Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Carbeth Hutters succeed in raising £1.75 million to buy their land

I caught a bit of a crab when I started to write about this success, as I was sure I had written something about the Carbeth huts, but could find it for reference. My memory is not the sharpest in the box, but I can usually find things I have produced for reference.

I did eventually realise my error, and found it was in fact a Forum post that had not attracted any further comments – well, at least I tried to raise some awareness (but should obviously have blogged instead). I recall the post now, as I had hoped some more info might have turned up, and I could have started a Wiki page with more info on the huts.

I had a little trouble identifying where exactly they were, even though I knew where Carbeth was generally located, and have passed through the area many times over the years (completely unaware of the existence of the huts only a few yards away) so this might help put the location in context:

Although the hutters – established back in the 1920s – owned the huts they built on the land, they did not own the land they built their huts on, so had to pay rent to a landlord, and that’s where the problems grew from, leading to a 15 year confrontation that has only now come to an end:

After fifteen years of often rancorous disputes, a rent strike and then careful negotiation with the owner, the Carbeth Hutters Community company has bought their 90 acres of land – valued at £1.75m, after securing a vital loan from the Triodos bank.

The community of more than 140 huts, which varies from modern kit buildings, smartly-painted cabins through to hand-built, idiosyncratic huts, was originally founded in the 1920s and 1930s by socialists and communists wanting an escape from Glasgow and Clydebank.

In 2010, the community settled a long-running rent strike with its owner Allan Barns-Graham, who agreed to give them three years to raise the capital needed to buy the forest grounds. The deal includes its lido, an open air swimming pool, and land used by the original “fellowship camp” where the community took root.

The leases is (sic) due to be signed on Sunday (24 March, 2013), at Edmonstone Hall, Blanefield just nearby.

And their success was applauded by the Barns-Graham family, which has owned the estate for more than a century; they said the size of the buy-out was rare given the economic climate. They praised the hutters “tireless” work since 2010 to raise the money needed.

Via Carbeth Hutters buy their forest home after bank loan | UK news | guardian.co.uk

In a footnote, it was clarified that the leases referred to above are for the 140 hut owners, who take out leases with CHCC (Carbeth Hutters Community Company), which is already the land owner. GHCC was set up in 2008.

More on CHCC at: Carbeth Hutters Community Company and Carbeth Hutter’s website

A Thousand Huts | The campaign to celebrate, protect, expand and enjoy the world of hutting in Scotland

BBC News – Campaign to build 1,000 huts in Scottish forests

This short video shows the huts and the lifestyle enjoyed by the hutters at Carbeth. From: Living In The Future – Episode 38- Hutters

The following shows some period film of what the site was like in “The good old days”:

Advertisements

March 23, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: