End of an era for Carluke shop

Carluke High Street in its post-war 'Golden Days' when it contained four Brooks branches.
Carluke High Street in its post-war 'Golden Days' when it contained four Brooks branches.

At the end of January, Carluke town centre will be without a Brooks shop for the first time in 165 years.

The family firm will, however, continue to operate its three shops in Lanark.

Despite the growing nationwide crisis over town centre business closures due mainly to online shopping, the final Carluke Brooks branch, its furnishing outlet on the High Street, is going because of the retirement of its manager, Alex Brooks.

That retiral alone is something of an end of a Carluke retailing era as Mr Brooks has been a figure in town trade for almost 60 years.

The Brooks family opened their first shop in Carluke town centre in 1853 when Queen Victoria still had almost half a century to reign.

It thrived and grew alongside Carluke, eventually leading to the creation of a ‘mini-empire’ in Lanarkshire, including expansion into Lanark.

It is in the Royal Burgh that the future of the company lies but one of the current generation of the family running the business, Alastair Brooks, admits to feelings of nostalgic regret at the last branch in its ‘home town’ closing.

He told the Gazette: “Although our Carluke furnishing shop is closing at the end of January due to my uncle Alex’s retirement, our three Lanark shops are continuing as normal and there is no change there. However, we are a Carluke business originally and have been in the town since 1853. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers for coming into the shop over many years and indeed through many generations.

“We would also like to thank our former colleagues for all all their help. We are a 6th generation family business and it is the end of an era in Carluke but we will do our best for our customers in the shops in Lanark.”

Overall, the final Carluke Brooks shop closure adds to a sad and growing list of traditional businesses which have disappeared from the town centre in recent decades.”