Closure of James Little Training College


1930 Crossbasket Waterfall

1977– On 20th July 1977, a Mrs. Bain had asked the Secretary of State for Scotland “what was the subsidy given in 1976 to help the James Little Training College” which she reported was experiencing financial troubles and asked what help could be given now that the James Little College had announced they would have to close. The Commons exchange, went as follows:

The James Little College is an independent institution. In 1976–77, to avoid the closure of the college in mid-session as a result of a lack of enrolments, my right hon. Friend made an exceptional grant of £25,000 to the college; and further payments will be made this year when the actual deficit for the college’s financial year to 31st July 1977 is known. Despiteevery effort by the governors of the college and by my Department, I understand that there are only three firm applications for enrolment for 1977–78. In these circumstances the governors have taken the view that closure of the college is inevitable, and they have not asked my right hon. Friend for further financial assistance. Three representations have been received against the closure of the college, but my right hon. friend considers that special action would not be justified unless there is a substantial increase in the demand for places.”

This again lends weight to the Roosevelt Memorial Trust winding up in either 1976 or 77.

Baxter Russell carves up the estate

Two days after the closure of James Little College, on 22ndJuly 1977, now having exclusive use of the entire Castle and remaining 27 acres of ground, George Baxter Russell sold off 4.9 acres to the North East side of Crossbasket Castle. The buyer was David Brainard Baxter Russell and his wife Margaret, of 14 Glenturret, East Kilbride, George’s brother and sister in law. It proved to be another excellent business transaction, for George sold the 4.9 acres for £23,500. (£150,000 in 2015 money), and more in line with the worth of that land.

Lets just take a second here to put this in context. A reminder, in 1976 George acquired Crossbasket Castle and 27 acres of estate land for £35,000.  Just one year later, he sold only 4.9 acres receiving £23,500, recovering 67% of his initial outlay, yet still retaining the Castle and 22.1 whole acres! Now THAT was some business transaction!

Crossbasket and its beautiful waterfall is pictured in the 1930’s.

From the book, “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c) 2015

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Henry Hambley Mrs Bain was a SNP member of parliament for East Dunbartonshire, I think In the late 1970s. She subsequently married Fergus Ewing so becoming part of a famous SNP scion. I did not agree with her politics but admired her for her fighting spirit and honesty. Sadly died in early noughties having succeeded in becoming SNP MSP

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