It is Lanark Lanimer Friday!!

Niamh Jopp will be crowned Lanimer Queen on Friday June 9.
Niamh Jopp will be crowned Lanimer Queen on Friday June 9.

An emergency meeting of Lanark Lanimer Committee tonight (Wednesday) has agreed that this year's Lanimer Day will be FRIDAY June 9.

Following the announcement yesterday by Theresa May of a general election on the traditional Lanimer Day, Thursday June 8, the committee met tonight to decide a change.

Last year's Lanimer winner, Out of Africa.

Last year's Lanimer winner, Out of Africa.

And rather than delay the celebrations by a full week, as has happened with elections in the past, the committee decided to go ahead with the procession and crowning just one day later, on the Friday.

The Lowland Games will take place on Thursday instead of the Friday.

The impact of the election - announced by Theresa May on Tuesday - on the Lanimer celebrations sparked a lot of concern with arrangements for road closures, horse hire, band bookings, catering and holidays up in the air for organisers.

It also sparked debate on social media, with many people sympathetic to the committee members having to change the arrangements, and others frankly puzzled.

Postponements have have happened in the past, for British and for European elections, such as in 1999, and the main reasons elections and the Lanimer procession cannot be held on the same day are policing and road closures.

Iain Hughes, a police officer who is to be Lanark's next Lord Cornet, told one questioner on the Gazette's Facebook site: "You aren't allowed any road closures during an election - free and unrestricted access to polling stations; also every polling station has to be policed so (there are) huge resourcing issues for Police Scotland.

"There isn't an easy answer."

And he hoped that there would be no animosity towards the committee who were only making the best of the "awful hand we have been dealt".

Some posted comments sneering at the concern, but one mother responded: "All very well people laughing and making fun, but lots of families with kids in the court have taken time off work to make it a special day for the kids and will be stressed and worried trying to rearrange.

"Also the many many other people who work behind the scenes to make Lanimers a safe and happy day for all the kids involved will have to rearrange everything."