The 2005 Nigel Tranter Memorial Award was presented to Mr. Tom Clarke and Mrs. Olive Clarke at the Scottish Castles Association Annual General Meeting held at the Black Bull Hotel in Lauder, during the SCA April tour of Berwickshire.
Tom and Olive are Cumbrian farmers with a love of Scottish castles. They live in Howgill Castle by Milburn near Penrith and spend their spare time caring for Lochhouse Tower near Moffat which they have owned for many years.
One Cumbrian and one Scottish Borders castle was not enough to satisfy their enthusiasm. Having discovered the roofless shell of Kilmartin Castle in Argyll they decided to set about its purchase and restoration. After many battles with officialdom for approval of their proposals they were granted planning permission and the real work commenced. Together they worked tirelessly and took on most of the physical tasks themselves.
The fully restored Kilmartin Castle now stands as a tribute to the enthusiasm and bloody minded determination that the couple employed to achieve their goal. The Scottish Castles Association are delighted to have been able to mark their achievement by presenting this award. Tom was able to attend the presentation but Olive was unable to be present as she was detained at Howgill delivering lambs for their flock of sheep. Our President Lord Steel of Aikwood presented Tom with a Morion Helmet that we have adopted as the annual trophy.
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