Helen Cruickshank was born at Hillside near Montrose. The poet Hugh MacDiarmid, a close friend, described her as a catalyst to the Scottish literary renaissance of the twentieth century. As Secretary of the Scottish PEN (an international association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists) she encouraged many young writers and was a particular support to Lewis Grassic Gibbon. This sculpted head suggests both her strength and openness of spirit. Her own first collection of poems 'Up the Noran Water' was published in 1934.