Dr Peter Clarke

Dr Peter Clarke has had a life long interest in small farmers, the Land Settlement Association (LSA) and the Outer Hebrides. His first job was as a bean picker on the Potton LSA estate. His first academic study of was of market gardening in East Bedfordshire. He went on to study the LSA at the London School of Economics under Professor Michael Wise. At the time Wise had just chaired the Government’s Committee of Enquiry into Statutory Smallholdings, including the LSA, (Reports: 1966 & 1967). His MSc study compared Abington and Sidlesham estates. His PhD thesis evaluated the LSA’s scheme of land settlement for the unemployed from 1934 to 1948. His particular interest was in its co-operative system of working. He subsequently worked for the co-operative movement for twenty years. Peter was at LSA Headquarters in Cromwell Road in December 1982 when the Government announced that the scheme was to be closed. He now works as a public sector analyst with a special interest in UK local government.
Peter has been visiting the Outer Hebrides since 1973. He spent ten years researching his book The Outer Hebrides The Timeless Way. On his first visit he was introduced to the Gatliff Hostels at Rhenigidale, Harris, and Howmore, South Uist. He has been a Trustee of the Gatliff Trust since 1980 and is currently the chair of both the Gatliff Trust and the Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust (www.gatliff.org.uk). Since 1980 the Gatliff Trust has encouraged over 125,000 visitors to the islands.