Percy Pig celebrates Carluke Jam and Ham Festival

Percy, Carluke YF's giant pink pig, flags up the Jam and Ham Festival
Percy, Carluke YF's giant pink pig, flags up the Jam and Ham Festival

In case you did not realise that Carluke’s Jam and Ham Festival begins tomorrow (Thursday), here’s Percy, the giant pink pig, publicising the event!

The pig art created by Carluke Young Farmers out of pink baled hay, is on the A72 to alert those going into the town to the festival.

The festival celebrates Carluke’s heritage, taking its name from its jam legacy from one of the end products of the Clyde Valley’s famous fruit and the award-winning bacon business that Ramsay’s has run in the town for over 150 years, and the programme for the three-day bash, on from Thursday, September 29, to Saturday, October 1, has something for everyone of all ages.

It is run by Carluke Development Trust, and members are delighted at the wider support this year.

“This year we have a much bigger band of volunteers, which is fantastic,” said development manager Kathleen Feeney.

“We have managed to get people who are interested in specific parts of the festival just helping with that section, and that is great. We are again hoping to involve all ages, from nursery to the more mature community members, and everyone in between.”

The Thursday sees a day centre concert taking place in Carluke Lifestyles Centre from 1pm. Tickets, priced £3, are available from the library, and that will also feature a raffle raising funds for the food bank, and the library then hosts what is billed as a hammy afternoon.

Senior school children take to the stage at night for a jam session at Carluke High. Tickets are available from the school.

Friday’s programme has the St Aidan’s Samba Band, on in the Lifestyles Centre from noon to 1pm.

That is followed at 1pm by the primary school concert, one of the largest events of the festival, with youngsters from all nine schools on the stage.

“That is always fabulous,” said Kathleen.

Focusing on the jam, there is a tasting session in Tesco at Carluke from 4pm to 6pm.

That evening sees another turnout of stars, with the talented Shine musical theatre group performing Rise and Shine in Kirkton Church at 7.30pm.

There is also a Street Level event in the Universal Connections premises from 7pm, and the start of the live music taking place in local pubs.

Saturday sees the culmination of the festival, its jamboree, in Mount Stewart Street from 11am.

Attractions include free rides and face-painting for the children.

Wishaw and District Brigade Band will supply the music, while visitors browse the craft stalls and school stalls, try samples from R&W Scott, and enjoy a Ramsay’s barbecue, while in St Athanasius Community Hall, the judging of the so-called jampionships gets under way to find the best jam-maker in Carluke.

Nearby in Ramsay’s Courtyard, there is an art exhibition, and the day is rounded off by more live music in local pubs.

“It is the fourth ham and jam festival, and we hope the people of Carluke will come out and join in the celebrations of our town’s history of food production,” said Kathleen.

“There is something for everyone.“