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Queen's Baton Relay welcomed to Ironbridge, Telford, Newport and Lilleshall

The Queen's Baton Relay was carried on the River Severn under Shropshire's famous Iron Bridge on the second leg of its journey through the county.

The Queen's Baton Relay at sunrise at the top of The Wrekin on Tuesday, July 19. MUST CREDIT @sambagnallphoto
The Queen's Baton Relay at sunrise at the top of The Wrekin on Tuesday, July 19. MUST CREDIT @sambagnallphoto

After being welcomed by crowds in Shrewsbury on Monday evening, it was the turn of Ironbridge, Telford, Newport and Lilleshall to turn out for the relay on Tuesday.

But first there was the chance to grab the sunrise on top of The Wrekin.

Crowds line the Iron Bridge to watch thw baton pass underneath on the River Severn. Photo: Sue Austin
Baton-bearer Keiran Riley brought the baton down the River Severn to Ironbridge
Baton-bearer Keiran Riley brought the baton down the River Severn to Ironbridge

Sweltering temperatures kept down numbers in the crowds who lined the route of the baton but there were smiles and happy tears from proud family and friends of those carrying the symbol of the games.

After bringing in the dawn on top of the Wrekin the baton moved to Ironbridge where it arrived under the famous Iron Bridge by coracle, carried by community first responder, 24-year old Keiran Riley.

Baton-bearer Helen Bourton, from Newport, at Harper Adams University
Baton-bearer Judith Frost at Harper Adams University, near Newport,
Baton-bearer Kathy Ling, from Market Drayton, at Harper Adams University, near Newport

Keiran, from Perton, became a British Red Cross cadet as a teenager and now volunteers as a first responder.

He was cheered on by mum Bridget and girlfriend Kat before handing the baton over to Ketrina Hill from Trysull whose Daisychain nursery helps the community.

"We were handing out ice-creams to older people yesterday," she said.

The Queen's Baton Relay at sunrise at the top of The Wrekin. Photo: @sambagnallphoto
Baton-bearer Alison Smith..at Southwater, Telford
Baton-bearer Paul Sanderson

She carried the baton over the bridge handing up to another first responder, Mark Jones from Broseley, who was sitting on top of Telford's enormous mechanical elephant, returning back over the bridge.

Watching him were sisters Emma and Paula and while his mum, Margaret, could not get there in person she watched on live stream and was able to wave to him.

Another proud mum was also watching on live stream, from India.

The stage for the Queen's Baton Relay at Telford Town Park
Stuart Richards, from Wellington
Baton-bearers Stuart Richards and Alison Smith at Southwater, Telford

Manny Kang was able to speak to his mother Gurdev on a relative's phone, a complete surprise for him.

An ambassador for Dementia UK, he has raised both awareness and £130,000 in funds for the charity. Last year he ran the London Marathon and in October the Wolves fan will be walking to Stamford Bridge for a football match to bring in more money.

He handed over to Ian Jeff-Watts.

Becca Hampson, left, aged 12, from Wolverhampton, and Gemma Elsmore, from Trench, Telford
Baton-bearer Helen Bourton, from Newport, at Harper Adams University
LAST PIC MNA PIC DAVID HAMILTON PIC SHROPSHIRE STAR Entertainment for the Queen's Baton Relay, at Southwater, Telford..

From Ironbridge the baton travelled by horse and cart to Blists Hill and then on to Southwater for a tour of Telford Town Park.

Watching the baton bearers then and joining in the fun was Telford and Wrekin's Mayor, Councillor Raj Mehta. He thanked everyone who turned out in the record breaking temperatures to cheer them on.

"This is a town that is all about community and having fun and it is good to see both come together today," he said.

Young Ukrainian Artem Solovei, aged 8, shows his support
Supporters in the crowd at Southwater
Supporters in the crowd at Southwater

Taking the baton into Southwater was Wrekin Rower, Stuart Richards. The partially sighted cross-Atlantic rower followed instructions from baton stewards to walk into the heart of the entertainment complex, joined for a short while by brother and fellow rower, Gary.

They received a rousing welome from Bhangra dancers and Dhol drummers who then followed the baton around Telford Town Park.

Megan Baynham, 21, was pushed in her wheelchair carrying the baton by her parents, Sarah and Adam.

She was nominated for her campaign to bring inclusivity to Telford.

"It was amazing, really exciting," she said afterwards.

Among those carrying the baton in the park were John Paterson from Telford Athletics Club who took it to a stage in the park.

Fiona Doran from Telford, another baton carrier, has spent many years volunteering while Elaine Bolton from Walsall has continued her Girl Guide volunteering through her third cancer battle.

At her side in the park was her five-year-old grandson, Cody, who she said was also with her when she rang the bell after her last chemo treatment ended.

Lee Ellis from St Georges took the baton from Elaine watched by his family and Andy Finazzi from Shrewsbury, who carried it through his home town on Monday.

Lee was nominated by Andy for the years of fundraising he has done for many charities including that set up to help Andy's son Liam.

"Liam had leukaemia which left him with serious brain injuries," Andy said.

"The incredible fundraising is helping Liam, now 10, with his rehabilitation. We have also become firm friends."

Bringing the baton to the end of its tour of Telford was hugely popular shopkeeper Julie Duhra. Customers who nominated her said she put her heart and soul into everything from charity fundraising to helping the community in Covid.

Julie said without her customers she wouldn't have a shop and paid tribute to the community.

She led a colourful Bhangra dance, pulling other baton bearers and civic dignitaries into the pedestrianised street for impromptu celebrations.

The relay is travelling around the country ahead of the final leg in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games, which start on July 28.

Ketrina Hill from Trysull took the baton over the Iron Bridge
Ketrina Hill from Trysull took the baton over the Iron Bridge, followed by a life-size metal elephant
Community First Responder Mark Jones from Broseley holds the baton aloft in Ironbridge

Then the relay was moved on to Southwater and Telford Town Park.

A relay circuit of Southwater and the Town Park was highlighted with a celebration of sports in the QEII Arena, with specially invited schoolchildren taking part.

Dementia ambassador and Wolves fan Many Kang with the baton
Dementia ambassador and Wolves fan Many Kang with the baton
Dementia ambassador and Wolves fan Many Kang with the baton

After Telford, the relay headed on to Harper Adams University, Newport and a private reception at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, and was then crossing into Staffordshire, visiting Stafford, Stone, Rudyard, and Leek.

Keep scrolling for more pictures and tweets.

The baton relay passes by tractor through Harper Adams University on its way to Newport. Photo: @TelfordCops
The baton relay passes by tractor through Harper Adams University on its way to Newport. Photo: @TelfordCops
Stuart Richards carries the baton through Southwater
Wrekin rower Stuart Richards carries the baton through Southwater joined for a while by brother Gary
Stuart Richards carries the baton through Southwater joined by his brother Gary

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