Concert honours memory of inspirational teacher Ruth

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An evening of music celebrated the life of a popular Burnley teacher and raised much needed funds for Pendleside Hospice.

Students and staff at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form raised a fantastic £2,500 for the hospice in memory of Ruth McKiernan, an influential former teacher at Thomas Whitham and St Theodore’s RC Boys School.

Modern languages teacher Ruth (58), of Woodgrove Road, lost her battle with cancer last October after fighting the disease for 14 months.

Friends of Ruth including Kathleen Wilkinson, Sean Ruane and Jimmy Hoyle were among the performers in the sixth form auditorium in Barden Lane who celebrated her rich and varied life in music, dance and fashion.

Current and former students of both schools were among the capacity audience who enjoyed a champagne reception with canapes prior to the concert.

The guests sang items ranging from Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Andrew Lloyd Webber to Mozart and Puccini.

The evening was sponsored by Boohoo and the David Hartley Carpet Market.

Mother-of-two and keen Clarets fan Ruth taught at East Lancashire schools for 36 years, starting her teaching career at Mansfield High School before moving onto St Theodore’s and Thomas Whitham Sixth Form.