Terminator becomes conservator at Scots home used for D Day training

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THE Hollywood actor best known for playing the unstoppable T-1000 killing machine in Terminator 2 has joined a campaign to preserve a Scottish country home where D-Day was rehearsed.

Robert Patrick, 52, played the role of the cyborg arch-villain – made of indestructible metal capable of changing to any shape – in James Cameron’s hit 1991 sci-fi flick.

In the movie – which grossed $520m at the box office – he does battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger through downtown Los Angeles, leaving a trail of smoldering destruction in his wake.

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Robert Patrick

But now the terminator has become the conservator – joining calls to transform Argyll’s historic Castle Toward – where British troops trained for D-Day – into a cultural institute.

Campaigners are resisting private ownership of the £1.75m property, fearing it could become a residential development and lost its historical character for ever.

Castle Toward, known during the war as HMS Brontosaurus, was built in 1820 on the grounds of a 15th century castle which homed the Clan Lamont.

After being owned privately for 120 years, the 25 bedroom home was commandeered by Winston Churchill in WWII, who visited during the conflict, and used to train thousands of British troops for the D-Day landings.

Overlooking the Clyde estuary, and with easy access to the sloping shoreline, the castle was the perfect place to train troops in amphibious warfare.

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50 Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan

Celebrity supporters include radio DJ Edith Bowman, actor Brian Cox and Kelpies sculptor Andy Scott.

And now Robert Patrick – the famously destructive villain of Terminator 2 – has lent his voice to the campaign, after discovering that his ancestors studied at Castle Toward school.

Patrick – born in Georgia in the US – tweeted his support for the I Heart Castle Toward campaign on Saturday, and signed the petition to preserve the property as a hub for youth arts and sport.

In his tweet the actor stated: “I heart Castle Toward, I support you. Save history, preserve the arts and education.”

In a separate  message of support to the campaigners he added:“After recently visiting Scotland and seeing my ancestral home, I am emboldened to say that Castle Toward should be protected and preserved for future generations.”

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Journalist Kirsty Wark

Soldiers practised beach landings – complete with bombs, smokescreens and strafing fighters – and leapt from landing craft, clambering up the beach in preparation for the events of June 6, 1944 in Normandy.

The training was so tough and realistic that many servicemen died in accidents.

After the war the home was bought by Glasgow City Council, and used as a residential school of the arts and an outdoor activities centre for inner city children.

The house has sat empty since 2009, and was put on the market for a staggering £1.75m earlier this year.

The petition to keep Castle Toward open to the public as a cultural institute currently has over 1,000 signatures.

A spokesman said: ““We are growing every day and we stand united in our thousands with our message – bring back the youth of Scotland to Castle Toward.

“The SNP are now standing with us and MSP Mike Russell has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament supporting our campaign and is calling on Argyll and Bute Council to halt the proposed sale.

“BBC DJ and Presenter Edith Bowman joined the campaign yesterday and we are receiving messages of support each day such as that from Hollywood heavyweight and Terminator 2 star, Robert Patrick.

“Even if the preferred bidder did step aside, this would not give the ‘I Heart’ campaign any right to step in, as that possibility would surely need to come by invitation from the council, as the vendor. If such an invitation was forthcoming from Argyll & Bute to open discussions, then it could be considered.”

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Well known actor Brian Cox
A huge number of other celebrities have lent their voices to the campaign.
Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt posed in a campaign t shirt recently, sending a message of support which read: “Places like Castle Toward broaden horizons and inspire young minds and they are integral to the fabric of our society.”
And veteran actor Brian Cox has also posed for the petition, with a message saying: “The massive response to the Castle Toward campaign is a fitting tribute to the thousands of young people who went there, all of whom look back on their stay as being the most formative experience of their lives.
“The fact that so many of them have gone on to pursue and succeed in careers in the arts is testimony to how much the experience excited and enthused them.”
And 50 shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan has also added his voice, saying: “”Castle Toward has inspired countless generations of young people.  To see it close its doors would be a huge loss to the artistic community of the UK.”
Breaking Bad actress Laura Fraser also said: “”We have an obligation to help children understand art as more than a bit of decoration. But as an intrinsic value, encouraging community and a sense of place and a celebration of shared cultural diversity.”

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