Lanark Panto urgently needs store for its costumes

Costumes may be lost if Lanark Panto Club cannot find new storage for the thousands it has collected over the years (Pic Sarah Peters)
Costumes may be lost if Lanark Panto Club cannot find new storage for the thousands it has collected over the years (Pic Sarah Peters)

Lanark Panto Club members are appealing for help from anyone able to give them storage space for the collection of colourful costumes they have built up over the years.

Plans are under way for the club’s next show, the juniors’ production of Shriek in October, but while the youngsters are looking forward to being on stage, the adults are desperately looking for space to keep their costumes or face losing the collection.

And that would put future show costs through the roof.

In recent years, the club has kept the costumes in Stanmore House School.

“We are using two rooms they have allowed us to fit out like a clothes shop and hang costumes out, so that they are not getting damaged,” said Fiona Morrison.

“This also allowed us to use more of the costumes for our shows, saving £25 hire cost for each costume, so it has been well worth the effort of setting up in Stanmore, and we are extremely grateful to them.

But following flooding last year, some residents had to move back into the school, which limited the club’s access. And last week the panto club was told that the space was now needed by the school, and it was essentially given four weeks’ notice.

However, that has been extended, and the club can now keep the space until after the juniors’ show in October.

“We need to find somewhere we can almost replicate what we have, whether it is one large area or several smaller areas,” said Fiona.

Lanark Panto Club, founded in 1962, is at the heart of the community, with its shows proving to be regular attractions each Christmas, and Shriek will mark the 10th anniversary of its junior panto.

Over the decades, its costume collection has grown and grown. It has stored costumes previously at Lanark Racecourse, in Phyl Whiteford’s attic and Joy Reilly’s garage, the Cargill Club and Sinclair McPhail’s offices.

“With each move, we have had more and more costumes, as we are continually making new costumes for each show, so currently we probably have around 5,000 costumes and accessories,” said Fiona.

“If stored correctly and catalogued, we could start to hire them out to other organisations, which would help them as well.

“If we cannot find somewhere, then the alternative would probably be to sell or get rid of the costumes and start hiring in full sets, which would put the costs of producing a show through the roof.”

The panto club is looking for something the size of two double garages, but would be grateful for anything, it says.

Members can fit it out, clean it and do any repairs required.

Anyone able to help can contact Fiona on 07873 879462.