House manager Helen Currie is celebrating notching up 25 years’ service at Selkirk’s Bowhill Estate and has been given an award by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, to mark that milestone.
Helen arrived at Bowhill in 1992, initially as an education officer, bringing with her years of experience as a teacher.
She was keen to educate children visiting the stately home on the history of the house and the art collection within.
Over the years, the job grew with her as she took on responsibility for its theatre and then management of the house, playing a key role in showcasing it as a five-star VisitScotland attraction.
“No two days are ever the same here at Bowhill, and they have changed and evolved considerably since I first started.” said Helen.
“Visitor tastes and expectations have become much more sophisticated over the years, and it’s been a great experience going on this journey with them, and 25 years have flown by in many ways.
“I have been incredibly lucky to have the privilege of the unusual job of working with precious and beautiful things in this stunning backdrop. The art collection is world class, and I have had that surround me every day of my working life.
“The estate is so beautiful. I love watching the changing seasons – the frozen loch in the winter, the daffodils in the spring, the glories of summer and the falling leaves of autumn.
“Even on busy days, it is so peaceful, and a stroll around the grounds can restore even the most frazzled mind and spirit.”
When Helen started at Bowhill, emails were almost unheard of and she, along with two others, shared a computer. That has changed considerably, with emails coming in thick and fast from visitors, and social media playing a key role in engaging with her audience.
Helen said: “I think we have managed a great balance of fast-pace engagement without losing the human touch, which has been incredibly important for me.
“Working with the team, who are, without exception, hard-working, committed, creative and incredibly supportive of each other – which I think is relayed to our visitors every day – has been fantastic.
“It was an honour to receive my 25-year service award from the Duke of Buccleuch.
“I have had a great deal of fun working with our visitors.
“Seeing children visit and observing their amazement when they see real works of art is a real highlight of my career.”