Hannah Stewart, prize winner with resident charmer Billy Mackintosh

Love Is In The Care

Cupid’s arrow struck a Black Isle care home this week as one lucky auction winner claimed the ultimate prize – a Valentine’s lunch date with the home’s resident charmer. 

Back in November, Eilean Dubh care home in Fortrose held a day of fundraising that included prize bingo, a sponsored knit and a live auction with the chance to bid for lunch with resident Billy Mackintosh. 

Hannah Stewart, whose grandmother is a resident at the care home, made the winning bid, though modesty prevents us from revealing Billy’s worth. She joined Billy this week for a Valentine’s themed lunch for two.

A former guard at Buckingham Palace, the ever gallant Billy treated Hannah like a Queen for the day. Dressed in his finest suit, he presented her with a single red rose, before the two enjoyed a fun-filled private lunch together, with care home manager Alexis Le Neven acting as sommelier. 

Hannah said: “I was honoured to have gone on a date with the one and only Billy Mackintosh. He was brilliant company, a great sport and it was a lunch date filled with laughter. I’m glad I pre-warned my husband that I had a date lined up at Eilean Dubh, now that I know it’s hitting the press!” 

Billy has always been something of a charmer, as activities coordinator Fiona Stoddart explains: “He met his wife Anne at a dance at Garve Hotel in 1953 where Billy played his with his band, the Billy Mackintosh dance band. One night Anne asked him to play her favourite song ‘China Doll.’ Billy said he would only play it if she kept a seat for him on the bus home. She did and the rest is history. They got married in 1956 and had four children.”

Last November’s fundraising activity raised £1,400 for the residents’ comfort fund which pays for entertainment, parties and day trips. Claire Goodwin, who also works as an activity coordinator at Eilean Dubh, added: “We are so grateful for the support we have received from residents, relatives and companies who have been so generous with their donations – a heartfelt thank you.”

Connecting Supporting Representing