SOEC  Heritage Project
The History of Scottish Outdoor Education Centres 1940 - 1960

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The Scottish Camps as they were called, served 3 purposes in the period 1940 - 1960. They were used firstly for children evacuated from Scottish Cities during World War 11. Then from 1945, children from Europe, many from the Netherlands, came as refugees to regain their health. By the late 1940's the Camps had reverted to their original intended purpose of providing outdoor education for Scottish children.

The project will connect with people who stayed in the camps during this period, record their memories, collect photographs, memorabilia and documents, and produce a film to celebrate their experiences and inform current generations.

The Queen
visiting Middleton in 1955

Refugee children arriving in the UK from the Netherlands in 1945
"I stayed at Middleton Camp with my young brother for about 3 months circa 1945/46.  Father was at sea and mother was unwell, so we were resident and attended school there.

The camp had a small recreation room for reading, playing board games or writing letters, which were censored.   Being a wee fly man, to avoid censorship, I'd write a letter home, take to the kitchen and ask a member of staff to post it for me.  I never knew if it was posted or not -  a bit like Stalag 17, if you like.

The positive side was, in your free time, you pretty much had the run of the camp's massive grounds with woods and the pond to play in, or collect eggs from their poultry farm."  Frank Ferri, Newhaven.

The 5 original Scottish Camps were:

Broomlee , West Linton

Dounans, Aberfoyle

Belmont, Meigle

Glengonnar, Abington

Middleton, Gorebridge