Marhofn 316.18 - May 2016

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Obituary: Lynda Woods

Jonathan Woods and Jon Metcalf

Lynda was born in Edinburgh in 1965. She spent her childhood roaming the Pentland Hills and playing music. Her fiddle reappeared in later life, for example at Baggershambles. She went to school at George Watson's College Edinburgh, read classics and theology at Girton College Cambridge, followed by teacher training in London. She started running, completing the 1992 and 1993 London Marathons.

She missed the countryside in London so returned to Scotland, meeting Jonathan at the Capricorn Mountaineering Club. They married at Poolewe in 1995 and enjoyed their hillwalking together, by 1996 climbing all the Munros. Lynda emulated Jonathan by entering the Marilyn Hall of Fame in 2001. Lynda also encouraged Jonathan to take up running and both were active members of the Carnegie Harriers then were later among the founders of the Wee County Harriers of Clackmannanshire. Lynda undertook many long-distance hill races including the Great Wilderness Challenge, the Corrieairyack Pass and Lairig Ghru. She loved the Hebrides half marathons on Skye, Harris, Lewis, Barra and Benbecula.

Lynda became interested in the Mountain Bothies Association, looking after the remote Loch Chiarain bothy. As well as the practical maintenance work, Lynda became the MBA general secretary, and Jonathan the newsletter editor. With others, they transformed the MBA into an unincorporated association.

Lynda and Jonathan moved to Airth in the summer of 1999, shortly before Daniel was born. Lynda's involvement with horses grew. Firstly, this was the occasional pony trek whilst on holiday, then through helping at Greenloaning Equine Care. A long and slippery slope into the equine world followed.

Lynda settled as a teacher at Kilsyth Academy. She became a principal teacher of pupil support. She would listen and support in a non-judgemental way, always aiming to build resilience in the young person.

As both Daniel and Emma grew up, they rode her pony Willow as soon as they were able. From there they progressed to riding lessons and with their own ponies as part of the East Stirlingshire branch of the Pony Club. Lynda took on several Pony Club roles and loved to compete over cross-country courses.

Lynda really was a great organiser, full of energy and life. She was generous with her time and commitment. She was utterly loyal, with her own unique brand of humour. She always wanted others to strive to be the best they could. She did not like a fuss and enjoyed looking for the lighter side in situations.

After increasing symptoms, it was confirmed that Lynda had stomach cancer in early 2014. She faced this with incredible strength and bravery. She had a busy summer holiday period with both Daniel and Emma, going to Pony Club inter-branch and Scottish team showjumping competitions. As summer turned to autumn so her general health and energy levels declined, and in the early hours of 11 November 2015, Lynda passed away peacefully. And she probably had a last inward wry smile to herself; at least it would be easy for people to remember her anniversary.

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