UPDATE: 9pm 16/07/22
Due to the peak in temperatures, the sport and leisure activities planned for Winnington Lane Playing field tomorrow, as part of the Queens’s Baton Relay, will no longer take place. The Baton bearers will still be taking the planned route at approximately 12.45pm. pic.twitter.com/MDaxSfAS3f
— Cheshire West (@Go_CheshireWest) July 16, 2022
Crowds will line the streets of Northwich on Sunday (17th July) to welcome the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay as it passes through Cheshire.
The 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that connects communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the games – which begin on 28th July.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is an opportunity for communities across England to experience the buzz and excitement of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“It is special for Northwich to be one of the few chosen towns in the country to host the baton on its long journey.
“We encourage everyone to come along to Northwich to welcome it to our borough.
“We will be celebrating sport in our community, with lots of activities going on at different spots along the route for everyone to enjoy as they cheer on the baton bearers.”
Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust
Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West director, said: “We are delighted the Anderton Boat Lift will be the first venue in Northwich to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay.
“Sadly, due to limited space, we are not able to open the lift to the public during the event but, as the world’s first boat lift, the Victorian structure should offer a spectacular start to its journey along the River Weaver and through the town.”
Cllr Graham Emmett, Northwich Town Council
Mayor of Northwich, Cllr Graham Emmett, added: “Northwich is honoured to be chosen to host a stage of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
“This is going to be an amazing day for our great town, and I know the Northwich community will come out and support as it always does.”
What time will it arrive?
The baton will first arrive at the Anderton Boat Lift – which will be closed to the public for the event.
Its tour of Northwich begins at midday when a baton bearer will carry it, by boat, down the 15m boat lift to emerge onto the River Weaver Navigation.
From there, it will sail along the River Weaver by boat, accompanied by a flotilla of paddle boarders and canoeists.
The baton will disembark at Winnington Swing Bridge just after 12.30pm, heading along Winnington Lane and passing Winnington Urban Village.
As it goes past Winnington Recreation Club, garden centre and youth club at 12.40pm, crowds can enjoy displays of bowls and cricket and sporting activities by local groups.
Sport and leisure activities such as football, netball, boxing and more will take place on Winnington Lane Playing field – with the baton passing by at 12.45pm.
The youth service will entertain crowds as the baton runs past the youth club at 12.55pm.
It will then descend into Winnington Bank in a Krazy Races soapbox, to cross the river at Town Bridge at 1pm.
From here, it will follow the gyratory to the northern entrance of Memorial Court where there will be dance displays.
More dance displays will be performed as the baton passes Northwich Library at 1.10pm.
The tour concludes at 1.15pm at Barons Quay Road to coincide with Northwich Rotary’s free Sunday in the Park festival at Riverside Park – where the baton bearers will take to the stage to complete this leg of its epic journey.
The Queens’ Baton Relay
The relay began on 7th October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, when The Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the baton – which is travelling for a total 294 days, visiting all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.
Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities will be visited on the England leg of the tour, which spans 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres).
The Birmingham 2022 Queens’ Baton
The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science.
Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the baton also features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year.
It is also laden with technology; a 360-degree camera, a heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.
For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr.
Northwich baton bearer – James McCann
James McCann, from Manchester, said: “I am delighted to represent the UK and Commonwealth by carrying the baton, it is a once in a lifetime experience and something I am looking forward to.
“My friends and family will be coming to cheer on. My nan, who is fighting cancer, is resilient and has shown a never give up attitude.
“I like the sporting element of the relay and am into rugby and fitness and I am looking to also showcase this resilience from sport.”
James shares his resilient attitude to life with his nan, who has spent the last three years battling cancer.
Despite being told she had six months to live in 2019, Margaret Welch has shown a never give up approach to life and continues to fight her illness.
Originally from Worcestershire, James was nominated to be a baton bearer by his employer.
He began to raise money for the hospice caring for his nan in 2020.
Covid-19 restrictions prevented him and his family from visiting her in person, and he wanted to do more to help the carers and staff at the hospice.
To raise money, James embarked on a gruelling physical challenge.
He took part in a 200km charity cycle ride around Worcestershire, joined by family members to take the total distance cycled to 300km in three days.
Fitness is a big part of James’ life and he plays for a rugby team in Manchester in his spare time.
He shows great determination in sport and is looking to demonstrate that sporting resilience on 17th July when he carries the Queen’s Baton through Northwich on behalf of his employer, his family and especially his nan.
Northwich baton bearer – George Kitteridge
George Kitteridge, from Hazel Grove, said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet and feels a bit surreal. It was nice to be nominated initially and the whole experience is a great honour.
“I will not just be carrying the baton for myself but for my dad who has Huntington’s Disease and for all those who continue to be affected in some way by it today.
“It is a pleasure to keep raising awareness for the Huntington’s Disease Association and what better way than representing them in the 2022 Commonwealth Games celebrations.”
George has various personal reasons to be carrying the Queen’s baton through Northwich.
He grew up in Poynton, and Cheshire is close to his heart, so he classes it an ‘honour’ to be carrying it through a Cheshire town.
His father Glenn became ill in 2019 and his family suspected he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
However, just before the Covid-19 pandemic set in during March 2020 doctors concluded that he had Huntington’s Disease, which affects a person’s motor skills and leads to regression in someone’s abilities over time.
George’s family had heard of it but knew little about the disease, which can be hereditary in 50% of cases.
George and his brother Scott began to raise money for the Huntington Disease Association in 2021 and are on course to complete 13 challenges over 15 months which will end in November 2022.
The Huntington Disease Association nominated George to be a Baton bearer and he hopes by taking part it will go some way to telling more people about the disease and supporting the charity.