Award for ray of sunshine Donald

Donald Grant takes a reading at Winterfield Park
Donald Grant takes a reading at Winterfield Park
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The sun shone for Donald Cumming Grant as he received a BEM for his work as a voluntary observer at the Dunbar weather station.

He has been recording data for the past 30 years after retiring from his job as a geography teacher and assistant head teacher at Dunbar Grammar School.

Mr Grant, 90, a widower and father-of-two, who lives near the weather station, said he was “surprised” to receive the award.

He explained that he saw the vacancy for a voluntary observer at the weather station which has been at Winterfield Park since 1930.

Since then, he has been taking readings at the station at 9am daily each day of the year, and at 10am when the clocks go forward.

Mr Grant said the town definitely lives up to its name “Sunny Dunny”, with the sunniest April recorded this year – more than 200 hours of sunshine – since he took over the job three decades ago.

He also takes the maximum and minimum temperatures from five thermometers at the site and records the rainfall in a rain gauge with a measuring glass. Wind speed and cloudiness are also checked at the station.

Mr Grant then puts all the facts and figures into a log book, writing additional comments about the weather during the day.

At the end of each month, he sends a sheet with the data for the month, with sunshine cards which record the sunshine levels, to the Met Office in Edinburgh.

His wife Margaret, who passed away five years ago, used to help him in his weather work, along with their family in the past.

Mr Grant, who is originally from Aviemore, said: “I have two assistants to relieve me if I want to play golf early in the morning or if I want to go away on holiday. I enjoy doing it but it is very tiring and you have to do it every day.”

And he revealed he was in no hurry to give up the post, although admitted he would probably retire in the coming years.

“I might retire from it in a year or two and hope whoever takes over is computer literate. I will give it up, it will be 30 years next May and I will think about getting a replacement.

“I don’t have a computer but they could send recordings to the Met Office every day,” he said.