Welcome spring to Lanark at Whuppity Scoorie

Whuppity Scoorie. Picture Sarah Peters.
Whuppity Scoorie. Picture Sarah Peters.

Lanark’s unique rite of spring takes place tonight, Wednesday, when the burgh’s children run round the cross waving newspaper balls tied with string.

At Whuppity Scoorie on March 1, as the bell rings in the town steeple at 6pm, the youngsters run three times round St Nicholas Church.

They then scramble for coins thrown by members of the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council who organise the event.

The origins of the event are lost in the mists of time.

The bell ringing may have had to do with a curfew change at the start of spring, or it may reflect criminals being whupped then scoored in the Clyde, or it may involve beating the devil out of the town.

In the past it led to major battles with other youngsters and, until the health and safety of modern times it was a race, with prizes for the winners.

Whatever its origins, it is a lot of fun for the children taking part!

(Drivers are reminded that there is a road closure at the cross while it takes place.)