THE woman who has helped bring Bowhill into the 21st century has been rewarded with a long-service award.

Former teacher Helen Currie arrived at the picturesque estate outside Selkirk in 1992.

But her role as education officer quickly evolved into a plethora or different responsibilities, including managing the 300 year-old mansion, running the theatre, and helping shape the estate into the VisitScotland five-star visitor attraction that everyone knows today.

Helen's 25 years of service was marked last week with a presentation by the Duke of Buccleuch.

Following the presentation, Helen told us: "No two days are ever the same here at Bowhill and they have changed and evolved considerably since I first started.

"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.

"Twenty-five 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 first started at Bowhill, emails were almost unheard of.

And she shared the office's only computer with two other members of staff.

Although times have changed significantly over the quarter of a century, she admits the fun has never left her job.

Helen added: "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 each and 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.”