|Jean was born in Nottingham in 1927. |
She qualified as a primary school teacher in 1946 and taught in a coalmining district of the city of Nottingham, looking after a Reception class of about 50 children.
She moved to Wensleydale in 1949, to teach at West Burton where the school had only 2 teachers and the classroom was divided by a curtain.
Jean married Jesse in 1953. They moved to the town of Beith, in Ayrshire, as Jesse was working for Rolls Royce at Hillington, near Glasgow.
After a varied career (which included bringing up four sons) Jean “retired”, with Jesse, to the Cowal peninsula, Argyll, where she continued to teach art and music.
They lived at Otter Ferry (north of Kilfinan) and then at Millhouse, near Tignabruaich. Jean died in 2014.
Jean was always drawing and painting, producing pictures in oil paint, watercolour, pastels, charcoal, or pen and ink. She produced landscapes and portraits. She had been drawing and painting since she was 10 years old and continually strived to improve.
There are surprisingly few pictures of Jean painting, it was so normal to see Jean with paintbrush in hand that we never saw any need to record her for posterity.
This picture was taken while Jean was painting at Tioram, Moidart.
Books for children
As a primary school teacher and a mother Jean was interested in how children learn to read and the books they read. Her reading scheme, the “Little Story Book” series was published by Frederick Warne in the 1960’s.
|In 2004 Jean published an illustrated collection of nursery rhymes Dance to Your Daddy. It includes songs and rhymes she had learnt from her parents and others which she had collected over the years. The first edition was sold to raise money for children’s charities. A new edition (sold to raise money for Mary’s Meals) is now available.|
|Jean played her viola most Sundays at Kilfinan Church, sometimes assisted by local musicians and occasionally by her sons Nigel and Alasdair.|
For several years (when there were enough children in the district) she also taught Sunday School.