Ray of Light: There has been little cause for celebration amid the fall-out from coronavirus. Veteran distiller Billy Walker, however, would have been entitled to feel a sense of pride after landing a raft of awards shortly before celebrating his 75th birthday.

Mr Walker, who heads the GlenAllachie Distillery on Speyside, won the prestigious Icons of Whisky global master blender / distiller of the year going at the Whisky Magazine Awards. He also saw GlenAllachie win best blended malt for its MacNair’s Lum Reek 21 year-old, while the GlenAllachie 10 year-old Cask Strength Batch 3 won best Scotch Speyside single malt 12 year-old and under. The Whisky Magazine Awards were announced on social media after this year’s event was cancelled.

Walker, who turned 75 on Sunday, said: “With the world facing an extremely challenging time due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s nice to be able to share a little bit of good news. Like everyone else here in the UK, I’m working from home and getting used to a new way of life, so this news brings a brief respite in these troubling times.”

Local heroes: The steps local shops are taking to support their communities have been a welcome source of cheer throughout the lockdown.

In Musselburgh, Nisa convenience store Pinkie Farm has become the latest shop to launch an essentials kits for vulnerable groups and people who are self-isolating.

The kits, priced £25, include milk, eggs, bacon, a steak pie, various fruit and vegetables, crisps and a few sweet treats.

Shoppers are invited to place orders by email, with the kits delivered by store staff free

of charge.

Managing director Dan Brown said: “The contents of the kits are aimed at feeding two to three people and are compiled of the products we have been asked for regularly over the last week or so.

Initially the kits can’t be altered or added to, as this will significantly decrease the number of people we’ll be able to help with the resource we have.

“We will however be looking to expand our capabilities.”