Although it was inspired by Carluke’s past, the place of the Ham and Jam Festival in the town’s future seems assured after the third and most successful staging yet of the event.
From Thursday to Saturday the public flocked to the various attractions staged as part of the 2015 festival by the organisers at the Carluke Development Trust.
The emphasis this year was very much on the town’s rich young musical talent with two major schools concerts being held, one by the High School students and the other a joint effort by all the primary school choirs delivering a `Music from the Movies’ show.
However, locally-produced food was at the heart of the celebrations on Saturday with the annual Jamboree in Ramsay’s Courtyard boasting a myriad of childrens’ entertainments and competitions, many of them on the Ham and Jam theme and supported by the famous Carluke businesses Ramsays (Ham) and Scott’s (Jam).
The organisers report that the 2015 Jamboree was the busiest yet, the marquee housing many of the activities being full to capacity from the late morning start to the late afternoon finish.
Meanwhile, in the nearby St Athanasius Hall the annual `Jamionships’ were held, special attention being paid to the highly-appropriate homemade jam competition which attracted an amazing 47 entries, proving that the old Carluke tradition of jam-making was very far from dead.
This venue also housed a highly popular bake-off event to discover who made the best Victoria Sponge in the town; naturally, jam was liberally used in each of the cakes entered.
The week of the Festival had started off on a nostalgic note when 91-year-old Maimi Gilchrist paid a visit to what had been her workplace for 45 years, R&W Scott’s famous `jeelyworks’, from where she had retired in 1984.
She was given a guided tour to see all the big changes that had taken place in the three decades since her departure. A company spokesman said of the Festival: “This is a great way to bring the wider community together with a varied programme that not only celebrates Carluke’s heritage in jam-making but appeals to visitors and music lovers alike.”