A Cheadle man has had the honour of being one of the batonbearer roles for the Queen’s Baton Relay. With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games now just days away, Staffordshire has played host to the iconic Queen’s Baton Relay.
A Cheadle man has had the honour of being one of the batonbearer roles for the Queen’s Baton Relay.
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games now just days away, Staffordshire has played host to the iconic Queen’s Baton Relay.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is travelling the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on July 28.
It was in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday (July 18) and Cheadle man Eddie Heath was one of the allocated batonbearers.
Eddie said: “My lovely wife Christine, unknown to me, nominated me for this amazing honour.
“The Commonwealth Games means a great deal to me.
“Way back in 1966 I achieved the qualifying times, in freestyle swimming, for the games in Kingston, Jamaica but an illness prevented me from selection.
“I was Stoke and Staffs number one swimmer in those days.”
He continued: “The other reason my wife sent in was for my charity fundraising efforts. I raised over £100,000 for the Air Ambulance over 20 or so years by building huge bonfires, detailed replicas of iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace, but for that one I asked the Queen for permission.”
After carrying out the honour in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday, which included a photo session with the baton next to a Spitfire, Eddie further told the Cheadle & Tean Times: “What an amazing experience the whole event was.
“The massive showboat of QBR personnel came rolling into Hanley, great hard working people who didn’t for one moment rush or push to get the spectacle done.
“All knew their jobs and orchestrated it with friendly precision.
“It was great meeting the other batonbearers and getting to hear their stories and achievements to be honoured with this inclusion in the relay event.
“To receive and hold the unique baton sent shivers down my spine on a blistering hot day, however being first off my stint involved accepting the baton outside the museum, loads of photos, hype and security and of course much welcomed family and friends.
“I then led the baton into the museum building for a photo session around the Spitfire.”
Eddie added: “I felt like a film star with the number of cameras and photos taken.
“As I left the building masses of onlookers cheered and confetti cannons shot their paper (biodegradable) contents in the air. More photos and then back to where I started at the front of the building to hand over the baton to the next bearer Mark for his leg of the relay.
“The baton then went on to Hanley Park where although the celebrations were cancelled due to the heat hundreds turned out to watch it being handed to a bearer in the crew of a military helicopter to be taken on to Shrewsbury for later festivities, and then through to the Moorlands for its travels around our patch.”
The baton travelled through the Moorlands yesterday (Tuesday, July 19), including visiting Rudyard Lake, The Roaches, Leek town centre, and also Alton Towers.
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