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Alumni Series:Pollyanna Murray

Name: Pollyanna Murray

Name: Pollyanna Murray

School Dates: 1981 – 1987

Senior School: Gordonstoun

What are you up now?

I currently live in Kirkmichael, Perthshire in a log cabin at the top of a hill with my husband Rich and two boys Jamie and Finton. I am a full time mum to my boys are 8 and 6. I do get away to work occasionally.

I am an ambassador for the outdoor retail store Tiso.

I also do motivational presentations.

I love interiors so I spend a lot of time up -cycling furniture and painting,  my latest project was doing up another log cabin which we now rent out for holiday lets.


Is what you are doing now (either career or hobby) inspired by your time (or a teacher) at Ardvreck?

Recently I helped organise for all the primary school at Kirkmichael to climb Ben Vrackie as a fund raising event.  I am proud to say we were successful!  This was one of the many challenges that we did at Ardvreck and I remember being encouraged by Mr Ray to do this.

University and what you studied (or gap year activities):

I skipped University and spent those years ski racing and qualifying as a ski instructor.  I then had a seasonal career teaching Skiing in the Alps and the Pyrenees  I also ran Telemark ski courses in Norway.

When the snow was gone I returned to the UK and worked as a Roped access technician abseiling down buildings.  I specialised in re – pointing church spires and cleaning gutters and windows on historic castles.

I was also a sponsored adventurer and trips included:

  • – Summiting Everest via the South ridge. I was the first Scottish Woman to summit Everest!
  • – Sailing across Baffin bay from Greenland and Traversing Bylot island on skis
  • – Climb and first ski decent of Mt MKinley, Alaska
  • – Antarctic and South Georgia sailing Expedition

Memories of Ardvreck are:

  • Wild and free Barvicks
  • Running down the hill as fast as I could to the playing fields and smelling the fresh creosote on the cricket pavilion.
  • Sledging and skiing on the knock golf course
  • Hares and Hounds
What do you think sets an Ardvreckian apart from the crowd?

I think Ardvreckians are a tough breed as we were thrown outside to play whatever the weather. I also think we were taught good manners.  We also learnt not to be fussy with our food!

Do you have an Ardvreck family (friends from Ardvreck) for life?

My closest friend now was at both Ardvreck and Gordonstoun with me

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up but what I did know was it would involve being outside.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by travel, meeting new people and learning new skills.

Is ‘being happy’ important to you;  are you happy?

Happiness is the most important thing and I always like to smile because I believe a smile will take you a long way.

Tagged  Alumni