Helen Leslie (nee Strong), mother to Sammy and Camilla Leslie, was brought up in the tiny village of Wilviliscombe, Somerset. She was a primary school teacher for a short time before heading off to Gibraltar, where she made a living 'procuring' whiskey and 'kindly delivering' it across the Spanish border. Later, on a skiing holiday in Kitzbuhl, Austria, she laid eyes on the devastatingly handsome and 'dangerous' Desmond Leslie.
They married and settled into a night-club filled life in London. But this was soon exchanged for Desmond's country seat in Glaslough.
Ever pragmatic, Helen mucked in and made the most of it. She began her 'business career' by inviting young European aristocrats to come to the castle to ride and learn English. Helen then decided that other adults might also enjoy Glaslough, so she started the Equestrian Centre in 1974. She's now retired to the south of France.