A PRESTONPANS cafe has dedicated a coveted food award to a much-missed friend and colleague who passed away last month.

The Filling Station, on Prestonpans High Street, won Takeaway of the Year at the Midlothian and East Lothian Food Awards 2019 in Musselburgh (see story about the awards on page 24).

Carolyn Gibson, owner of The Filling Station, decided to dedicate the award win to her former colleague and good friend Christine Bellany, who passed away at the age of 55 at the end of last month after a battle with cancer.

Carolyn told the Courier: “Of course we were very pleased to win the award, but it’s also very bittersweet.

“As a colleague, Christine was meticulous, passionate and organised.

“She did our bookkeeping and completely transformed the place.

“She was exceptional, always going above and beyond, but as well as that, she was one of my closest friends.

“She was also very modest – every time I told her how valued she was, she would just say that she was only doing her job!”

Christine had been suffering with multiple sclerosis for years when she was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

Christine’s funeral was held on March 28, the day after the award ceremony.

“I ended up not being able to go to the award ceremony as I was preparing the food for the funeral the next day,” said Carolyn.

“I know how much it would have meant to Christine seeing us collect the award.”

Carolyn added: “She was such an incredible friend.

“I miss her so much. I still can’t believe it.

“I am so proud of The Filling Station and all of the staff who have pulled together and worked hard to get through this time.”

The Filling Station is situated on Prestonpans High Street and has a sister cafe on Main Street in Longniddry.