Carluke and Lanark Gazette readers’ letters 23/04/14

One swan at Lanark Loch puts the rest in the shade in this atmospheric shot by Peter Hamilton of Carluke. Swan Lake? You better believe it! Thanks Peter! Do you have a picture to share with readers? Submit pictures to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email
One swan at Lanark Loch puts the rest in the shade in this atmospheric shot by Peter Hamilton of Carluke. Swan Lake? You better believe it! Thanks Peter! Do you have a picture to share with readers? Submit pictures to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL, or email

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.


Dear Ed, – A very disturbing story has been brought to my attention.

It would appear that one of the larger Lanimer clubs (not the Kranal Club) has imported several parts of its lorry from The Battle of the Flowers in Jersey.

This includes two large elephants and various other items.

I find this action not only despicable but insulting to all the people who build their lorries from scratch.

As a Lanarkian no longer resident in Lanark I have been involved in Lanimers for over 50 years.

I have made tens of thousands of paper flowers and I will be astonished if the Lanimer Committee allows this lorry to compete in the procession. There is no way to describe this other than cheating.

I assume that the judges will be informed of this.

This practice is totally outwith the spirit of Lanimers.

A lot of the fun takes place during the building of the lorries.

Can this club look the people of Lanark in the eye and say “we built this lorry”?

If this practice is allowed to continue, it will destroy the Lanimer procession. Not everyone can afford to spend thousands of pounds importing cast-offs from the Battle of the Flowers in Jersey.

What will it be next – ready made Lanimers???

Lanimer Committee, the decision is now in your hands and I trust that for the benefit of future processions you will nip this cheating action in the bud.

To those who take a pride in their lorries I wish you and all Lanarkians a Happy Lanimers. – Yours etc.,


via email.

It’s acceptable

Dear Ed, – There seems to be a query about the status of the 2014 Kilninie entry to the Lanimer Procession.

We are saddened by this and wonder how much people know about our group, which has had entries in the procession for 44 years, involving thousands of children and adults over the years.

During the year the club runs a monthly club for children of all ages where they learn about our theme for that year via art, drama and music, in a social setting with others, games included.

The club has also donated financially to newcomers’ entries in memory of some of the club’s stalwart members.

The club also negotiated the use of D Ross’ Shed, offering to share the facility with other Lanimer entrants.

It has always been happy to share resources and still does so, as in the case of a local nursery group which, after being part of the club’s entry for a number of years, is ‘going solo’ this year, with continued help and advice from Kilninie members.

This year, through friendship with an entrant in the Jersey Battle of Flowers, we have acquired some of their set pieces to incorporate into our own entry, within the design of set pieces which our own members are currently making.

The story of our pageant was created by Kilninie members. Many Lanimer Entrants have based their designs on ideas from Jersey over the years.

This is acceptable practice as is hiring or sourcing props to use alongside their own creations.

Entrants in Jersey often recycle their props and share with others.

In our description for the judges and commentator, we have explained about our props from Jersey.

They are in the communal shed for anyone to see.

We understand that this does not contravene any rules regarding Lanimer entries.

With the blessing of our Jersey friends, we hope to recycle again by displaying some of our props at some summer fairs to raise monies for the Children’s Hospice appeal .

And they will also be incorporated in some of the local gala days.

Ordinarily, this information would be shared timeously. However, in light of concerns, our members decided it was appropriate at this time to explain to your readers a little more about our group and its ethos.

The club has the spirit of Lanimers at its heart and the involvement and the enjoyment of the children and their families.

We hope to continue entering in our own style and wish all the entrants the same privilege. – Yours etc.,


Name and address supplied.

old schoolsite

Dear Ed, – At the last meeting of the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council, members were advised by two of our local councillors, that the current owners of the land and the former ‘Old Building’ of Lanark Grammar School wished to demolish the buildings as they feel it would make the site more marketable for housing.

I find this to be rather strange as the same owners reduced the Albany Road (Main Building) part of the Grammar School to rubble and to date there would appear to be no movements on this site for development.

As most people in Lanark and in particular Grammar FPs will be aware, the ‘Old Building’ is listed and consent will be required from Historic Scotland for it to be reduced to rubble.

Over the years, Lanark has lost a number of listed buildings – isn’t it time some of the current ones should be saved and where possible put to good use in the community?

Look at the village of Douglas and the former school there, which has been adapted into the St. Bride’s Centre and is used by the whole community.

In Edinburgh, last month, a former wellington factory in Fountainbridge was awarded a grant of nearly £7 million from the Scottish Heritage Lottery Fund to convert the building into an arts centre for the community.

With a bit of foresight in Lanark, a similar venture could be made. Look at the space which would be available for parking for those using the building.

I have spoken to a number of FPs who have said they would consider lending their support to see the building being used for a community purpose.

Most have happy memories of using it for science. – Yours etc.,


Bloomgate, Lanark.

OwenstowN no

Dear Ed, – The decision by South Lanarkshire Council to refuse planning consent to the Hometown Foundation for their Owenstown initiative, while not surprising, was at best ill-considered and weak-willed.

“Not surprising,” because few planning departments and their councils are willing to support development proposals that simply do not mimic how we “have always done things in the past”.

“Ill-considered”, as this was an application in principle leaving scope to negotiate the issues a concept such as Owenstown raises as the planning process progressed.

And “weak-willed” by the council to reject the opportunity to address issues such as affordable housing need, housing for the elderly, job creation, etc.

This blinkered view is even more disappointing given that the proposals were put forward by local philanthropists who have the interests of the district at heart. They have already invested some £750,000 in getting the proposals to this stage, and were to “donate” the 2000 or so acres already purchased to the community.

They were not seeking public funds. One wonders how many of those who opposed the application will be willing to admit they did so when the headlines again report a lack of house building and employment in the district.

There will always be an element of NIMBYISM in any planning proposal, and scope to relocate a development proposal elsewhere, but the applicants behind Owenstown explained why their initiative could not be accommodated within the development plan, and why the location had been chosen.

I can only hope that common sense prevails, decisions are reconsidered by the council, (or overturned by Scottish Government) before the applicants take their initiatives and enthusiasm elsewhere – perhaps south of the border, and considerable fresh thinking opportunity to drive forward housing provision and job creation are lost yet again. – Yours etc.,


Stuart Rennie Consulting,