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Heather Moir Obituary - 13.07.2020

Heather Anne Moir was a wartime baby, born in Glasgow in 1942.

The war and austerity in the years following did not afford too much opportunity for leisure pursuits but as soon as she was able Heather ventured on to the ice at the Glasgow Crossmyloof Rink, Britain’s largest at the time.

Heather showed promise immediately and records divulge that she joined The National Skating Association in 1953.

In May 1954 Heather passed her Preliminary Figure Test, the first of her many test successes that culminated in her becoming the first British lady to be awarded the “Gold Star”.

Successes in club competitions were swiftly duplicated in Open Competitions ,all over Scotland, and later in England, giving Heather a foretaste of the National and International success that she was destined for.

Heather’s success on the ice led to her taking lessons from the renowned coach, Gladys Jagger, at Paisley. Whilst still skating regularly at Crossmyloof. Under the tuition of Miss Jagger, Heather made her breakthrough in 1958.

In March 1958 she won her first major Scottish Trophy, “The Hamilton Russell Trophy”. Heather followed this in May by travelling to Falkirk to successfully take her Inter Gold test, which allowed her entry into major UK competitions.

More trophies came quickly. The Paisley Trophy for Senior Ladies was next but her major achievement that year was The Scottish Junior Ladies Championship. Heather was described, in the press, as “Outstanding, in a bright flame coloured dress, whose performance was superb with good musical interpretation”.

To finish the year, Heather was placed first in the inaugural Gladys Jagger Trophy, at the first Paisley Open Competition, skating to music from the operetta, Lilac Domino.

If 1958 was a good year competitively for Heather, 1959 was better. Having entered the British Junior Championships she took 3rd place in the free skating but a 6th place in the school figures meant that she finished 4th overall. This disappointment did not las t long, however, as just five days later, on 27th April, Heather was crowned Scottish Ladies Champion.

For the next four years Heather dominated Scottish Ladies Skating and competed successfully as well as giving exhibitions all over Scotland. She won the Scottish Ladies Championship for four consecutive years and was invited to compete in international events, including the prestigious Richmond Trophy, which always attracted the world’s best skaters.

By this time Heather had passed all of the figure and free skating tests as well as the silver Pair Skating test ,the Ice Dance tests up to Inter Silver and, as I have mentioned before , was awarded the Gold Star in Figures and Free Skating. A huge achievement.

1962 was a pivotal year. At the end of January Heather took to the ice at the Kulm Rink, in St Moritz, to take the Silver Medal, for Scotland, at the 1962 Winter Commonwealth Games. This was a proud moment for Heather and for Scotland.

Later that year Heather won the 4th of her Scottish Championships and gave a televised exhibition at Ayr, after which she announced that she was turning professional to teach at Ayr.

So, the exhibition became her farewell to amateur skating.

Heather’s first professional event was to run the Ayr Summer Skating School in July 1962. Quite a task for a new professional coach.

In 1963 Heather was invited join the coaching staff at the Murrayfield Rink, where she remained for the rest of her coaching career.

Heather married Alan Thomson, in 1965, and gave birth to her daughter, Nicola, in 1969, followed two years later by her son, Kenneth.

Heather gave up coaching and, although she was later asked to judge, she declined as her family was now her priority.

Heather found time for a number of hobbies and interests, whilst bring up her children. She enjoyed her garden and also loved animals. Exercise was achieved by walking her dogs. Neither did she leave sport behind as she embraced golf. She was also a good seamstress and made her own soft furnishings but delighted in cooking and entertaining.

Heather’s second career emerged after her youngest child left for university. She realised she needed another string to her bow and decided to build on her culinary skills and learned cake decorating and sugar craft. This culminated in Heather going into business making wedding cakes.

In 2019 Heather was sadly diagnosed with lung cancer, despite never having smoked, but she responded well to Chemotherapy.

At the beginning of June 2020, Heather experienced extreme dizziness and was admitted to hospital, where tests confirmed the cancer had spread to her brain. She was transferred to a hospice and celebrated her 78th birthday on 17th June.

Sadly as Heather had been shielding from the pandemic since February, she had been unable to enjoy her last months with her family, her 2 children and her grandchildren Alex, Katie and Abby.

Heather Moir Thomson, one of the great Scottish Ladies Figure Skating Champions, whose two careers were dedicated to the delight of others died on the 18th June 2020, at the Kilbryde Hospice Glasgow.

Her funeral will take place on Monday 13th July 2020.

Elaine Hooper

British Ice Skating Historian


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