A Brief History of Brathay

1939 - Francis C. Scott, owner of the Provincial Insurance Company, based in Kendal, bought the property with a view to protecting it from development and devoting it to some worthy purpose.

1946 - Scott finally fulfilled his dream when he founded Brathay Hall Trust.

1947 - Scott's first venture: 'Holidays with Purpose', which consisted of one-week courses of ranging activities, including boating, fell-walking, camping, art and drama, which stemmed from his long-established connection with the Boys' Club Association. An extended, four-week version was launched, mainly for industrial apprentices, and these became the foundation for Brathay's work for the next 25 years.

1947 – Brathay Exploration Group was established within the grounds. This was a voluntary group undertaking useful pioneer field studies in challenging situations, initially in the Lake District, later to be world-wide. The offer was for students who had done well on the four-week courses.

1950s - Brathay pioneered a series of Six-Week residential courses for Oxfordshire Secondary Modern schoolboys.

1960s - Lancashire schools supported a junior version of the Four-Week course and in recent years we have seen a welcome resurgence of youth work.

1967 - Brathay opened the Field Study Centre (FSC). The outcome was an activity-based one week course for senior school pupils to broaden their experience in geography, biology or geology. Sadly, economic pressures and the inability of schools to spend money on such high quality courses led to its closure in 1986.

1969 - Responsibility at Work courses were created for young trainees.

1970s - Eagle Crag Youth Centre built to support for Intermediate Treatment courses which aimed to reduce delinquency along with work was developed with the Trident Trust, to give young school leavers a residential experience with outdoor activities, as part of a programme introducing them to the world of work.

1972 - Following the success of the management course run with Peter Prior and the staff of Bulmers Ltd in 1971, the following year saw Brathay establish working partnerships with many firms in a 'development training' capacity - prominent among these was the John Lewis partnership, which soon had its own 14-day course, for 50 staff, twice a year.

1990s - As well as our partnership with social services departments to rehabilitate vulnerable children, the 1990s saw the emergence of our work with young offenders. Whilst working with the Breakthrough Foundation, many government agencies have recognised that we have developed specific skills working with young people who have entered the criminal justice system. Work in this field has become one of our principal activities.

We will be updating and expanding our history section soon with the kind assistance of our Archivist, Maurice Dybeck - please check back! Maurice will also be providing us with "Maurice's Musings" on our blog.

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For more information on the History of Brathay, click here to visit the Brathay Trust Wikipedia page

The books "A Broad River" - 60 years in the life of Brathay, and "Jessy's Journal" - Georgian life in Ambleside revealed by the Hardens of Brathay Hall, are available to buy, with all proceeds going to Brathay. To purchase, please call us on 015394 33041.