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Day 11.  Tuesday 24 June.

Day 11 of the Queen's Baton Relay in Scotland saw the baton travel through Falkirk and the surrounding area council area. Today visits included trips to Denny, Larbert, Stenhousemuir, Bainsford, Falkirk, Bo'ness, Blackness and Grangemouth.

Historically Falkirk was the cradle for Scotland’s industrial revolution and contributing in no small part to Scot, James Watt’s invention of the steam engine. Now Falkirk is in somewhat of an engineering renaissance with visitors flocking from around the world to visit the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel. The Falkirk Wheel was one of the major stops of the day where a boat then took the baton along the Forth & Clyde canal. Visits to Callander House, Kinneil House in Bo’ness and the 15th century Blackness Castle followed later in the day. 

Laughter and joy was the order of the day as the residents of Falkirk got into the spirit of the relay.  Dennis Shovlin was joined by the Commonwealth mascot Clyde who hitched a ride on Dennis’ mobility scooter through the streets of Larbert.

Love was in the air when husband and wife batonbearers Alan and Laura Shanks stopped for a smooch as they passed the baton to one another.

Lord of the Rings Steve Frew, a former rings gymnast and Falkirk hero also carried the baton. Steve won gold for Scotland at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. And a kilted Anthea Bundy treated crowds to some Highland Dancing as she jigged through Falkirk

The day ended in Helix Park in Falkirk where the stunning twin Kelpie towers, 30 metre high horse head statues that are a monument to Central Scotland’s horse powered heritage and modern engineering. As the sun set the steel skin of the Kelpies reflected the fading light and provided an opportune moment to reflect on another fantastic day of the Queen’s Baton Relay. 

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18.15The Helix 

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Featured batonbearers

Over the last four years the multi-nominated Danielle was worked extremely hard to help other young children in sport and dance. She currently works within the local community in schools, youth clubs, breakfast and afterschool clubs, with most of her work voluntary and unpaid. Since the age of five she has been a very talented dancer, throwing everything into her passion and giving 150% commitment to everything she does.

Alan has - for a number of years - introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award for young people in custody in HMYOI Polmont. He’s successfully facilitated a number of young people through their Bronze and Silver Awards.

Anne, an active swimming teacher for young children and parent & child classes, has terminal cancer but has not let one single day pass by where she did not help children to enjoy sport. Clearly a brave woman, who is currently fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Research and the charity Tommy’s, inspires many people, both within the work environment and outwith in the local community. Her sheer resilience, get-up-and-go attitude and bravery help illuminate the shadow of her illness.

In his teens Sandy beat his competitors to the finish line to claim the title of British 400m hurdles champion. Nearly 60 years later, he’s still heavily-involved in athletics, being one of the only five of the sport’s master coaches in Scotland. A former national coach in both his native Scotland and Malawi, Sandy uses his wealth of knowledge and experience to coach athletes of all ages in multi-events, most days of the week, and many to national level.

Committed to highland dancing for the last seven years, in that time frame Cameron has topped an incredible 47 Championships, including two Scottish Championships at the Cowal Games (the pinnacle for his age). This year – for the first time – he has qualified for the World Finals, which will place him sixth against boys and girls aged up to three years older than him.

The eldest baton bearer candidate from the Falkirk area, over the decades Bill has volunteered for many a service, including spells as a Boys Brigade officer and a walk leader for Braveheart, the latter requiring him to take part in first aid training and lead seven walks per week. After years of service he has since passed over his leading mantle, but still takes part in walks regularly.

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