Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Helen Letham

Helen Letham moved house in 2003 from Singapore to Virginia, USA. Helen, who comes from Cupar, is married to fellow FP Ian Davidson, who is a Marketing Manager for Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Marian Leven


BBHS 1956-62

Marian Leven is a well-known artist. She is married to Will McLean (qv in Section IV Members of Staff) and they live in Tayport and have a grown-up family of one daughter and two sons. Marian burst on the Scottish art world in the early 1990s, once she had brought up her family. With great vigour and enthusiasm, she has since then exhibited in over forty solo and group exhibitions. The pace of her development has been remarkable, particularly since she won the Noble Grossart first prize in 1997. Forsaking the expressionist realism of her earlier paintings, her newer pieces may look abstract but her main theme is, as ever, the Scottish landscape, weather and water. Passionate about her work, her creative process is characterised by spontaneity, energy and, above all, passion.

"My painting is concerned with Scottish landscape and seascape, an expression of the harmony, balance and emotional interaction I experience through remembered, mythical and historic associations. The land, sea and weather absorb me. Images for my paintings are collected in the landscape and in the studio the recollection moves into interpretation and metaphor.marianleven

My painting allows me to respond to this environment in the knowledge that I am part of a long history of people shaped by these conditions."

Marian, a graduate of Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

In March 2002, Dundee was host to the annual exhibition of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, which is normally housed in the RSA Galleries in Edinburgh. Building work necessitated the change of venue. Marion was one of the award winning exhibitors, receiving the John Gray award.

The following piece is taken from a list of prominent Fifers (FP100) published by the Fife Free Press Group.

MARIAN Leven from Tayport is a prolific exhibitor in both Scotland and London and has recently been included in 'An Leabhar Mor', The Great Book of Gaelic.

A graduate of Grays School of Art in Aberdeen in the 1960s, she first made an appearance on the Scottish art scene in the early 1990s and went on to win the Noble Grossart first prize in 1997. Her early work was based on how her emotions related to Scotland's landscapes, weather and water. She was the artist in residence at Sabhal M6r Ostaig on the Isle of Skye in 2002 and became an elected member of The Royal Scottish Academy in 2005. Passionate about her work, her creative process is characterised by spontaneity,energy and, above all, passion.

Her work is regularly displayed throughout Fife and has featured in the Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery and as part of the Demarco European Foundation Fife Council Art Collection.

She is married to Will Maclean, also a successful artist in his own right. In recent years she and Will have been involved in collaborative projects such as:

 Nan Gaiseach Memorial Cairn in 1994 to commemorate the Deer Park Raiders in 1887

Aignish Memorial Sculpture in 1996 to commemorate the Land Uprisings of 1888

Cuimhneachain Nan Gaiseach at Gress River to commemorate the land raids of 1915

Craunghael at Sabhal Mor Ostaig

Cairngorm View Point

Waterlines, a sculpture in the Old Aberdeen Campus 2012

Landmark memorial to remember the 19th century Lewis Land Clearances, commemorate the 20th century land raids by the Reef Raiders and celebrate the Scottish Land Reforms and the creation of the Bhaltos Community Trust 2013

The last of these was awarded a prestigious prize by the Saltire Society.


David Lewis

David Lewis (nothing to indicate when he attended BB but probably late 1990s) qualified as a lawyer but is in the process (2009) of making a career move into the music industry. In mid-March he won an audition at Live and Unsigned 2009 in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. If successful, he was due to go through to the area final in May and could be in line for a recording contract and a 100-gig tour. Last year he released his debut album Wrecking Ball under the name of David Ell. David was School Vice-Captain in his sixth year and practises law in Glasgow.

Jean C Liddell

Mrs Jean Mackenzie entered BBS in 1929. After leaving School she became a State Registered Nurse (Dundee Royal, Lanark County), a Sister in Queen.Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, India. She was appointed Member of the Order of St John. She retired to Crail.

Isobel Liddle

In October 1998 Isobel Liddle (1954) was honoured at an awards ceremony in Kirkcaldy which recognised the triumph of spirit over adversity. Isobel was a member of the local Soroptomists, branch secretary of Alzheimers (Scotland) and was instrumental in setting up a drop-in centre at St. John's Church in Cupar for carers of people with dementia. She was also an Elder of St John's Church and helped with the Bible Class.

Isobel died at home in July 2001. She had been an invalid for about 10 years, as the disability which she suffered after contracting polio when she was in third year became much worse. Despite the effects of her illness, she went from School to St Andrews University where she studied History and then trained as a teacher. She returned to Bell Baxter to teach. She then took an MEd degree and worked as an Educational Psychologist for several years, returning again to Bell Baxter as Assistant Rector in charge of Guidance in 1973. Isobel had to take early retirement as her disabilities became much more severe. But she always displayed great courage and determination, retaining her outside interests as long as she possibly could. She would never admit defeat under circumstances which would have been beyond most of us to cope with.

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