Tamworth preparing to welcome Queen’s Baton Relay

Queen's Baton Relay poster

Tamworth is preparing to give the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay a right royal welcome when it visits the town this summer on its final journey to the Commonwealth Games.

The Queen’s Baton will travel through Tamworth on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 20, visiting the Sacred Heart Church and the Rawlett School, before stopping at Tamworth Castle Grounds, where there will be an evening of free activities and entertainment for the whole family, including music from a Queen tribute band.

The first official stop on the Tamworth tour is due to see the Queen’s Baton arriving at the Sacred Heart Church in Glascote Heath at around 4.15pm. A mini community games will take place, including the ‘vegetable games’, featuring the likes of leek javelins and a swede shotput.

It will then travel in convoy mode (with the Baton driven in a vehicle) to the Rawlett School where the first of the Community Batonbearers for Tamworth will carry the Baton into the school to be greeted by a student guard of honour. This will be followed by a dance display on the school field.

A further 31 Community Batonbearers, selected earlier in the year, will then take it in turns to carry the Queen’s Baton in relay from The Rawlett School to Tamworth Castle Grounds. This will involve a rolling road closure along Comberford Road, Coton Lane, Lichfield Road, Lichfield Street and Holloway, while the Baton is carried through. The Holloway Car Park will be closed all day on July 20th.

Entertainment in the Castle Grounds

Festivities in the Castle Grounds will begin at 4pm with a free Tamworth Community Games, made up of sports displays and free taster sessions, and live music and entertainment on the stage from 4.45pm, including The Jive Aces.

Just after 6pm, the Baton is due to arrive in the Castle Grounds where it will be met by dignitaries. There will also be a performance by the Singing for Fun choir at Tamworth Community Together CIC. Amington Band will play while local school children display a giant welcome flag on the lower lawn.

This will be followed by stage performances from NRG Dance Crew and SMDA, before the Queen’s Baton arrives on stage for its final leg of the Tamworth journey (approximately 6.45pm), where it will stay until around 7.15pm.

The honour of carrying the Baton onto stage will be given to siblings Ellie and Billy, in memory of their mum, Katie Rigby (nee Niblett), who passed away in 2021, aged 39, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

Katie was a much-loved and popular figure in Tamworth, particularly well-known for her sports. As well as competing in athletics and swimming as a youngster, she went on to develop community exercise and keep fit classes, inspiring and encouraging thousands of residents to become active over several years. Her popular Zumba classes and events alone were a hit with hundreds of people of all ages across the town.

During her illness, Katie raised thousands of pounds for ovarian cancer charities, and shared her story on social media to raise awareness of the deadly disease and its symptoms. A Zumba session will be held in memory of Katie from 7pm, led by local instructor Hannah Goddard.

The evening will finish with a performance by top tribute artists Magic Queen from 7.45pm.

Cllr Robert Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “We’re very lucky to be chosen as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay route and we’re going all out to give it a big Tamworth welcome.

“Just as we did with the Olympic Torch back in 2012, we’ll be pulling out all the stops to create a real community atmosphere and showcase what Tamworth has to offer. As well as the visits being organised by the Sacred Heart Church and Rawlett School, we’ve got a full programme of free entertainment taking place in the Castle Grounds from 4pm to 10pm and we would love to see lots of Tamworth people in attendance, soaking up the atmosphere.

“We’d also welcome people to line the route at appropriate points where it’s safe to do so, between the Rawlett School and the Castle Grounds, wave their flags and cheer on the Community Batonbearers, who were all nominated and selected for a variety of heart-warming reasons.”

More details on the event and road closures will be available at www.tamworth.gov.uk/QBR.

Please note the timings below are correct at the time of print but could be subject to change. Please check the website above for up-to-date information.

Queen’s Baton Relay

  • 4.16pm – Queen’s Baton Relay convoy arrives at Sacred Heart Church
  • 4.52pm – Convoy departs for the Rawlett School (Baton carried by vehicle)
  • 5.06pm – First Batonbearer carries the Baton into the Rawlett School
  • 5.33pm – Baton begins its journey to the Castle Grounds, carried by Batonbearers along Comberford Road, Coton Lane, Lichfield Road, Lichfield Street and Holloway.
  • 6.06pm – Baton enters the Castle Grounds to performances from Singing for Fun and Amington Band and a welcome by dignitaries
  • 6.45pm – Baton carried onto the main stage

Castle Grounds timetable

  • 4pm – Free Community Games starts in Tamworth Castle Grounds (until 7pm)
  • 4.45pm – Official opening of stage activities
  • 5pm – Stage performances including the Jive Aces
  • 6.10pm - NRG Dance Crew performance
  • 6.25pm – SMDA dance performance
  • 6.40pm – Baton arriving on stage
  • 7pm – Zumba by Hannah Goddard
  • 7.15pm – Baton leaves the stage
  • 7.45pm – Magic Queen (close 10pm)

The Baton visit kicks starts a jam-packed programme of events in the Castle Grounds this summer, including live entertainment, performances, special events, and screens to watch the Commonwealth Games sporting action.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr.