Lynella dancers’ Brain Tumour charity cheque

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Lynella Highland dancers from across the region celebrated the dance schools 70th birthday with a ceilidh, which also raised over £3,500 for the Brain Tumour charity.

Within the space of 12 months three of the dancers lost their fathers to brain tumours, and their fellow dancers didn’t take much encouraging to help with fund raising and raising awareness of the condition.

The fund raising idea came from Amy McQueen from Eyemouth, whose father Colin died last year.

The school’s 70th anniversary proved to be the ideal time for celeberations and fund raising and at the end of October they held a ceilidh at Marshall Medows, raising £3501.15 for The Brain Tumour charity.

Last week 22 year old Amy and her fellow dancer Rebecca Fairbairn, from Eyemouth, were joined by their teachers Susan Grainger and Sharon Sim when they presented a cheque to the charity, having organised the fund raising efforts between them. As well as the anniversary ceilidh they have organised supermarket bag packs, coffee mornings, a car treasure hunt and a quiz night.

“We were absolutely delighted with this amount as were the charity, said Katrina Fairbairn, Rebecca’s mum.

“Rebecca and Amy would like to thank everyone who contributed, donated, helped with fundraising and who came along in the night.

“They both did a tremendous job fundraising and organising the ceilidh.”

Generations of Borders and north Northumberland youngsters have learned Highland dance thanks to two land girls Evelyn McLaren and Ella Winne who set up their own dance school in Duns during the Second World War.

Evelyn and Ella were in the land army based in Duns in 1944 and enjoyed regular Sunday concerts at the town’s picture house.

“Walking home one night after watching a dancer perform from Edinburgh, Miss McLaren discovered to her horror that there was no dancing school in the town,” explained Katrina.

“To her “a town without a dancing school was like a town without a church”. She put up a postcard in her friend’s shop and 50 people turned up to the first meeting.

“The Lynella school was born - the name derived from ‘Lyn’ (Evelyn) and ‘Ella’ (Ella).

Now 70 years later the school is still going strong with around 80 pupils at Eyemouth and Kelso, a number of them world and national champions, and their performance skills are in constant demand.