A WORLD record-setting tap dancer and teacher joined in a mammoth effort in memory of her beloved husband who lost his fight against lung cancer.

In 1977, Rebecca Lambert, from Dovercourt, joined forces with famed entertainer Roy Castle and 500 participants to break the mass tap-dancing world record.

The momentous effort took place outside the iconic BBC television centre in London.

About 43 years on from this achievement, she joined hundreds of dancers in completing the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s national tapathon.

She decided to dance in memory of her husband, David, who lost a long fight against cancer at the age of 61.

Rebecca also lost her mother to lung cancer in 2008.

“David first had cancer in 1979, when he was just 21,” she recalls.

“He was clear for nearly 20 years before it returned in 1998.

“Two more brain tumours later, as well as cancer in both kidneys and his lungs, he passed away on August 30 last year.

“It’s been hard, especially now we’re in lockdown, but it’s helped having this to focus on and raise money for such an important charity, with whom it feels like I have many connections, from my personal losses to the disease and ever since that 1977 world record.

“It’s almost like coming full circle.”

The foundation is the UK’s only charity solely dedicated to supporting everyone affected by lung cancer.

This year marks its 30th anniversary and the tapathon served as a means of celebrating this occasion.

Paula Chadwick, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Those who remember Roy Castle will recall what an amazing tap dancer he was, so we wanted to create an event that paid tribute to him and that could be done in these strange times.

“Everyone joined together to learn a tap-inspired routine taught by The Greatest Dancer finalist, Harrison Vaughan.

“Then we came together in the comfort, safety and privacy of our own home and danced.

“It didn’t matter if they were a seasoned pro or had two left feet, anyone could take part.”

Rebecca said she enjoyed her performance.

“I watched the countdown and then my daughter videoed me tapping with my little granddaughter sitting on her lap,” she said.

Rebecca works as a teaching assistant at a primary school and also teaches dancing after school at the Debbie Millar School of Dance, in Lawford.

She said: “Tap is fun, good for fitness and is very rhythmic, incorporating different styles.

“Debbie Millar, Helen Green and myself all teach tap and other dance styles at the school and we all participated in the tapathon.”

The tapathon was a chance for Rebecca to reflect on her loss, while processing her grief through helping a very worthy cause.

“David was a very kind, hardworking but laid-back person,” she said.

“He loved his family and would do anything to help others, if he could.

“He worked for McColl’s Newsagents, starting as a paper boy and working his way up to working at their head office in Brentwood.

“He was just 61 when he passed away, after fighting the disease for may years.

She added: “It was great to be part of the 500 tappers that broke the world record in 1977.

“Roy Castle was a genuine man and came round to all the dance schools at some point during the day to say hello.

“When I saw that the tapathon was taking place this year, it was important for me to take part, as it brought back memories of 1977 and also the next record breakers that took part in Portsmouth in 1981.

“It was also a good way of raising money for a great charity, whilst doing something that I love - and learning a new routine.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the foundation in honour of Rebecca’s effort can visit her page at justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-lambert17.