Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay visits Northwich


Crowds will line the streets of Northwich on Sunday 17 July to enjoy a celebratory festival of activity to welcome the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay during its global tour.

The 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that connects and excites communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games, which begin on 28 July.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is an opportunity for communities across England to experience the buzz and excitement for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, from 28 July – 8 August.

“It is special for Northwich to be one of the few chosen towns in the country to host the Baton on its long journey. We encourage everyone to come along to Northwich on 17 July to welcome it to our borough. We will be celebrating sport in our community, with lots of activities going on at different spots along the route for everyone to enjoy as they cheer on the Batonbearers.”

One of the Batonbearers George Kitteridge, from Hazel Grove, said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet and feels a bit surreal. It was nice to be nominated initially and the whole experience is a great honour. I will not just be carrying the Baton for myself but for my dad who has Huntington’s Disease and for all those who continue to be affected in some way by it today. It is a pleasure to keep raising awareness for the Huntington’s Disease Association and what better way than representing them in the 2022 Commonwealth games celebrations.”

James McCann, from Manchester, who is also carrying the Baton, said: “I am delighted to represent the UK and Commonwealth by carrying the Baton, it is a once in a lifetime experience and something I am looking forward to. My friends and family will be coming to cheer on. My nan, who is fighting cancer, is resilient and has shown a never give up attitude. I like the sporting element of the Relay and am into rugby and fitness and I am looking to also showcase this resilience from sport.” 

The Queen’s Baton arrives in the town at the Anderton Boat Lift, which will be closed to the public until 1pm for an official private event to welcome the Batonbearers, including the conclusion of the Schools Baton Relay.

The tour begins at midday when a Batonbearer carries the Baton by boat down the 50ft lift to emerge onto the River Weaver Navigation below. They will sail along the River Weaver by boat, accompanied by a flotilla of paddle boarders and canoeists.

The Baton is disembarked at Winnington Swing Bridge at 12.35pm onto A533 Winnington Lane before passing Winnington Urban Village. As it runs past Winnington Recreation Club, garden centre and youth club at 12.40pm, crowds can enjoy displays of bowls and cricket and sporting activities by local clubs and groups.

Sport and leisure activities such as football, netball, boxing and more will take place on Winnington Lane Playing field with the Batonbearers passing by at 12.45pm. The Youth Service will entertain crowds as the Baton runs past the Youth Club at 12.55pm.

The Baton then descends Winnington Bank in the Krazy Races soapbox to cross the river at Town Bridge at 1pm and follows the gyratory to the northern entrance to Brio Leisure’s Northwich Memorial Court where there will be dance displays.

More dance displays will be performed as the Baton passes Northwich Library at 1.10pm. The tour concludes at 1.15pm at Barons Quay Road to coincide with the Rotary’s free Sunday in the Park festival at Riverside Park where the Batonbearers will take to the stage to complete this leg of its epic journey.

Mike Watson, CEO of Active Cheshire, said: “Northwich will embrace the Queen’s Baton Relay and the whole of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.  We see a great opportunity to Get Northwich Active and would encourage any groups wanting to be part of the day to get in touch with Active Cheshire. Similarly, anyone wanting to become active, or more active, but isn’t sure where to start, talk to us, or one of the many groups and clubs along the route.”

Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West director, said: “We are delighted that Anderton Boat Lift will be the first venue in Northwich to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay. Sadly, due to limited space, we are not able to open the lift to the public during the event but, as the world’s first boat lift, the Victorian structure should offer a spectacular start to its journey along the River Weaver and through the town.”

Mayor of Northwich, Councillor Graham Emmett, said: “Northwich is honoured to be chosen to host a stage of the Queen’s Baton Relay.  This is going to be an amazing day for our great town, and I know the Northwich community will come out and support as it always does.”

The Relay began on 7 October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, when The Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton, which is travelling for a total 294 days and will visit all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.