Lumsden House
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 Postcard dated May 16th 1910. Sign reads
 Lumsden Home Glasgow Poor Childrens Fresh Air Fortnight
Contributed by Davie Law

Lumsden House about 1900

Originally known as the Red Brae House, it was built by a local doctor. There are some gruesome tales of the doctor's experiments in dissecting human bodies. Apparently how he obtained these corpses had undertones of Burke and Hare. Taken over by the Glasgow Corporation last century, it was turned into a holiday home for the less fortunate children of Glasgow. More recently the house has been used as a school for disruptive pupils in Ayrshire. The two articles below appeared in the Ayrshire Post in April 2003.

REDBRAE school could have a last minute reprieve if a rescue package can be found. Maybole councillor Alan Murray revealed this week that he’s working hand in hand with education chiefs to find an alternative to closing the school. He insists that alternatives to outright closure and the loss of more than 20 jobs are being considered - including the possibility of a council take-over. Councillor Murray - whose North Carrick and Maybole West ward includes the school for boys with serious educational and behavioural problems - insists he’s working flat out to find a solution before the school’s planned closure in July. He said: “I’ve been discussing possible alternatives behind the scenes. “At this point it is far too early to say if we can find an alternative, but no one wants to see the wealth of experience that is currently at Redbrae just disappear.” The school building and land are owned by South Ayrshire Council but it is currently operated privately by Dr Robin Dalrymple.  Councillor Murray added: “The possibility exists for the operation of the school to be taken under South Ayrshire control. “We will also look at absorbing the staff ourselves as a possible alternative. “The staff at Redbrae are a great team and it could be that their experience could be put to good use within South Ayrshire.  “Clearly, it really is far too early to say but we will do all we can to help the situation.” The vast majority of pupils at the school have criminal records and have already been expelled from mainstream schools. Redbrae was originally set up as a residential school 20 years ago. However, it changed to a day-only facility a few years ago as pupil numbers started to decline from a high of 32 to just 18 this term. Councillor Murray went on: “Ten of the pupils are due to leave this summer and there will be arrangements made for the remaining eight if the school closes. “I don’t believe there is any question of the pupils being absorbed into the mainstream environment.” (Ayrshire Post  April 25th 2003)

REDBRAE School will close this summer. Staff have already been told of the plan to axe the Maybole school which teaches some of the most disruptive pupils in Ayrshire. The news was described as a major blow by the SNP’s Adam Ingram, who insists that more than 100 years of cumulative experience will be lost. He said: “The staff team at Redbrae represent a unique asset for Ayrshire, with more than 100 years of experience among them. “That team will be broken up and no doubt may well be a very great loss to the education services here.” Mr Ingram also expressed his concern for the future of the youths with serious educational and behavioural problems the school was set up to educate. He stressed: “This school has successfully helped some of Ayrshire’s most disruptive pupils to break out of their behaviour problems and lead productive lives. “We should be doing everything we can to ensure we hang on to a facility like this. “While I believe that classroom disruption needs to be tackled systematically within schools, there should always be room for special schools such as Redbrae to take on the problems of the most difficult cases.” The school was set up as a residential school around 20 years ago. Although the land and the building are owned by South Ayrshire Council, they are leased to Dr Robin Dalrymple who operates the school privately.


The school changed from residential to a day-only facility a few years ago. Around 20 staff are currently employed at the school but pupil numbers have shrunk from a high of 32 to around 18 today. One insider explained: “There has been a distinct feeling in the past few years that the place is being run down. “There are 18 boys just now and 10 of them will be ready to leave in the summer. “So it’s clear that the roll will go down significantly. “But what the plans are for the boys who are left and those who come along in the future really is anyone’s guess. “ Many of the boys educated at Redbrae have criminal records and have already been expelled from schools across Ayrshire.  The insider added: “There’s no other facility like it in the area that I’m aware of. These boys are not in mainstream schools for very good reasons. Other arrangements will have to be made for their education.” A spokesman for South Ayrshire Council agreed that an alternative to Redbrae will have to be found if the closure plan goes ahead. He said: “Should this be the case, there would be a requirement from South Ayrshire Council to seek an appropriate alternative solution to meet the pupils’ educational needs.” (Ayrshire Post  April 18th 2003)