A LASTING legacy will be left by a Wellwood community stalwart after residents named a new street in his honour.

Tom Cairns is a former Queen Anne High School teacher and much-loved member of the village where he has lived for more than 50 years.

'Cairns Place' is one of several suggestions from Wellwood Community Council that will be used as street names at the I&H Brown development of 1,100 houses based between the village and Parkneuk.

Other names include: Ritchie Grove, Hawkies-Fauld, Spowart Way, John Reid Mews and Pit Lane but out of the streets named after locals, Tom is the only person that is still alive at the age of 87.

Tom, who was surprised to hear of the proposal, told the Press: "That's quite special isn't it? I will have to go and have a look I think!

"I worked at Queen Anne for about 20 years and then went on to be a court officer at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for several years before I retired.

"I originally lived in Methil when I finished at Moray House and then started at Queen Anne in 1965.

"It looked a lot different from what it is today!

"I taught quite a few of the people in Wellwood.

"I was ill a couple of years ago and it was a scary time but I'm keeping fine now.

"I certainly never thought I would have a street named after me though!"

Tom lives in Wellwood with his wife, Janet, and has a daughter and late son who died sadly a few years ago. He also has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

When he was young he worked at Henry Balfour as a Draftsman.

He was also a keen footballer and had football trials with Ayr United before going into teaching.

Two years ago, he suffered an acute abdominal aneurysm but survived against the odds.

"The doctors were surprised he made it but he is a very fit and determined man and loved by all," Kari McBurnie, secretary of Wellwood Community Council, said.

"Tom was a very popular teacher and must have taught most of the adults in the village!

"He is absolutely amazing and a total gentleman."

Lorna Dale, 49, one of the residents who nominated Tom, said: "Mr Cairns was my maths teacher 33 years ago and he was also myself and my twin sister's badminton teacher!

"So I spent a lot of time with him, you could not find a nicer man.

"In those days, you can imagine we were petrified of a lot of our teachers but you could just go and talk to Mr Cairns about anything.

"Still to this day he always finds the time to say hello to you.

"He is such a humble man and wouldn't think he was better than anyone else.

"He was a great teacher and a lovely man."