before heading to Marsh Tracks biking centre and Prestatyn Leisure Centre to meet with keen sport fans.
One of the baton’s highlights of the day was the trip up Moel Famau, where it was initially carried on horseback with the local pony club before joining enthusiastic walkers up the 1.5 mile ascend. Incredible views were enjoyed from the top, and the baton could even see where it would be spending the next two weeks – England!
Check out our galleries and Relay Recaps for the latest adventures of the Queen’s Baton Relay.