Earlston couple’s walking challenge raises townfolk’s spirits and £2,160 for NHS

An Earlston couple putting their best feet forward during lockdown have raised more than £2,100 and counting for the Borders General Hospital.

Norma Clark and Fiona Curran have been hiking up the Blackhill near Earlston with their 4 little dogs, raising money for BGH NHS workers every morning of lockdown.
Norma Clark and Fiona Curran have been hiking up the Blackhill near Earlston with their 4 little dogs, raising money for BGH NHS workers every morning of lockdown.

Norma Clark and Fiona Curran have climbed Blackhill every day since lock down began 80 days ago, and will continue to do so for the next 20.

The pair, who walk 6,500 steps around and up the steep climb with their Borders terriers Marley, Ruby, Poppy and Jeepster, post daily photos and videos on their Facebook update daily.

“We were coming down the hill the day after Boris Johnston’s announcement and lockdown started. We thought we’d just keep doing it every day in aid of the Borders General Hospital,” Norma, 61, said.

“The guys there have been absolutely fantastic and have done loads of great work, so we wanted to do something to support their welfare.”

Norma, who runs NJ’s Cleaning firm with partner Fiona, 55, said their daily dog walks soon progressed into something more.

“The response was fantastic and our Facebook posts of scenery and selfies became a staple of people’s day. They said they looked forward to seeing them.

“We started doing videos and now we’ve folk requesting songs each day that we dance along to and mime to.
“We are having a hoot and making people laugh. It has been lovely ... I wouldn’t normally dance without a few drinks in me, but up the hill anything goes.”

Highlights of their now-daily musical performances include a Morcambe and Wise-inspired performance, a Ballroom Blitz tribute following the death last week of The Sweet bassist Steve Priest, and weather themed dance routines including “Why does it always rain on me?”

As well as helping keep a close bond with friends during lockdown, the pair say the early morning 50-minute walks lift their spirits, too.

“We see all sorts of wildlife, and it gives us a purpose. The community has really gotten behind us,” Norma added.