News & Events
RVM awarded to Nancy McCarthy
2nd June 2022
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We are delighted to share with you that our incredible member of staff Nancy McCarthy has been awarded The Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) (RVM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Nancy McCarthy has had a long association with the Castle of Mey.
In 1874, Nancy’s great grandparents, George and Catherine Heggie, took up the posts of head gardener and housekeeper at Barrogill Castle for Sir James Sinclair 14th Earl of Caithness. They remained at the Castle for 38 years until their retirement.
George and Catherine had a family of seven children - five girls and two boys, all born at Barrogill Castle. In 1887 Nancy’s grandmother, Georgina, was born.
In 1908 Georgina married William Swanson who was the grieve at the neighbouring farm of Barrogill Mains. They had three children one of which was Nancy’s father Sandy.
Sandy Swanson, went on to be the Queen Mother’s first farm manager at Longoe Farm, which was purchased in 1958, six years after Her Majesty acquired the Castle of Mey.
In 1967 Nancy and her husband Donald moved to Longoe after Donald was appointed farm manager. This position is now held by their two sons, Danny and Sandy.
In 1971, when the youngest of their children reached school age, Nancy started working at the Castle on the housekeeping staff.
Fifty years on and she is still there, and since 2002, when the Castle opened to the public, has also been a guide greeting the visitors at the front door and recounting memories and stories from her many years at the Castle.
Nancy is a little camera shy, so instead here are some of her favourite flowers from the Garden.