A 102-year-old’s funeral was packed out with Scottish country dancers as family and friends gathered to give her a proper send off.

Almost 200 people attended St John’s United Reformed Church in Somerset Road, New Barnet, for Dorothy Start’s funeral last Friday.

Mrs Start was half-Japanese and half-English but despite the lack of Scottish heritage she loved Scottish country dancing – she even performed a dance herself for her 100th birthday.

A volunteer for decades, she received the British Empire Medal in 1989 for her work with the Girl Guides, the Women’s Institute and the Inner Wheel in Barnet.

She once said: “I’ve always belonged to a lot of organisations.

“My husband was a Rotarian and I’ve been in Inner Wheel for 50 years.

“As well as going to church all my life, I’ve run Girl Guides, and I’ve done Scottish dancing for the past 60 years.

“I would recommend this to anyone who can do it.

“It’s good for your head. I think that’s why I’ve got a good memory. It’s also good for your bones.”

Mrs Start died at her home in Somerset Road on September 22, she was the oldest member of the congregation of St John’s United Reformed Church.

A devout Christian all her life, Mrs Start visited Israel and the Holy Land more than a dozen times.

A former teacher and a great-grandmother, she was a widow for 26 years, living in New Barnet after the death of her husband Ted in 1976.

Her memorial service was led by the Rev. Julian Templeton and he paid tribute to Dorothy and her ability to be positive and cheer people up.

He said: “Dorothy was a remarkable person, an inspiration to us all.”