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Herald Scotland

Savile's Glen Coe home to become base for climbers

Herald Scotland:

Reported by David Ross

Highland Correspondent

Published / News

SIR Jimmy Savile's cottage in the Highlands will not be sold but kept as "a place of respite" for climbers and the disabled as a lasting memorial to the entertainer.

A for sale sign had appeared at the property, Allt na Reigh, above the A82 road at Glen Coe. But it was taken down this week after trustees of the Sir Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust decided to take it off the market.

One of the trustees, Dr Roger Bodley, a consultant at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, said the decision was made to make the property a tribute to the TV presenter and charity fundraiser.

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Dr Bodley told The Herald: "I visited him up in Glen Coe and thought it was a fabulous place.

"I went up there last on Thursday last week to say goodbye to it, and I thought, 'No, we can't get rid of it. The trust has got to keep it and make it a tribute to Jimmy.'

"The idea is that it will be a place of respite for the able-bodied and the disabled. The able would be the climbers, walkers, mountain rescue personnel and people on outdoor courses.

"The disabled could be people with spinal injuries people coming back from Afghanistan, the military wounded and the psychologically injured.

"The idea is that we would make a small unit where half a dozen people with carers can go and do what they want."

He said the project would be called jimmy's@glencoe. He added "At the moment we are saying we are going to fix it for Jim, that's the sort of rubric we want to be going under.

"There are a lot of people interested.

"The original plan was to sell it and put the money into the trust, but I thought what a waste. My guess is that you would get about £9000 a year on the interest if you are lucky.

"You could get that in rental from able-bodied people renting. It is to be a tribute to him."

Hamish MacInnes, who was a great friend of Savile's and still lives further down Glen Coe, said he was delighted by the news. He used to live in the cottage, and had sold it to two friends who later sold it to Sir Jimmy.

"Jimmy talked about this some time ago and discussed it with me," he said. "But he was so busy with other things he just never got round to it. It is tremendous it's now going to happen.

"He entertained Prince Charles there and served him a meal of poached salmon from the river.

"He was always a spartan sort of person and the people that had the cottage before him had some junk furniture.

"The old leather armchairs had their arms all ripped, but Jimmy just put tea towels over them which Prince Charles lifted. He just smiled."

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