YORK youngsters got their hands on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Baton as it passed through the city.

The Queen has been patron of the worldwide Boys Brigade movement, which was founded in 1883, throughout her reign.

To celebrate her Jubilee, four youngsters representing the UK’s four nations expressed the greetings of the Brigade to her at Balmoral Castle on August 14.

Her reply was then sealed in the Baton, which is being carried by Boys Brigade members across Britain.

Its journey will end on September 15, when it will reach London in time for the annual council meeting of the Brigade when the Queen’s reply will be read out.

The Baton was handed to 5th Hull Company in Northallerton yesterday before being driven to York’s National Railway Museum, where the company was met by officers and boys of the Yorkshire County Battalion. A parade incorporating the colours of all companies present took place, taking the Baton into the Museum’s South Yard, with 7th Doncaster Company Band playing as it was handed over to 1st Acomb Company on the footplate of the two-foot gauge steam locomotive Lilla. The Baton was later carried by the Anchor Boys – the youngest members of the Brigade – on the musuem’s road train to York Minster, from where it was due to travel to Market Weighton, Leeds and Manchester.

Speaking from the railway museum, Lynn Davies, 1st Acomb York Company Captain, said: “The atmosphere has been wonderful. There’s been a great response from the Boys Brigade Battalion and the public as well.

“For the Battalion, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s not very often the Queen hands out the Baton, especially with a message for all of us.

“It’s the first time in our lifetime that this has happened and it’s fantastic.”

The Baton was first used in 1935 when the Brigade conveyed a message to King George V on his Silver Jubilee and later in 1951 to King George VI in celebration of the Festival Of Britain.