Aug 17 2012 by Ian Russell, Kilmarnock Standard
BOYS’ Brigade members throughout East Ayrshire are on Her Majesty’s ‘secret’ Service this weekend as the Queen’s diamond jubilee silver baton arrives.
Inspired by the Olympic torch relay, Scottish members of the BB are on an epic journey to deliver a message, on behalf of the Queen, to the BB HQ in London next month.
The special silver baton left Balmoral Castle earlier this week and is due to reach Stewarton early on Sunday afternoon, via a series of bizarre and quirky methods of transport!
There the 1st Stewarton BB company will parade it along Main Street, by as yet unspecified modes of transport, for half an hour before it heads to Galston around 3.30pm.
The 3rd Galston company will receive the baton at Loudoun Academy around 3.45pm, and transport it – by skateboard – to Galston Parish Church hall.
St John’s Church in Onthank is the next stop-off, with the 1st/6th Kilmarnock BB company welcoming it there around 4.30pm.
The baton will be carried across Western Road, down Rowallan Drive, across Glasgow Road and into Woodlands Place before arriving in front of Dean Castle.
Finally the baton will be taken to Dundonald around 5pm where the 1st Dundonald company will hail its arrival at Dundonald Parish Church.
A mountain bike journey through the village follows before the baton is transported to Dumfries House for a reception around 7pm.
Said Bill Stevenson, BB director for Scotland: “We wanted to do something really special for the Queen in her diamond jubilee year, and have been inspired by the Olympic torch relay.
“It’s going to be a spectacular tour of Scotland and some of the BB companies are coming up with really innovative ways to transport the silver baton.
“It is a very special event for BB members and our young people are very excited. It is something they will remember and be able to talk about for the rest of their lives.”
Andrew Thomson, of the BB’s East Ayrshire battalion, said: “We are trying to do something different but on the back of the Olympic torch success.
“The different modes of transport idea is great, and I’ll be using my sister’s 1965 Morris Minor Traveller to make things a bit different outside Dean Castle.
“I’ve been in contact with a lot of our members this week and they are all up for this.
“It will be a great way for us to publicise the start to a new session.”
So, if you are anywhere near the baton route on Sunday folks, try to get along and support the BB lads.