TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known North Berwick woman who passed away on Boxing Day.

Lady Janice Tweedie was known by everyone as Jan and played an important role in the local community, volunteering and helping out at several charity and community groups.

Born in Juniper Green, near Edinburgh, on October 28, 1945, she moved to North Berwick as a child and spent most of her life there, attending North Berwick High School.

She spoke fluent German, having learned it at school. She worked in Germany for two years as a secretary, leaving Scotland when she was about 19.

After returning from Germany, she became secretary in the business studies department at the University of Edinburgh; she previously attended secretarial college. She worked there from 1967 to 1974.

It was there that she met husband Sir David; he was studying a PhD in economics at the time.

Jan became Lady Jan when David was knighted in 1994, with the couple delighted to have been recognised and awarded together. He also received the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order last year for services to the Royal household.

David and Jan married on June 6, 1970, at St Andrew Blackadder Church, where Jan regularly attended. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last spring during lockdown.

After marriage, the pair lived in Linlithgow for three years due to David’s work in Glasgow as a trainee chartered accountant, returning to North Berwick in 1974 after he was appointed lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.

In 1987, David was asked to move to London with KPMG and was offered the opportunity to move to the city but could not part from his beloved North Berwick, a town he and Jan had fallen in love with.

For the next 24 years, latterly as chairman of the accounting regulatory board, he commuted weekly to London.

Jan stayed in North Berwick, looking after the home and bringing up their two sons – Mark, who lives in London and works in financial services, and Ross, who lives in Taiwan and runs an adventure company.

Ross had his first child, Cameron, in November; Jan knitted and sent him a quilt before she died.

During her life, Jan played a very active role in the local community.

She was team leader at St Andrew Blackadder Church’s The Beacon drop-in service and would help out at its weekly lunches.

And she was chairperson at East Lothian Young Carers, a charity she felt very strongly and proudly about, for nearly 20 years, first taking up the role in 2002. She was also chair of the board before it became a charity.

One of Jan’s passions was helping young carers and ensuring they got the support and opportunities they needed.

Sarah Davies, who helped set up the charity and was a close friend of Jan’s, met her at a carers’ club in Haddington as Jan was a carer for her dad George Brown.

Sarah said that Jan always made time for the charity, no matter how busy she was, and would never shy away from getting stuck in.

Her scones and teacakes were famous at bake sales and she would often stay up until the early hours of the morning baking them.

And being an adult carer herself made her sympathise with what others were going through.

Sarah added that Jan was a caring, compassionate, passionate and wonderful person, and a great friend who never complained and gave sensible advice.

When Jan had some free time, she enjoyed craft activities like knitting and crochet, but arthritis in her hands in later years meant she was unable to sew the way she used to.

Jan’s health suffered in recent years – as well as arthritis, asthma and a heart condition, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and spinal cancer in 2019. However, it was a stroke on Christmas morning that sadly took her life.

On Christmas Eve, Jan and David were on an online Zoom call with three of their grandchildren, reading stories, looking through old family films and having a catch-up.

But the next morning, she suffered a stroke and was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh with David by her side.

The stroke had caused her to haemorrhage and there was nothing that could be done. She sadly passed the next day, aged 75.

Kathryn Smith, secretary of North Berwick Community Council, said:  “I was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Lady Tweedie.

“I didn’t know her very well but I do know she was a kind person, very interested in people, who was very much involved in The Beacon, the Law Quilters and East Lothian Young Carers. She loved attending St Andrew Blackadder Church on Sundays.

“She will be sorely missed in the community. Our condolences go to Sir David and her family.”

David said he had been overwhelmed with cards, letters and messages from people across the town. He thanked the community at St Andrew Blackadder and the Abbey Church for their support.

He paid tribute to his wife, saying that the pair were a “partnership” and Jan “ran the show” while he was working in London.

He added: “She was a massive support to me and a lot of people her whole life, she loved people.

“Despite all the pain she was in, she continued to smile; she had a lovely smile.

“Her illness may have slowed her down but did not stop her. She was so cheerful and fun and had a great sense of humour. She really enjoyed life. She is going to be dearly missed by everyone.

“I was greatly blessed by being her husband.”

Due to the current rules and restrictions around funerals, Jan’s service at Mortonhall Crematorium is a private gathering. David plans to host a celebration service for Jan when churches can reopen.