NEARLY 300 years of voluntary service to Dunbar’s RNLI have been marked at a special ceremony.

Volunteers past and present, in roles ranging from lifeboat fundraisers and committee members to shop workers and crew, were recognised for their “outstanding service”.

On a special night that brought Dunbar’s lifeboat family together, presentations were made to 25 volunteers who have contributed to the running and support of the town’s lifeboats over many years on behalf of Dunbar lifeboat management group, the lifeboat fundraising committee and the crew.

Mark Lees, chairman of the lifeboat management group, said the event, which was held at the town’s Royal British Legion, was about expressing appreciation to the service that volunteers from all walks of life had made to the Dunbar community.

He added: “The crew might be the ones out there keeping people safe but they would not be able to do what they do without the support of everyone else.

“We all share a long history with the lifeboat station in Dunbar.

“What we have here is so very special.

“That’s what makes the town of Dunbar such an amazing place.”

Ken Headley, who manages the town’s two lifeboat shops, said that the work of volunteers had helped make Dunbar’s High Street store number one in Scotland and among the top 20 performing shops in the UK.

Presenting awards on behalf of the fundraising committee, Veronica Davies, chairwoman, said her volunteers continued to break records, with her team helping to raise more than £45,000 last year, including a best-ever lifeboat fete, which raised £15,500, and Strictly for the Lifeboats – a weekend of dancing fun – which raised £9,000.

She added: “Thank you to everyone on the fundraising committee for all your hard work. It’s been absolutely amazing.”

Gary Fairbairn, coxswain, paid tribute to former crew members who were receiving vellums for outstanding service.

He said: “Being on the crew means we share some good times and some genuinely funny moments, as well as the bad times, which can sometimes be pretty horrific.

“It means you have to handle a lot.

“That’s why it’s good to be able to present awards to people for their service on the crew.”

Receiving awards for voluntary service to the shop were: Pam Denholm (13 years), Margaret Headley (11 years), Sue Barnott (10 years), Pat Wilson and Shona McManus (nine years), Agnes Wilson and Margaret Brown (seven years).

Awards also went to seven people who were unable to attend: Maureen Watt (15 years), Pat Bower (13 years), Jean Rae (11 years), Sally Drysdale (eight years), Linda Baines and Liz Brown (six years), and Wendy Badger (five years).

Receiving awards for voluntary service to the fundraising committee were: Moira Porter (22 years), Sheon Cairns (21 years), Fiona Fleming (19 years), Ken Headley (12 years), Martha Windram (nine years), Pat Wilson (six years) and Katy Pollock (four years). An award also went to Elizabeth Hutton (seven years), who was unable to attend.

Receiving vellums for voluntary service to the crew were: Douglas Gillan (17 years, 22 lives saved), Andrew Middlemiss (14 years, 12 lives saved), Mike Shaw (22 years as shore crew) and Dayna Dryer (12 years, 12 lives saved).

As Dayna was unable to attend, her award was collected by her grandmother Martha Windram.

Special awards from the RNLI for outstanding service to the fundraising committee also went to Martha Windram and Fiona Fleming.