Sandwell ready to welcome Queen’s Baton Relay today

This story came from Sandwell Council and was first published here:

Poster for the Queens Baton Relay in Sandwell

Sandwell is one of only a few areas in the country to have the privilege of hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay for a full day. And today is the day!

Sandwell is ready and waiting for more than 100 inspirational baton bearers to carry the baton across the six towns of our borough.

You can cheer on the baton bearers on several streets along the route and at short celebration stops in Wednesbury town centre (by the bus station), by Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick and in West Bromwich town centre (at the corner of Bull Street and High Street).

Find out more about where you can watch the Queen’s Baton Relay pass through Sandwell on the Visit Sandwell website.

There are also six special Queen’s Baton Relay celebration events taking place across the borough, for which you can book a free ticket.

These main events are at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury, Brunswick Park in Wednesbury, Victoria Park in Tipton, Haden Hill House in Cradley Heath, Lightwoods House in Bearwood and Sandwell Valley in West Bromwich. 

Each event will have a unique feel with a range of activities and entertainment taking place. The special free events in the six towns are:

Sandwell Council House, Oldbury: 7am – 9am (Queen’s Baton Oldbury Relay Leg: 8am – 8.32am*)

The Queen’s Baton Relay special events will kick off bright and early at Sandwell Council House with a launch celebration for all ages.

Sandwell Libraries will be putting on Commonwealth Games storytelling and craft activities and you can grab some breakfast from the Bostin Butties breakfast stall. 

The Baton itself will be in Oldbury from 8am to 8.32am, starting its journey in Simpson Street and making its way via Century Road to our event outside Sandwell Council House.

Brunswick Park, Wednesbury: 8.30am – 11am (Queen’s Baton Wednesbury Relay Leg: 9.24am – 10.07am*)

The Queen’s Baton Relay will stop at Brunswick Park, welcomed by community groups and performances from children and young people.

The event includes a family theatre production of Pirates Dowen The Cut by Showtime Community Productions CIO, a local group which encourages four to 94-year-olds to perform. 

Multistory also has a stall and will showcase local singers and actors.

You can also meet Perry – the official Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games mascot. And check out our outdoor exhibition from our Young Photographer of the Year Bostin Green Spaces competition and free crafts provided by the outreach team from Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Cheer on the baton bearers as they enter the park and loop their way around the event before appearing on stage. The event ends with awards to local volunteers and organisations.

The baton itself will be in Wednesbury from 9.24am to 10.07am, starting its journey in the town centre and making its way to the park via High Bullen and Brunswick Park Road.

Victoria Park, Tipton: 10am – 2pm (Queen’s Baton Tipton Relay Leg: 11.02am – 11.39am*)

Victoria Park will host a celebration of Sandwell sports with local groups providing free family activities. Activities include Tipton Harriers doing run, jump and throw activities, ‘have a go’ at cheerleading and gymnastics hosted by Timestep Dance and table tennis with Sandwell Leisure Trust.

Sport 4 Kids will be teaching families how to play traditional games from the Commonwealth, Midrange Netball Club will be showcasing the sport for adults and juniors and there will be dance performances from Unique Dance Company.

Check out traditional sports to enhance people’s everyday life skills provided by Sporting Spirit, disability activation sport activities provided by Sandwell Disability and Inclusion, traditional sports from Limitless Fitness Centre, and Sandwell Steelers will be showcasing American football. 

Special guests will include Ellie Harbinson, junior Great Britain champion in kickboxing and boxing, and Kevin Brown, Great Britain medallist in discus and multiple Guinness World Record breaker.

The baton itself will be in Tipton from 11.02am to 11.39am, starting its journey in Owen Street and making its way to the park via Queens Road.

Haden Hill House, Cradley Heath: 11am – 2pm (Queen’s Baton Rowley Regis Relay Leg: 12.20pm – 1.39pm*)

The beautiful surroundings of Haden Hill House and Park will play host to music, games and stories from the Commonwealth. Take part in traditional Commonwealth family games, try out the themed garden trail and enjoy delicious food while listening to the sounds of a steelpan drummer.

This year Sandwell is celebrating 100 years of Haden Hill becoming a public park. Inside the house, you can watch Caudwell Children’s 10-minute inspiring documentary – All Roads Lead to Alexander – and discover stories from Living Memory’s Our Commonwealth project as well as from the historic house and park. 

The baton itself is in Rowley Regis from 12.20pm – 1.39pm, starting its journey in Cradley Heath High Street and making its way via Barrs Road, Haden Hill Park and Waterfall Lane to Blackheath High Street.

Lightwoods House, Bearwood: 1pm – 4pm (Queen’s Baton Smethwick Relay Leg: 2.55pm – 4.24pm*)

Lightwoods Park is hosting a special celebration event for all the family, including bubble magic and the chance to meet some of the animals from Forge Mill Farm in a ‘farm to town’ experience (including some cheeky goats!). Have a go at milking a fake goat and try your hand at butter making and flour grinding.

Take a historic tour of the house (including a talk at 1.30pm by local historian Mary Bodfish), enjoy a drink at the licensed bar in the Shakespeare Garden and visit community stalls selling homemade chutneys, jams, cheeses, toys, crafts and games. Check out the Happy Coffee Man, and also Street Bites, which offers bubble waffles and bubble tea and ice cream. 

You can also meet some local charities including Brushstrokes and Cats Protection.

Take part in Bhangra dance workshops for the whole family and creative workshops and performances from Oss Box, which delivers creativity from a converted horse box. Chase Jazzmen will be performing on stage with guest vocalists from Lightwoods volunteer group. There will also be three small fair rides.

The baton itself is in Smethwick from 2.55pm to 4.24pm, starting its journey in Harborne Road and making its way via Lightwoods Park, Bearwood Road and past Victoria Park to where the Smethwick relay leg finishes in High Street (near Smethwick library).

Sandwell Valley, West Bromwich: 4pm – 9pm (Queen’s Baton West Bromwich Relay Leg: 5.36pm – 7.15pm*)

Visit Sandwell Valley Showground at the end of a great day to give the baton a fantastic send-off with performances, a fair and activities throughout the evening.

There will be a special 20-minute community parade that will follow Sandwell’s inspirational baton bearers as they carry the baton from Dartmouth Park to Sandwell Valley.

Live music includes local band Thunder Chunky who have been wowing audiences across our Shine a Light Festivals along with the ever-popular Bhangra Smash Up.

As the sun begins to lower, the evening will be topped by an amazing fire performance which includes fire eating, fire dancing, burning swords and huge fireball blowing.

Entertainment includes bubble displays, stilt walkers and family theatre from Drama and Some who will be running mental health and confidence-building workshops and performances. There will also be a licensed bar and pizza tent along with Caribbean food and Indian inspired fish and chips.

The baton itself will be in West Bromwich from 5.36pm to 7.15pm, starting its journey in Spon Lane and making its way via Bull Street, Walsall Street and Reform Street to Dartmouth Park and then down to Sandwell Valley.

*The timings above for each town’s Relay Leg show the estimated start and finish times for when the Baton will be in each town – including both the street and event sections of the relay route.

In addition to the six town events, the Baton will also make the following short stops:

Wednesbury Town Centre: 9.04am – 9.24am – the baton will make a short stop near the bus station along with some musical entertainment.

Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick: 4.10pm – 4.24pm – the baton will be greeted with confetti cannon, dhol drummers and free traditional food.

West Bromwich Town Centre: 5:53pm – 6.13pm  – local singer Tom Heyes will perform Rat Pack golden era songs as we greet the baton for a short celebration at the Bull Street end of West Bromwich High Street.

People are encouraged to attend events on foot or by public transport wherever possible. If you’re planning to travel on the roads today please check out temporary road closures that will be in operation in specific areas as the baton makes its way across Sandwell. Affected roads will reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Councillor Laura Rollins, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “I can’t wait for us to join together to mark the arrival of the Queen’s Relay Baton, to connect our communities through the inspirational stories and achievements of our baton bearers and performers, and to give the baton a big Sandwell welcome.

“You can still book your free tickets for the six main celebration events and I would like to thank everyone who’s taking part. We have some wonderful activities and entertainment lined up and community groups and services have come forward to add even more to these events and that’s fantastic.

“The baton’s journey through the borough will inspire hope, cohesion and teamwork – that’s a great legacy in itself before the Games get under way later in the week.”