HIGHLIGHTS IN OUR HISTORY,1978-1988.
Carluke Parish Historical Society owes its foundations to a man from Bothwell. Mr Donald Pearce gave a public lecture on the history of Carluke at the end of 1978. The interest shown by the townspeople that night led to a steering committee being formed. Following on from this committee's groundwork came the first A.G.M. of Carluke Parish Historical Society in January 1979. The late James Russell was elected chairman. Those many years ago, for the society, meetings were very small with a ‘good‘ night meaning an attendance of about twelve stalwarts, braving the chills of the Holyoake Tearooms.
Probably the highlight of these early meetings was the ‘High Street Shops‘ night. Those who were there will not have forgotten Eddie Cunningham at one end of the hall and Miss Burton at the other trumping each other with their memories of the old town! Gradually attendance grew causing us to change venue four times.
Society work has also taken us outdoors. John McConville regularly took a group of us round the rights-of-way. Picnics on the banks of the Clyde
and scrambling on all fours up the steep gorge at Braidwood are indelibly marked on some members‘ memories. Braidwood is also where we held our open days at the Tower of Halbar.
The most successful, if judged by numbers attending, was when we had well over one hundred visitors from central Scotland. However personal highlights were probably when pancakes were cooked on the swee over the fire, when Kirsty McFarlane demonstrated spinning in the great hall or when Potts Pottery gave a pot-throwing demonstration in the open air. An open day of a very different kind happened in October 1988, when our 79 Hamilton Street opened.
It has taken ten years for us to find somewhere to house our archives but we finally did with a great deal of help from our members and the people of Carluke.
The archive collection is full of ordinary highlights. ‘Ordinary highlights‘ may seem a contradiction in terms and yet each photograph, each scrap of paper, each gift, though perhaps part of an ordinary life in Carluke becomes a highlight as part of the history of Carluke. Each member of the society will have his or her own highlights in the ten years of our history. Those mentioned above are a very few of mine.