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Carluke Town Hall

This document was written around 1900, author unknown. It provides interesting details about those who contributed to the contruction of Rankin Hall, and their pride in that achievement. Less than 100 years later the building fell prey to the development plan for the town and it was demolished.

Previous to July 1884. Carluke had many halls but no town hall. On the 18th and 19th July, 1884, the Rankin Memorial Hall was opened to the public with two day’s bazaar. The different lines of activity which resulted in the erection of the Town Hall, as it will be ever popularly known, had wide ramifications through the social life of the town and parish, and stretch far back in the history of our town.

They include the parish bank, an institution which for well over 100 years has played a prominent part in the social life of Carluke; the Carluke Useful Knowledge Society, a learned society founded in 1836, which for 50 years flourished in our midst and gave rise to many useful institutions.

From 1830 until 1880 the population of Carluke parish showed a substantial increase in numbers, this being due to the large number of new industries which had sprung up in the parish. That period of 50 years saw the rise of the ironworks at Castlehill and the development on a large scale of the mineral resources of the parish. During that 50 years not only had the population increased, but the social life of the people had undergone a great change.

The social life and amusements suited to an agricultural people-and up till 1830 the population of Carluke could not be described as other than agricultural-did not suit a more highly intensified and manufacturing population. As a result there arose in Carluke and district a demand for a greater hall accommodation. One has only to glance over the files of an old newspaper from 1850 till 1884 to see how increasingly acute became the need for greater hall accommodation.

Halls there were in plenty, hut none of them large enough to hold the increasingly large audiences that attended public meetings and entertainment.

 There was the Black Bull Hall of blessed memory, dedicated as it was to the holding of Friendly Society meetings and public gatherings, and the Crown Hotel Hall, the favourite place for weddings, social gatherings, and other entertainments. But halls that could only hold about two hundred were of little use to a population of the size to which Carluke had grown; hence the movement which culminated in the erection of the Rankin Memorial Hall.

 The first meeting towards the erection of a Town Hall was held in the Useful Knowledge Society Rooms on 29th December, 1882. At this meeting a deputation consisting of Messrs Alexander Pillans, William Martin, and Thomson S. Aikman was appointed "to wait on the directors of the Old Parish Bank and ascertain whether they had the power to grant a sum of money said to be lying in their hands for the purpose of building a Town Hall." At the same meeting a deputation, the members of which were Messrs Alexander Pillans, James Cassells, and John Marshall, were instructed "to wait on James Brownlee, Esq., Glasgow, and ascertain the truth of the rumour to the effect of his being willing to grant a free site and £1000 towards the building of a Town Hall."


Read more stories from the History section
Carluke Parish Bank 1874 (the next story in sucession)
9th LRV (Stonehouse)
Carluke 1886 Almanac
Carluke Parish Bank 1874
Carluke Parish Schools

Created before 2012