Eilidh Urbach (nee McNab)

At the end of August we were thrilled to meet Anne Henderson who was on holiday from Strathaven in South Lanarkshire. Anne had a special reason to be visiting us at Groam House. While writing up some family stories she had been chatting to her aunt, Eilidh Urbach (nee McNab), aged 99 years, about a family heirloom now in her possession – a ‘Hunting’ carpet that had an intriguing label on the reverse –

Authentic Celtic Art
Guarantee Mark of 
Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire

On further discussion, Anne discovered that Eilidh had been one of George Bain’s art pupils at Kirkcaldy High School, back in the late 1930s. She can remember being taught how to draw the intricate Celtic Art patterns for which Bain later became well-known. Eilidh obviously had an exceptional creative talent as she went on to train at Edinburgh Art School before eventually deciding to pursue a music career. She moved to London, where she still lives, and became a successful soprano soloist.


Museum volunteer Rose Nixon with Anne Henderson at Groam House, August 2021

On her visit to the museum, Anne was intrigued to discover a picture of her ‘Hunting’ carpet on one of our postcards. She also has a Kirkcaldy Youth Theatre souvenir programme from December 1945, which includes an image of a reproduction of a beautifully carved bronze plaque, designed and carved by George Bain, which was presented at the Adoption Ceremony between Kirkcaldy and Alesund, Norway. 

Anne is delighted to have discovered her family connection to George Bain. In her words, ‘Groam House was an added bonus and quite a treasure’. She hopes to visit us again soon to look at more of the items in our George Bain Collection.

George Bain, Theatre Programme 1945