Some images from the original Corrour Bothy work party appeared recently on Facebook, courtesy of Alasdair Ewan, grandson of Bill Ewen, who took them in 1950, when the Cairngorm Club rescued the building from collapse.
I wrote about Bill Ewen and his active role during this period in the Cairngorms some time ago, and it’s worth reading about his activities.
I contacted Alasdair who kindly shared some more images from the 1950 renovation date and other occasions. I’ll write more about the other times later, but for now let’s have a look at that pivotal time in Corrour Bothy’s history.
Since being abandoned by the estate not long after the First World War, Corrour had been used increasingly by the growing number of walkers and climbers. For many it was just an abandoned building rather than a resource to be cherished for the future, and too many thought nothing of burning first the furniture and then, when that was gone, the flooring and wood lining.
It was already being described as ruinous in the 1930s, but by the late ’40s matters were getting really serious. The roof was on the verge of complete collapse and the weakened walls were likely to follow soon after. The Cairngorm Club, particularly active in that era, managed in 1949 to persuade the estate to allow them to renovate the building and maintain it as an open shelter, although still in estate ownership.
Bill Ewen convened the committee charged with the renovation, which took place over the summer of 1950 and is entertainingly recorded in the Cairngorm Club Journal Vol XVI No 87 by George Taylor, another stalwart of the CC’s construction activities.
Now enjoy these historic pictures of the reconstruction, taken by Bill Ewen.