Thousands of Solihull residents enjoyed a day to remember on Tuesday 26 July as The Queen’s Baton Relay toured nearly every corner of the borough. Community events drew in huge crowds with sporting and cultural activities that celebrated the visit of this global event.
The relay began at 8am with a reception at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel, where the baton was displayed on a plinth. The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Meeson, and the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Karen Grinsell, gave speeches to formally welcome the relay to the borough and wish all 140 of the Batonbearers well as they undertook their momentous task.
The baton was carried in to the community by Wayne Elcock, who was lauded by Councillor Grinsell as someone who “typifies the best of our borough” as she also lauded all those who had been chosen for their achievements and the work they do in their communities. Continuing, Councillor Grinsell spoke of the outstanding spirit of Solihull that she hoped and expected would be on display throughout the day. She would not have been disappointed as hundreds, sometimes thousands of people came to show their support
After leaving the hotel, The Queen’s Baton Relay visited (deep breath!) – Castle Bromwich, Babbs Mill Park, North Solihull Sports Centre, Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, Marston Green, The Grand Union Canal, The NEC (which will host many events during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games), Hampton in Arden, Meriden, Berkswell, Lavender Hall Park, Balsall Common, Knowle locks, Knowle, Dorridge, Hockley Heath, Cheswick Green, Dickens Heath, Hope Coppice, Shirley Park, Shirley, Olton and Solihull Town Centre before reaching the final destination for the day at Jubilee Gardens.
The Leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Ian Courts, spoke movingly at an event in The Core, Solihull, ahead of the arrival of The Queen’s Baton Relay in the town centre. Speaking of the “incredible events” he had visited through the day, he said “everywhere we have been today, the community spirit has been amazing. You may wonder why I say that, but it’s true, it’s what we do in Solihull, we have a great community spirit… it’s been great news throughout the whole day. It’s been a wonderful day to see what’s been going on, Solihull has done great today”
His sentiments will ring true to any of the thousands who were in attendance, supporting and enjoying The Queen’s Baton Relay across the borough. For a sense of the atmosphere, please enjoy the photos that have already been added to our Flickr gallery, which will continue to be populated over the coming days and weeks.