'Auntie Moira' has been entertaining for 70 years

Performer and community stalwart Moira Hepburn, known as "Auntie Moira", has entertained the Capital since she was a child.

A veritable kitten on the keys, Moira was four years old when her mum took her to spectate at a talent show in the long-gone Regent Cinema at Abbeymount and she caught the showbiz bug.

The event was organised by BBC theatre organist Richard Telfer, who subsequently persuaded her to sing at one of his Sunday night concerts.

Her mother, a professional pianist who had played for silent movies, made her start piano lessons aged eight.

"I was off and running, so to speak," says Moira, who will be 75 in September.

"You won't have enough space to list what I've seen and where I've done it. Richard's shows were the first steps on the ladder for me.

"For example, I did Sunday Night at Seven in the Usher Hall several times and I regularly entertained American troops in the Overseas Club in Princes Street during the war.

"The piano really had me in its grip. I found it magnetic. Soon I was playing duets at the keyboards with my mother and eventually I was accompanying my singing on piano.

"In 1945 I was on BBC Children's Hour - radio, of course - and I got a tremendous kick out of singing with the King's Own Scottish Borderers army band in Princes Street Gardens. Three years later I was in a sell-out charity show in the New Victoria Cinemas in Clerk Street with local comedian Johnny Victory on the bill."

Moira's recall is remarkable. She adds: "I was ten when I was invited to sing and play for the Duchess of Gloucester and Lady Churchill, wife of Sir Winston, at Holyrood Palace."

She is right. There isn't enough space to reel off her engagements, including performing at the Ross Bandstand every summer from 1961 to 1987, where she became known to the audience as Auntie Moira.

She was resident musician in the Trades Council club in Albany Street and Picardy Place for 17 years, and the Royal Navy club for 14 years.

Both of these lengthy stints were her recognised "jobs", her livelihood, enabling her to bring up her four daughters. She has six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A widow since 1986, it's still been an eventful life. She is an enduring supporter of Tommy Carson, who is a champion of Scotland's pensioners, and she does sterling work for and with the elderly and for the Scottish Music Hall Society. It all amounts to 70 years as an entertainer.

"I've loved every moment," she says. And she still does. She was on her way to yet another gig in Musselburgh's Brunton Hall virtually as she spoke and what Edinburgh-born and bred Moira, who certainly doesn't look her age, resolutely never mentions is that all of it is voluntary.