Aberdonian agriculture school
Apologies for neglecting to write back to you until now. I was delighted to hear from you and to read you are working on a BD research project about the history of UK and Ireland. I am attaching a scan of the brochure about WESTHALL ( NB not Westhill) FARM SCHOOL. You might find that interesting. It has always been disappointing to me that so little is known about Westhall and the connection there must have been with that initiative and Camphill. Indeed Kirkton house is very close by but the Westhall Farm School was I think in operation from 1946?- 1952/3? so after the Kirkton house time. As there wasn’t a positive connection to the Haughton family who owned Williamston and Kirkton house, perhaps there wasn’t much connection to the early Camphillers.
Deryck Duffy is certainly a key figure as the farm manager of Westhall. Lord Glentanar, another interesting figure, was the owner of Westhall when our family arrived in 1953. He also was involved in the farm school and his name appears asking questions in a lecture by Dr. Konig on Nutrition. I always wonder was Glentanar an anthroposophist?
You are probably in touch with Gabriel Kaye whose father Anthony was a pupil in Westhall. Perhaps she knows some history. I know Denys Kaye well and I can ask him but I don’t think he knows much. When I was in Camphill Schools in the 70s Bronwen Dring was also a coworker and she said her father had also been a pupil there. Do you know the Dring family – Alan Dring?
Also Bridget Alksne, nee Naumann, told me her parents were in Westhall school – John and Christine Naumann. I have meant to contact Bridget but haven’t yet.
In 1972, when I attended a great youth conference in Dornach and I was a novice to Camphill and Anthroposophy, I bought a book on Biodynamic agriculture to give to my father. I know I now possess that book but I can’t find it! I had though years ago photocopied 4 pages where Westhall was mentioned. Also I particularly liked page 65 – 66 where the writer talks about the love of aberdeenshire farmers for beautiful flowers and the influence of natural beauty on morality! Great quote. I am attaching that too.
I had it in my memory that the book was written by Pfeiffer but I can’t find a reference to it. His last visit to UK was in 1950 and that could have been when the book was written. also on these 4 pages there is reference to comparison to farming in US so maybe it was Pfeiffer.