A POPULAR North Berwick firefighter and 16 of his friends, family and colleagues have braved the shave and raised thousands of pounds for charity after he was diagnosed with a type of bone marrow cancer at the start of the year.

Dave Kerr, 59, has worked at the town’s fire station for the past 27 years, starting there in March 1993. He is also a night porter for The Pine Marten hotel and restaurant in Dunbar.

After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February and going through radiation and three rounds of monthly chemotherapy, he decided to shave his head and control how he was going to lose his hair.

He wanted to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity in the process, as a thank you to his welfare officer Jason Stone.

The next stage of his treatment is a round of chemotherapy on Wednesday, followed by a stem cell transplant the next day, a procedure that has a three to six-month recovery time.

On August 26, 15 people had their heads shaved at the fire station in a socially distanced fashion.

Amanda Ramsay, from Ewen’s Barber in North Berwick, is Dave’s usual hairdresser and was the one in charge of the clippers, completing a full day’s work in just two hours.

All of those taking part in the shave wore masks and Amanda cleaned and sanitised all of her equipment in between each person.

Dave had his head shaved by Amanda a week earlier after a large chunk of his hair fell out one morning and he was worried that it would not be able to last until the shave.

North Berwick firefighters Stephanie Brash, Ryan McSorley, Fraser Gosling, James McPherson, Ross Brown, Andy Saunders, David Alcock and watch commander Andy Adams all took part in the shave.

Their colleague Tamara Arbuckle also played her part and cut several inches off her hair.

They were all joined by Lewis Moore from The Pine Marten; Andrew Leggett from The Sweet Chestnut in Dunfermline and former Pine Marten manager; Dave’s son Grant Kerr; brother-in-law George Logan; father-in-law Norrie Greig; and his friend and best man from his wedding Ian Marr.

George and Ian took it one step further and also shaved off their beards.

Amanda was cutting Dave’s hair after lockdown when she became aware of the event, asking him to put her name down and saying she was “up for anything”.

Afterwards, she said that she was nervous but enjoyed herself and was glad to have done her bit for a good cause.

She added: “I’ve never had that many eyes on me cutting hair before, so that’s what I was nervous about.”

Once the cut was complete, each participant was given a medal and a badge, delivered to them by a remote-controlled fire engine.

Dave was “amazed” at the number of people who were willing to take part.

Alongside his wife Karen, he shared a thanks to those who attended the event and members of the public for all their support and donations.

Karen added: “The support Dave got was unbelievable.”

Also in attendance on the night was Roy Bradley, local station commander, and Andrew Anderson, local group commander, who were both glad to support their colleague.

An initial target of £500 was smashed in a few days so it was increased to £1,000.

So far more than £3,700 has been raised by the group, with about £800 raised on the night of the shave.

The amount means Dave is the top individual fundraiser for the whole Fire Family Challenge campaign, set by The Fire Fighters Charity.

The challenge encourages people to complete a fundraiser, with all proceeds going to the charity to support firefighters.

An online fundraising page has been set up and remains open.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/david-kerr59