A DEDICATED volunteer who can be seen watering hanging baskets early in the morning on a daily basis has received a national award.

“Local hero” Rab Moran, 77, has been a member of Blooming Haddington since the group was set up in 2013.

Now, his green-fingered efforts throughout the year for the award-winning horticultural group have been recognised with a certificate of merit from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, also known as The Caley.

The national organisation held a virtual awards evening last month, with Mr Moran among those being recognised.

The Station Court resident downplayed his role with the group and said

that he was “totally shocked and surprised” to receive the award.

His duties with the group include watering the town’s 200 or so hanging baskets, which will be going up again in June.

That means getting on the streets at 6am each day, with the baskets regularly winning compliments from residents and visitors, and judges from Beautiful Scotland describing them as the best they had seen.

He said: “I was on the community council and the first year the hanging baskets were put out nobody was watering them.

“A lot of them died and I got involved and took it on and I have been doing it ever since.

“It gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but it is great fun. You meet a lot of fantastic people through doing these things.”

Rab Morans efforts in ensuring Haddingtons hanging baskets are looking good have been recognised

Rab Moran's efforts in ensuring Haddington's hanging baskets are looking good have been recognised

Mr Moran previously worked as a long-distance lorry driver for 20 years and also in the town’s Railway Hotel as a barman.

Now he volunteers for not only Blooming Haddington but also Our Community Kitchen – which aims to tackle social isolation by getting people round the lunch table – and previously during the Haddington 700 celebrations.

Mr Moran said: “I was very, very humble [in receiving the award].

“I was out for a walk one morning and when I got back there was a letter from The Caley.

“It said I had got this award. That was in January and I kept it fairly quiet.”

Mr Moran regularly gives updates on Blooming Haddington’s activities to the town’s community council, where he is a member.

Chris McEwan, chairman of Haddington and District Community Council, took the chance to offer his congratulations to his colleague.

He said: “Rab Moran has been a true local hero for many years in Haddington. He works tirelessly as a volunteer by being part of the Haddington and District Community Council, the Haddington Events Group, Our Community Kitchen and Blooming Haddington.

“He is the first to volunteer to take on laborious and sometimes early-morning tasks.

“You see him every morning in summer watering the plants, or helping to put up and take down the town Christmas lights.

“We’d be truly lost without him and are very happy that his work has been recognised and that he’s received this great award.”