On top of the world. Geoffrey Wilson walks the plank to ring the bell and announce the baton has arrived in Skegness.

GALLERY: Queen's Baton Relay for Commonwealth Games arrives in Skegness

Screams of delight from family and supporters filled the early morning air when a 79-year-old local man climbed the 21-metre high Altitude 44 highwire in Skegness and walked the plank to ring the bell and announce the arrival of the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay.

No fear Geoffrey even amazed the crowd watching from below by doing it not once, but twice before proceeding across the highwire to make the leap of faith to the ground and into the arms of his proud wife, Pamela.

For Geoffrey – a long-serving member of Magna Vitae who run the highwire – it was his second time on Altitude 44. He had climbed it for his 75th birthday – but this time, he said, was even more special.

"I couldn’t understand why I had been chosen,” commented Georffrey, who served in the RAF for 31 years before he retired and was now safely back on ground by Magna Vitae’s swimming pool where his family had been watching.

“I think I know who put my name forward and they know what I am capable of

"It has been an absolute honour to carry the baton.

"I served the Queen for 31 years and to be able to hold something she held is fantastic.”

The baton arrived in Lincolnshire on Sunday on a journey via land, air and sea spanning 2,500 miles. Crowds welcomed it at the at the Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln before it headed to Skegness.

A small crowd including Lincoln’s MP and the Commonwealth Games minister Nigel Huddleston gathered at Compass Gardens at 8am for the start of the baton’s second day in Lincolnshire.

Mr Huddleston said: “As a Yellowbelly myself, I always love returning to Lincolnshire and especially today because we are able to highlight both the Commonwealth Games and Skegness as a fantastic tourism offering. It has been a pleasure to meet the Batonbearers, they are truly inspirational and pillars of their community.

“It is always fantastic to come back here to Skegness, a truly family friendly resort. There is so much investment happening here, it is a town which knows how to constantly refresh its brand and offer something different. I encourage anyone who has not been to Skegness for a while to come and see what the town has to offer.”

Chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion Paul Dixon had the honour of starting the baton relay off near the bandstand.

Paul, who was medically discharged from the Army in 2004 and is also the County Community Support Coordinator for Lincolnshire on behalf of the RBL and spoke of his honour of being invited to carry the baton.

"It was such an honour to do this,” he said. “When they were putting it on we they asked me if I was feeling alright and I said ‘I’m very nervous’ – you don’t want to mess up in any way.

"But when I started off I thought I’m all right now. It went really well.”

"We were unsure how many people would be involved until we turned up this morning.

"Plenty of people turned out to watch so it’s been fantastic.”

After Skegness the baton carried on its journey to Boston and Grantham.

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