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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Scots carry the Jubilee flame
Curler Hammy McMillan with the baton
Curler Hammy McMillan carried the baton in Stranraer
Hundreds of runners are carrying the flame as the Queen's Royal Jubilee baton travels around Scotland.

A journey which will pass through 78 villages, towns and cities across the country began in Stranraer on Saturday.

In all, the baton will travel a total of 58,000 miles along a route which has already taken in more than 20 countries in the Commonwealth.

Baton carrier
The baton has passed through several towns
It started its journey at Buckingham Palace in March and will reach the end of the line in Manchester on 25 July for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

The baton arrived in Scotland at 0630 BST on Saturday by ferry after completing the Irish leg of its journey in Belfast.

Deputy Scottish Sports Minister Elaine Murray started the Scottish section of the run when she picked it up at the ferry terminal in the south west town.

It was passing through Girvan, Turnberry, Ayr, Irvine, Largs and Greenock before arriving in Glasgow's George Square on Saturday evening in the hands of Sports Minister Mike Watson.

During its five days in Scotland the baton will travel through Edinburgh Castle and visit beauty spots such as Loch Lomond.

Blue light

It will also be involved in an attempt to track down the Loch Ness Monster on Sunday.

The high-tech baton is fitted with sensors which monitor each runner's pulse, before transforming it into a blade of blue light.

These sensors will hope to identify a monster lurking in the deep when it is taken by boat onto Loch Ness in an attempt to detect Nessie.

Deputy Scottish sports minister Elaine Murray
Elaine Murray met the baton in Stranraer
Event director Di Henry said: "The relay is a very inclusive event and we are delighted to bring the Commonwealth Games Baton to communities right across Scotland.

"The country's history and spectacular scenery, and of course the possibility of a chance to meet Nessie, will make Scotland one of the magical places that the relay will visit."

The baton will be carried by hundreds of runners, including politicians, celebrities and members of the public.

The gold medal-winning British women's curling team, Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games gold medallist swimmer Margaret McEleny and Olympic runner Yvonne Murray-Mooney will be among those taking part.

A host of other sports men and women will also be involved, starting with curler Hammy McMillan in Stranraer.

Community celebrations have been organised in Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Stirling and Edinburgh as they receive the baton.


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03 Jun 02 | Scotland
03 Jun 02 | Scotland
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