Following the repatriation of the prisoners back to Germany in October 1919, the camp was dismantled and the equipment and huts sold off at auction.

However, the question of what should happen to the huts after the camp closed was raised before the Germans left when it was proposed by the Urban District Council to use the huts as temporary housing as relief for the post-war housing shortage. The scheme though was rejected by the local Housing and Town Planning Committee on the grounds that it would be too expensive to make the huts fit to live in, much to the indignation of the German prisoners, who wrote in their book of memoirs, Kriegsgefangen in Skipton:

So even costly improvements could not make these barracks habitable for the English! We, of course, were mere Huns!

Kriegsgefangen in Skipton. p.10

newspaper advert listig equipmenty for sale at raikeswood camp auction

List of equipment for sale© Yorkshire Post

Amongst the equipment sold at auction were 310 chairs, 182 beds, 20 fire extinguishers and 1 flagpole, as well as 2000 yards of barbed wire. Meanwhile, all 78 huts and buildings were sold in a record clearance, with the 39 sleeping barracks fetching an average price of £117 10s, the largest reached at any sale in the Northern area for that class of hut.

The huts were scattered over a wide area with purchasers coming from Bradford, Manchester and as far afield as London. A number of the huts, however, remained in the Skipton area with three being used until 1932 as classrooms at Ermysted’s Grammar School, where they were known as ‘the hen huts.’ One former student recalled how the single, cast iron stoves which heated each hut were used to initiate new boys into the school.

If it was possible to get a new boy to sit on the lid long enough or alternatively to put a boy on and restrain him long enough, a permanent pattern was embossed on the trouser seat

‘Bolton Abbey: The Time of My Life’ by Donald Wood. p. 40

photo of wooden huts being used as classrooms with main school building on the left

The huts being used as classrooms at Ermysted’s Grammar School© Ermysted's Old Boys Society

Other huts were used a village halls, including at Embsay, Cracoe and Tosside. The hut at Cracoe, known as the Rylston District War Memorial Hut, was in use as a village hall until 1996 when it was replaced with a new building. There are no known surviving huts today, although the wooden roof trusses from two of the huts were recently discovered at Peter Watson’s Garage, Skipton.

photo of fron to wooden hut

The Village Institute at Tosside© Tosside Community Link and Slaidburn Archive

photo of wooden trusses in car garage workshop

Wooden trusses from the huts being used in the workshop at Peter Watson’s Garage, Skipton© Rob Freeman