Helen simply embraced all things Hawick

Tributes have been paid this week following the death of a true Hawick worthy, former community councillor Helen Ford, at the age of 79.

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 1:46 pm
Helen Ford, who died last Friday.
Helen Ford, who died last Friday.

Helen, who was a member of the town’s community council for more than 20 years, lost her fight against Covid-19 in the early hours of Friday morning.

Born in the town’s Allars Crescent, Helen attended Drumlanrig Primary and Hawick High School, and worked in the town’s mills, starting in Turners, Rutherfords.

She was also an enthisiastic member of Wilton Dean Rural until her mid-50s, when she found a love of running, going on to run in two marathons, in Dundee in 1991 and London in 1997.

A big Robbie Dyes supporter, she loved the town’s common riding, and even posed for the town’s statue to commemorate its 500th anniversary.

Even in her last hours, her family said she was moving her arm to the music as they played her common riding and Elvis songs.

A statement issued by her family reads: “She was a woman who simply loved everything about Hawick and embraced all aspects of Hawick life.

“She was a lifelong Robbie Dye, she believed in taking an active part in community life, and simply revelled in the common riding.

“But above everything, she loved her family and was never prouder than when she was around them.

“The family have been immensely touched by the sheer volume of tributes received since her passing and the words have helped deal with this difficult time.”

Tributes have also been paid by her former colleagues.

Former council leader John Ross Scott wrote: “A fun person and a fighter, Helen was a great common riding enthusiast and – as a Hawick Community Councillor – a great support to me during my time as a Hawick Councillor and Honorary Provost.

“She was a star.

“I am so glad I eventually found that photo I took of her and Gregor Fisher (Rab C. Nesbitt) at the Mart, which she reminded me about for years.

“She was a real Hawick worthy.

“Although I have not seen her for a while, I will miss her. Farewell Auld Friend.”

Current Hawick councillor Stuart Marshall added: “Our town will be deeply saddened to learn of Helen’s death last week.

“She was without doubt a hugely popular character in the town and loved by everyone .

“I served with Helen on various committees throughout the years and she was such a great asset to all of them ... a lady who loved Hawick and supported everything associated with the town and was absolutely loved by everyone in common riding circles and at Mansfield Park too .

“Our town has lost a very special lady whom we shall all miss terribly.”

She is survived by her husband Brian – with whom she celebrated 60 years of marriage on October 1 – and children Beverley, Brian and Graham.