A WOMAN who could not bear to let go of the farm that has been in her family for nearly 60 years has been allowed to stay as tenant.

Mrs Alexandria Calder was advised to quit Wester Clova, in Aberdeenshire, to avoid throwing good money after bad, but the emotional pull proved too strong.

Now a judge has ruled that she cannot be forced out because a notice to quit which was served on her was not valid.

Wester Clova is on the Kildrummy estate, near Alford, 30 miles from Aberdeen. The estate extends to 5500 acres and consists mainly of grouse moor and tenanted farms with a number of houses, cottages, and a hotel.

Mrs Calder's father became tenant of West Clova in 1939, and she succeeded to the tenancy after the death of her mother in 1987.

Lord Dawson heard at the Court of Session that Kildrummy (Jersey) Ltd became owners of the estate in 1979 after a disposition in the company's favour by James and Hylda Smith, who had been in Kildrummy since 1970.

The object of the deal was to mitigate future tax liability, while leaving Mr and Mrs Smith with the right to occupy the estate and receive rents from it. Mr Smith has since died but his wife still occupies the estate.

The tenants were not informed of these transactions and continued to pay their rents to the Smiths.

After Mrs Calder succeeded to the Wester Clova tenancy, Kildrummy (Jersey) issued her with a notice to quit, taking the view that she had neither the capital nor the skills to run the farm properly.

In a written judgment in the case, Lord Dawson said that Mrs Calder was quite clear that she wanted to stay put. The judge added: ``She was determined to continue, mainly because of the emotional attachments she had to the farm.''

After studying her accounts, Mrs Calder's lawyers were surprised at the losses being incurred and the substantial shortage of capital, and advised her that the business was not economically viable. She was advised that to carry on would be ``throwing good money after bad''.

She was offered compensation of #23,500, and in 1991 reluctantly agreed to accept it after a great deal of heart-searching.

However, by the following summer she still had not signed the agreement, and told her lawyer that she was not going to do so. The only reason she gave was emotional attachment to Wester Clova.

Kildrummy (Jersey) took the case to the Court of Session and asked Lord Dawson to order Mrs Calder to abide by the agreement and to vacate Wester Clova in return for payment of the #23,500 compensation.

Sir Crispin Agnew, QC, who represented Mrs Calder, argued that Kildrummy (Jersey) was not her landlord and that the notice to quit was null and void.

Lord Dawson said that the principal issue in the case was whether Kildrummy (Jersey) were truly Mrs Calder's landlords and, as such, entitled to remove her from her tenancy.

``In my opinion, from and after 1979, it was the Smiths and not Kildrummy (Jersey) who were entitled to receive the rents and profits and it was the Smiths and not Kildrummy (Jersey) who were entitled to take possession of Wester Clova.

``It follows therefore, that Kildrummy (Jersey) had no power to issue the notice to quit to Mrs Calder.''