Gaynor Winyard, health and beauty therapist; born June 14, 1923, died January 17, 2000

GAYNOR WINYARD, founder of Scotland's premier health spa, Stobo Castle, has died following a characteristic battle for her life, during which she managed to attend the funeral of her husband, Bob. Those who were there could only marvel at her determination and resolve to attend despite her own poor condition of health.

Brought up in South and West London, her passion for Stobo Castle was probably founded when staying with her grandparents, who lived in Windsor Castle while in royal service.

During the war she trained as a nurse and worked at Hammersmith and Middlesex hospitals before marrying Bob Winyard, who was a pilot instructor during the war, on September 15, 1945. Bob was based at Errol and Gaynor's love of Scotland originated from the time she spent visiting him there. On leaving the RAF after the war, Bob joined BEA as station mana-ger at Prestwick Airport. While based there, their two sons Clive and Stephen were born. In the early 1950s BOAC took over the running of Prestwick Airport for transatlantic flights. Bob transferred from BEA to BOAC and began a decade of overseas postings. Whilst in the Middle East and India, Gaynor began her training in beauty therapy. By the 1960s Bob was based at Heathrow and Gaynor continued with her interest while in London, culminating in her chairmanship of the Society of Health & Beauty Therapists.

At the end of the sixties Bob returned to Scotland with BOAC and Gaynor helped out in beauty salons locally before becoming a lecturer, teacher and exam-iner for the National Health & Beauty Council, marking theory papers from students throughout the UK taking the International Beauty Therapist's Diploma. Her commitment to the education of a new generation of beauty therapists led to the publication of her Guide for Health & Beauty Therapists, a widely acclaimed and best-selling work in two volumes which has been adopted as an authoritative reference in teaching establishments throughout the world.

Her desire to run a business in the field of beauty therapy and her search for the ideal property in which to base such a venture finally led to the purchase of Stobo Castle, at that time in a poor state of repair. I first met her and Bob 25 years ago when they asked me, as local MP, to visit them at Stobo Castle and advise on possible sources of public funds to rescue it from demolition. I frankly doubted whether their plans were realistic, but they had determination and vision in abundance. Supported by Bob and her son Stephen, with whom she shared the management of the castle until her death, Stobo Castle now stands as a marvellous monument to her memory - a restored landmark, a luxurious spa with an international reputation for tranquillity that few could surpass. Retaining its look of authenticity on the outside, inside it is a delicate balance of Georgian style and modern requirements

and it is not hard to see Gaynor's stamp of effective design and spa management. It also provides substantial employment in a rural area and trade for the burgh of Peebles.

Gaynor's warmth, generosity, and professionalism will be remembered by guests and staff and her many friends in the spa industry. Stobo Castle Health Spa will remain her legacy for a long time to come.

She is survived by her two sons.

David Steel