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Tens of thousands watch as baton relay wows Renfrewshire

Tens of thousands of residents from across Renfrewshire got into the Commonwealth spirit when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in the area for a sensational day of sport, scorching sunshine and spectacle.

Huge crowds turned out in towns and villages and enjoyed fantastic weather and a tremendous atmosphere as every one of Renfrewshire’s 15 towns and villages got the chance to join the fun.

The baton – the symbol of the Glasgow 2014 Games – was passing through Renfrewshire on Day 34 of a 40-day tour of Scotland before the main event starts next week.

Along the way, Renfrewshire Council had laid on a series of events for locals in each of the main towns, lending a festival feel to the occasion.

The day started in Howwood at 8am, before a crowd of more than 1,000 saw actress and singer Clare Grogan carry the baton into Johnstone’s Houstoun Square later that morning.

Provost Anne Hall with Clare Grogan

In the afternoon, the baton covoy was mobbed as it greeted the crowd at Erskine’s Park Mains High, before around 5,000 people packed into the streets around Renfrew Town Hall as the baton was given a rock-star welcome.

Paisley was the last leg of the journey, with stops in Gallowhill and Ralston before the baton was carried into a packed Abbey Close ahead of a spectacular finale performance by the Commonwealth Youth Circus.

The baton was carried by around 150 batonbearers, most of them residents specially selected in honour of their community work, with wellwishers from around the area lining the route to cheer them on.

Other high-profile batonbearers included broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani, who carried the baton into Erskine Hospital at lunchtime, while Olympic swimmer and Scottish Commonwealth gold medallist Gregor Tait was the athlete given the honour of the final leg into Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was out and about at many of the events during the day.

She said: “This was a very special day for Renfrewshire. People really took the event to their hearts and played their part in what was a very exciting spectacle.

“The baton has made an epic journey around the globe, meaning today was a chance to write our own chapter in that long-running story – and Renfrewshire didn’t disappoint.

“The route allowed us to show the world everything that makes the area great – from rolling countryside to historic town centres to modern schools and leisure facilities.

“But above all we have a great sense of community – never better displayed than by our batonbearers, and by the people who lined the streets to cheer them on.

“I would like to thank everybody who came out and made this such a fantastic day.

“It was an absolute pleasure to be there, and to see people young and old enjoying the occasion on a day that will live long in the memory.”

Many of the events on the day took place in partnership with the Games for Scotland programme, managed by EventScotland, which forms a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver a lasting legacy as a result of the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland.

The Games for Scotland programme of events are an opportunity for people to celebrate the arrival of the QBR to their local community while continuing to build on the Games legacy, whether that be through taking part in a cultural event, working together to celebrate the Games, or being inspired to become more active.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

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Britain’s most successful ever Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy MBE, visited Glasgow Airport today (Wednesday 16 July) to officially open its new international arrival area and declare the airport ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As part of its extensive preparations for the Games, Glasgow Airport has invested in excess of £17 million over the course of the past year enhancing large parts of the main terminal building. This included international arrivals which for many will be the gateway to the Games.

Sir Chris Hoy MBE, officially opened Glasgow Airports new look International arrivals.

The airport is one of three official non-competing venues and the investment will ensure it is looking its best when it provides a warm welcome and fond farewell to the thousands of athletes, games officials and visitors who will pass through its doors during the coming days and weeks.

Other aspects of the refurbishment included modernisations to the main check-in hall, the landscaping of a new public space at the front of the terminal, and general improvements to the airport’s road network. Over £1.5 million was also spent on upgrading the toilet facilities.

Sir Chris Hoy MBE, officially opened Glasgow Airports new look International arrivals.

Eleven-time world champion, six-time Olympic champion and former Commonwealth Games champion Sir Chris, was joined by Glasgow Airport’s managing director, Amanda McMillan, David Grevemberg, Chief Executive Glasgow 2014, and Clyde, the official Glasgow 2014 mascot.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Our £17 million investment represented one of the most significant and comprehensive upgrades to the airport since it was first opened in 1966. We’re absolutely thrilled with the end result which has truly transformed the entire look and feel of the airport.

“As the gateway to the Games, it was extremely important to us that we were able to provide a positive and welcoming first impression of the city and Scotland. I believe we’ve achieved that and we’ve delivered a facility that everyone associated with the airport can be proud of.

Sir Chris Hoy MBE, officially opened Glasgow Airports new look International arrivals.

“These large scale improvements will be our legacy from the Games and it is entirely fitting that our greatest ever Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, was able to perform the honours by officially opening our new international arrivals. We are now looking forward to welcoming all those who will be flying in to participate in what will be the largest sporting and cultural event Scotland will ever have hosted.”

Sir Chris Hoy added: “It’s been a real pleasure to visit Glasgow Airport today to officially open the new international arrival area. The airport is looking in great condition, and it is clear that a huge amount of time, energy and resources have been put into developing the terminal building.

“The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow over the next few weeks in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The new international arrivals area will be the first taste of the city that athletes and visitors experience, and I’m confident that Glasgow Airport will ensure that it will be a welcome gateway for them all.”
David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “The airport will be the first place many of our athletes, officials and spectators see when they arrive in Glasgow for the Games and what a great impression they will get of the city and of Scotland. The £17million investment has transformed the main terminal, the international arrivals areas and created a great new landscaped public space in front of the terminal. The new-look airport, together with our team of friendly clyde-siders who are on hand to meet and greet people as they arrive for the Games, really will ensure everyone receives a warm welcome from the minute they touch down.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This investment further reinforces Glasgow’s position as Scotland’s premier airport and will bring lasting benefits to the city long after the Commonwealth Games have finished. Our airport plays a crucial role in the economy of west central Scotland with over 7.5million passengers coming through the terminals each year, and this fantastic refurbishment will ensure it continues to meet the demands of an ever growing airport for years to come.”

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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Glasgow gives a ‘WEE’ taste of Doors Open Day to Games visitors


Mini Doors Open Day is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme: Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and partners have confirmed that they will be organising a Wee Doors Open Day to take place on Wednesday 23rd July, to give visitors to Glasgow a taste of Glasgow’s Unique Architecture. This event was announced on Tuesday as being an official Festival 2014 event and today the full programme has been launched online including the launch of a FREE audio tour.



The Event: Glasgow’s Wee Doors Open Day is offering the opportunity to explore Glasgow’s most unique architectural landmarks and heritage buildings normally closed to the public. On Wednesday 23rd July, 18 landmark buildings across the city will open their doors and showcase their hidden heritage. From Glasgow’s Oldest Music Hall to Glasgow’s Shipbuilding industry, you will be able to discover what makes the city so distinctive and our connections to the Commonwealth. The event is completely free for anyone to attend so there’s no excuse not to experience a bit of history and see Glasgow through the keyhole.


Audio Tour: Today is also the launch of the new Glasgow Landmarks Audio Tour. This is a virtual tour created by Walking Heads, to help to continue the journey of architectural discovery as visitors (and locals) walk around the city. You can download the FREE audio tour, Glasgow’s Landmarks from to find eight historic and very different buildings.


Full Programme: The full programme of events has now been launched and is available at: This includes;

  • Eighteen landmark buildings in Glasgow
  • Two FREE talks – The Story of Glasgow in Four Chapters & Glasgow’s Street Names and the Commonwealth
  • A FREE Audio Tour – Glasgow Landmarks – focusing on 8 landmark buildings in Glasgow
  • Scottish Canals and the Scottish Waterways Trust Forth & Clyde Canal Heritage Trail providing a link between city centre, Mackintosh Church and Maryhill Burgh Halls.
  • Two FREE vintage buses from Glasgow City Centre to Glasgow Gurdwara, Mackintosh Church and Maryhill Burgh Halls
  • And a FREE Ferry over the River Clyde linking Tallship with Govan Old Church and Fairfield Shipyard Offices.
  • Commonwealth Building pairing exhibition – exploring the similarities and links between Glasgow’s buildings and those within the Commonwealth.


Festival 2014: The event will form part of the official Festival 2014 programme of events


Funded by the National Lottery through the Celebrate Programme: Glasgow’s Wee Doors Open Day has received funding from the National Lottery Funded Celebrate Programme . In addition to the Celebrate fund partners enabling the event to take place are; Glasgow City Heritage Trust, Historic Glasgow – Glasgow City Council and The Scottish Civic Trust.


Ruth Morris, Events & Development Coordinator at Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said:

“We are delighted that we have been able to secure the funding from the National Lottery Funded Celebrate programme and the additional support from Glasgow City Heritage Trust and Historic Glasgow – Glasgow City Council, to enable to event to take place. Being able to offer visitors the opportunity to experience a mini version of our September event will be a great asset to the Games and will complement the diverse cultural programme. We are also delighted that we are an official Festival 2014 event. This is a great honor for all of our participants and volunteers. We are so pleased that we are able to highlight what great architecture we have in Glasgow and will provide an opportunity to see inside some of these places. Our city has so much to offer and we are looking forward to celebrating our heritage and connections to the commonwealth!”


Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow’s architectural heritage strides the centuries and reflects the city’s medieval origins through to its rise as a world manufacturing leader and a creative and economic powerhouse. Moreover, our nineteenth-century townscape and the critical legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work are assets of world renown.


“The Wee Doors Open day presents a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of 18 of Glasgow’s most historic buildings; bringing to life the architectural characteristics and often hidden heritage of these amazing landmarks while providing an exciting insight into the journey of the people who used them, with industry and innovation playing an important role throughout the ages.”


Paper Leaflet: Copies of the Wee Doors Open Day leaflets (including a map) will be available in the Sunday Herald on Sunday 22nd June 2014. Otherwise you can get a copy at your local library.


Key Relay: To help ‘Open the Doors’ Glasgow’s Wee Doors Open Day will be travelling around Glasgow on a Key Relay. More information will be posted soon for the start of the Key Relay and a focus on where our giant key will be going.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Renfrewshire towns and villages on Commonwealth route.

The list of Renfrewshire towns and villages on the route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay has been released – with 15 local communities set to feature.

The baton will visit Renfrewshire on Thursday 17 July – Day 34 of a 40-day Scottish tour covering each of the country’s 32 local authorities.


Renfrewshire Council will be co-ordinating a festival of fun to mark the day, with a series of local events to welcome the baton on its way around the area.

The local route is as follows – Howwood, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Johnstone, Elderslie, Linwood, Brookfield, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Langbank, Bishopton, Erskine, Inchinnan, Renfrew and Paisley.

Further details showing timings and the street-level route will be released nearer the time.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “Glasgow 2014 will be the biggest sporting event ever to take place in Scotland, and Renfrewshire is uniquely placed to help celebrate that in our role as the Gateway to the Games.

“The visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay will be the perfect opportunity for local residents to be part of the Games when it comes to a street near them.

“Every one of Renfrewshire’s 15 communities will have the chance to share in the occasion and I am sure the events due to take place will make it a day to remember.”

The baton will visit over 400 communities, offering people across the nation a chance to be a part of the countdown to Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival.

The relay will reflect the important role of sport by visiting schools, sporting facilities and leisure centres, and encouraging communities to get behind Team Scotland.

The 40-day journey of the baton will cover 8,000 kilometres, showcasing the nation’s most-iconic landmarks and culture such as the Forth Bridge, Loch Ness and St Andrew’s Old Course.

On 31 March thousands of people will find out whether their nominations to become batonbearers have been successful.

When it arrives in Scotland on 14 June, the baton will have been on 248-day global epic journey through all other 69 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people across Scotland to celebrate what’s extraordinary and unique about their communities, and honour those locals who make a difference to others.

“With less than three months to go until the baton comes home to Scotland, the momentum is building for the biggest festival of sport and culture this nation has ever hosted.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay route in Scotland has been planned by Glasgow 2014 in partnership with Commonwealth Games Scotland and 32 Local Authorities. The relay is delivered in association with those Local Authorities.

For more information about the relay, visit , and for information of local events, keep an eye on