Newbattle Abbey College to host cultural event to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay

Newbattle Abbey College are getting into the spirit of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by hosting an event to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay passing through Midlothian on Monday 16 June.

The Queen’s baton is the Commonwealth Games version of the Olympic torch and contains a sealed, secret message which has been handwritten by Her Majesty the Queen for the Commonwealth. Over a period of 228 days, it will visit all 70 competing nations and territories, cover 190,000 kilometres and involve a third of the world’s population before it arrives at the official Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on Wednesday 23 July.

The Midlothian Baton Relay will set off from the Midlothian Sports Centre at Hillend at 8.30am and will pass through Loanhead, Roslin, Penicuik, Rosewell, Bonnyrigg, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Mayfield, Newbattle and Dalkeith. It is expected to arrive at Newbattle Abbey College at approximately 5.15pm.

To celebrate the occasion, the Newbattle Abbey College are hosting a Scottish cultural event which is free to attend and open to the public. It will feature traditional Scottish dancing, refreshments and performances from the Newtongrange Pipe Band and local charity choir, Cantiamo.

Ann Southwood, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event to celebrate this momentous event. Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy the activities and entertainment that will be staged at The Abbey.”

When the baton arrives at Newbattle, it will be accepted by Marlene Gill from Rosewell. The 66-year-old is one of the founding members of Forward MID, a local organisation which aims to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities which exist for disabled people, both locally and nationally. She said: “The staff at Newbattle Abbey College have worked so hard at developing learning opportunities for a wide variety of people. I feel so honoured to have been nominated to accept the baton by lecturers and staff. It is very exciting and touching that they thought of me.”

Margaret Cameron, who is a member of Cantiamo, said: “We are really delighted to be a part of this historic event and to be representing some of the music in Midlothian. We have been together for almost ten years and are proud to be singing at the Queen’s Baton Relay.”

The international relay was launched by the Queen in October 2013 at a Buckingham Palace ceremony attended by senior representatives from the Commonwealth, inspirational young people and some of Scotland’s greatest athletes, including Olympic champions Sir Chris Hoy and Allan Wells.