Carluke Treasure Hunt launches on June 19
Forget Anneka Rice or Richard O’Brien, Carluke has its very own treasure hunt – and it will be completely free to take part.
The brainchild of local property developer Richard Swan, he originally mooted the idea to Carluke Development Trust three years ago.
However, life got in the way as resources were ploughed into the High Mill and other projects in the town.
Fast forward to 2020; Richard was cooling his heels during lockdown and decided to take the idea forward himself.
He enlisted the help of the Trust, Carluke Parish Historical Society, community groups and businesses and on Saturday, June 19, the treasure hunt will finally be launched.
Completely free of charge to take part, there are 11 locations for eager searchers to hunt down.
People can dip in and out, choosing to do one or two locations, or try to bag them all – to secure a medal and a place on the winners’ board.
Richard can’t wait to share his creation with the wider Clydesdale public and people are already signing up to be among the first to try it.
He used his online expertise to create the treasure hunt website, with businesses and groups lending a hand to help hide the clues around town.
Those taking part will be rewarded for unlocking clues at the 11 chosen locations with fun videos, revealing secrets about that area.
And those who bag additional hidden clues, contained in the videos, will have the chance to unlock the vault – securing a medal and bragging rights with a place on the coveted winners’ board!
Richard loves his home town and believes the treasure hunt will be a great way to share its history, with locals and visitors alike.
The idea first came to him while enjoying time with his children – he has six in total with partner Lindsay Frame, aged eight to 21.
Richard (50) said: “I’d been doing geocaching with the wee ones and we’d also gone along to an open day at the historical society a few years ago. That’s when the idea originally started to take form.
"I’d spoken to Carluke Development Trust and it was keen to take it forward but it had a lot of projects on the go and it never came to fruition.”
Lockdown was fortuitous though in that it gave the busy dad and businessman some new-found free time.
For the last eight months he’s worked hand in hand with Carluke Parish Historical Society, community groups and local businesses to turn the town’s treasure hunt from a dream into a reality.
On Saturday, June 19, it will finally be launched and people are already desperate to give it a go.
Among their number are Emma McIntyre and Tracey Steele, who walked 100 miles round the town in February – raising almost £900 for Street Level along the way.
Richard decided they would be ideal candidates to do a pilot test and they were more than happy to help out.
Emma said: “We did it about three weeks ago, focusing on the General Roy Monument, and it was brilliant.
“It was straight forward, although we did struggle to find the hidden plaque to unlock the video. We got there in the end though!
"We’re just itching to do the rest now. It’s a great idea and people of all ages will be able to enjoy it.”
Marion Langston, Carluke Parish Historical Society chairwoman, hopes it will pique a renewed interest in the town’s history.
She said: “Richard had been in touch with us some time ago about the possibility of the treasure hunt.
“When he came back to us saying he wanted to take it forward, we were more than happy to supply information and pictures for the videos.
"It’s a great way of getting people interested in the town’s history.
"We hope it will help to hook younger people, as well as their families, friends and visitors.”
Billed as “something awesome”, Richard has been building excitement at carluketreasurehunt.com and is encouraging people to sign up now.
He added: “It’s taken about eight months to get here so I’m really excited and can’t wait to see what people think!
"I’d just like to thank everyone who has helped turn the treasure hunt into a reality.”
To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/carluketreasurehunt.