Tom Weir’s “inspirational” Rhona has died

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Rhona Weir, widow of legendary outdoors man Tom Weir, has died aged 97.

She famously met her husband - best known for his “Weir’s Way” TV series – on the bus back from a mountaineering trip to Glencoe in 1948,.

Eleven years later the couple moved to the Dunbartonshire village of Gartocharn, where she lived for the rest of her life.

In recent years she was an ardent campaign for the Tom Weir statue campaign, which was brought to a hugely successful conclusion in 2014 with the unveiling of a permanent tribute to Tom at Balmaha.

The statue, almost invariably sporting the naturalist and broadcaster’s trademark Toorie bunnet, has now become a major attraction visited by thousands of people every year.

A spokesman for the Tom Weir Statue Campaign said: “With great sadness and a heavy heart we have to announce that Rhona Weir, Tom’s widow, has died aged 97.

“She truly was my inspiration to see our campaign come to fruition.

“Having worked closely with her every step of the way I had the privilege of getting to know this great woman behind the great man and said on many occasions that we were perhaps making the statue for the wrong person...... I’ve never met a more determined woman with the biggest heart.”

As a member of the Ladies Scottish Mountaineering Club (since the year when she met her husband to be) she was fully in tune with her husbands’s passionate fascination with the hills and glens of Scotland.

In 2014 she had the great pleasure of unveiling the Balmaha statue together with US parks ambassador Lee Stetson, on the 100th anniversary of Tom’s birth.

Last year a garden in their honour - which exemplifies the Scottish flora the couple both loved so much - was opened beside the statue.

Regularly described as a “livewire” personality despite her advanced years Rhona played an active part in a 2012 campaign bid to persuade the Scottish government to halt the spread of wind turbines into Scotland’s beauty spots.

Tom, whose signature TV series Weir’s Way continues to win fans among new generations of admirers, passed away in 2006.