Working in West End Guest House in Aberdeen by Helen Fitch

Helen’s parents owned a guest house in Aberdeen called West End Guest House on St. Swithins Street. Helen went to work for parents outside school hours, when she was 13 in 1960. She was allowed to keep the money she earned. When she was 15 she saw an advert in the Press and Journal newspaper advertising work at Leighton Hall in Montgomeryshire. At that time a Canadian Newspaper magnet owned the house. She went to work there with a friend for the holidays and they earned £5 a week. The following year in 1963 she went to work as a nanny and mother’s help in Dunkeld. It was very hard and involved washing, ironing and cooking. In 1964 she took her Highers. In the summer she worked as a porter at Oban Hotel. In September she started at Edinburgh University to study law. She soon decided it was not for her and left to become an uncertified primary school teacher in Fauldhouse, a very deprived area of Lark hall. She was given a class of 35 five year olds with no prior training.

Her next adventure was getting married and travelling to Northern Malawi with her husband who had been appointed the Regional Forest Officer.

Additional Information
Leighton House is a listed building in Wales. There are a number of images of the estate and other details around it on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Images of Leighton Hall on RCAHMW.

History of the Leighton Village centred around the Leighton Estate.


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