Tributes to ‘dedicated Dundee nurse and loving mum’

A Dundee nurse and musician who once appeared in the Tele after sneaking out to appear in a live concert has died at the age of 93.

Catherine Adamson, better known as Kay, was well-known across the city as a skilled violinist and a doting nurse at Dundee Royal Infirmary.

She was famed during the 1940s for her violin act at Perth Music Festival, for which she snuck out from the nurses’ residence at DRI.

Kay playing the violin in her younger days.

However, she was given away when her performance was depicted in a cartoon in the Evening Telegraph.

Her daughter, Pat Carson, said: “She was a musician, dedicated nurse, loving wife and mother who gave a great deal to the local community.”

Born in 1924 as the second of five daughters to Kate Nicolson and Alexander Miller, one of the city’s first fully licensed chiropodists, Kay was educated at the Demonstration School and later Harris Academy.

Kay, who was from the city’s West End, was tutored in playing violin by A Morrison Reid, and played at competitions, church socials and even in war-time orchestras for Dundee Operatic Society. Aged just 18, she was the soloist at the Caird Hall.

She helped her father at the Hawkhill First Aid Post during the war until she was old enough to begin training as a nurse, for which she was awarded the Ogilvy Dalgleish medal in 1946.

Kay Adamson, who has died aged 93

The same year, she crept out of a window at the DRI’s nurses’ residence to perform at Perth Music Festival. After her daring deed, she snuck back under the impression she had gotten away with it — only to find herself in a Tele cartoon.

She married Dr Douglas Adamson in July 1950 and retired to become a homemaker — as was the custom at the time — but was tragically widowed young in April 1979. Pat added: “Throughout her life she had shown much fortitude and resilience in the face of life-changing accident and illness and this was still very evident in her final days.”

Kay steered her two sons into adulthood from her West End home and latterly supported the arts in Dundee. Among others, she was a patron of Tayside Opera, Act IV, Dundee Operatic Society, Downfield Musical Society and the Dundee Scout Gang Show, and supported local charities.

Kay, who died on January 29, is survived by two of her sisters, a daughter and two sons, five grand- children and five great-grandchildren.

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