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Lochgoilhead Evacuation Camp

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An Evacuation Camp was established at Lochgoilhead during World War II.

The camp was set up in an area behind Lochgoilhead, to house families evacuated from Glasgow after the area was blitzed. The evacuees are said to have included a number of borstal boys, and while the locals are said to have watched them, they also noted the boys were good workers if kept busy.

Scout camp

Local accounts suggest this same camp may have been taken over by the Scouts in 1960s, and turned into an outdoor training centre. If so, this camp was then known as Shelter Park. It is said that when the Scouts took over, the kitchen area contained hundreds of spoons, but not a single knife or fork, suggesting the guests were fed on porridge and soup.

From 1905 to 1965, the City of Glasgow made use of the Ardgoil Hills overlooking Lochgoilhead on the Cowal peninsula, an area gifted to the city for the benefit of all its citizens as the Ardgoil Estate by Archibald Cameron Corbett, 1st Lord Rowallan,. Holidays were once organised there for groups of needy citizens, by Glasgow Corporation. In 1904, he had presented to the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council of Glasgow, for the good of the citizens, a large part of the picturesque estate of Thornliebank, along with the mansion-house therein, his own residence. Archibald was succeeded by Thomas Godfrey Polson Corbett, 2nd Baron Rowallan, and Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth and Empire between 1945 and 1959.


A borstal was a specific type of youth prison, run by the Prison Service and intended to reform seriously delinquent young people. The official court sentence was "borstal training". The applicable age range was originally 17 to 21 years but, during the 1930s, the maximum age was increased to 23, meaning that the oldest inmates could be almost 26 years of age [1].

The Criminal Justice Act (1982) abolished the borstal system throughout the UK, introducing youth custody centres instead.


1 Report of the Departmental Committee on Corporal Punishment, ("Cadogan Report") Cmnd. 5684, Home Office, 1938, p.123.

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Aerial views


Shelter Park, Lochgoilhead


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