Singers at the 1986 Games opening ceremony were given tartan umbrellas to keep off the rain.

Commonwealth Games: Here are 19 fascinating pictures of the Opening Ceremonies of the Edinburgh 1970 and 1986 Games

The Birmingham Commonwealth Games are set to begin next week with an opening ceremony featuring pop superstars Duran Duran.

It will herald the start of a feast of competition lasting 11 days, with 72 nations and territories battling for medals in 19 different sports.

Of course Scotland’s Capital is no stranger to the Games, having hosted them twice in 1970 and 1986.

The 1970s Commonwealth Games heralded a number of firsts – the first time the Games had been held in Scotland, the first time ‘British Commonwealth Games’ was adopted (and later abandoned), the first time metric units were used in all events, and the first time a unique logo was designed (the games emblem intertwined with a St Andrews Cross and a thistle).

A total of 1,744 people (including officials) took part in 121 events in 10 sports, with the action centred around Meadowbank Stadium, which also hosted the opening ceremony.

The Games returned to Edinburgh in 1986 but were overshadowed by 32 of the eligible 59 countries boycotting the event due to Margaret Thatcher’s government’s policy of maintaining sporting links with apartheid South Africa rather than joining the general boycott of the country.

The event was also dogged by allegations of financial mismanagement, with the City of Edinburgh eventually ending up around £500,000 out of pocket.

But the Games still went ahead, with 1,660 athletes from 27 nations taking part in 161 events comprising 10 sports.

Here are 19 pictures to take you back to the Opening Ceremonies of both Edinburgh Games.

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