CARLUKE fundraising marvel Eleanor McGregor has been praised for bringing in over £70,000 for Action Medical Research in the past 15 years.
Eleanor (79), of Oudenarde Court, got a congratulatory letter from charity bosses acknowledging her sterling efforts in making money from distributing Paddington collection boxes in local supermarkets, pubs and other businesses.
Eleanor, Carluke Citizen of the Year in 1997, said: “Receiving the letter was a terrific honour for me and I felt a great sense of personal pride.
“It was wonderful that I received it in the same week that the Paddington Bear Movie (starring Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi and Julie Walters) came out in the cinemas.
“The people of Carluke and surrounding areas have been absolutely wonderful in putting their spare change into the Paddington boxes which I’ve dropped off.”
Eleanor, who said she has fundraised “all my life” decided to raise money for Action Medical Research during her time working as a secretary at Braidwood Primary School in the late 1980s.
Two pupils there suffered from seriously debilitating medical conditions, which inspired Eleanor to support a charity funding research into childhood diseases and ways of combating stillborn babies and eclampsia.
Eleanor, who was a Carluke Opera member for 60 years, said that the highlight of her life was meeting Prince Philip – patron of Action Medical Research – at Buckingham Palace in 2002.
“Prince Philip was a really nice guy,” Eleanor said.
“He was very friendly and asked me how I got on counting all the pennies!”
Eleanor, whose husband Iain died in March after suffering a heart attack, is now accompanied to collections by her friend Margaret Hamilton.