Roy Stephens Interview

Earlier this month we caught up with another 1958 baton bearer, Roy Stephens. Roy went to Haverfordwest Grammar School, where he ran the mile and he believes that this is why he got chosen to run with the baton, along with being in the schools successful rugby team and also boxing.

When did you find out that you were going to be running with the baton?

I would’ve found out around June time.  I got to run my leg in the day time and it was about a mile long from Withybush Hospital to the Bridgend square in Haverfordwest. The streets were crowded, which was good and there was a nice atmosphere. This was something which was very similar in 2014, with the streets being busy, however I did run a lot further in 1958 so got to see more people on the side lines.

What was the publicity like in 1958 for the relay? Did you know any other baton bearers?

I knew about the baton through school, I don’t think there was much publicity, although I can’t really recall how much there was in the press. I only knew one other person that carried the baton, he was from the other school in Haverfordwest and that is who I passed the baton onto. All the runners were local from Pembrokeshire; the Baton came down from North Wales then across South Wales to Cardiff. Considering there only four days for the Baton to travel from Buckingham Palace to Cardiff it best online casino was on time from what I remember and there was no real urgency.

Did you get to see any of the 1958 Empire Games?

I got to see some of the preliminaries for the boxing, to see who would represent Wales, but I didn’t go to the stadium. There was a chap from Carmarthen who ran in the Games that I used to run against in school, so I followed him to see how well he did. It was a very different era then and there was not as much coverage for the Games as there is now.

How did it feel getting to relive the experience in 2014?

I felt more pride carrying the baton in 2014 than 1958 as I never thought I would do it again. I also didn’t realise that I had taken part in the first relay, so that was very unique and I have ran it twice.