The Royal Burgh of Lanark Crest
Lanark Lanimers - One of Scotland's Oldest Traditions Lanimer Mascot - Larry Lanimer Mascot - Bonnie

An ancient celebration held within the Royal Burgh of Lanark on the Thursday between the Sixth and Twelfth days of June annually since the year 1140.

All Systems Go for Lanimer Week

For Lanarkians, Lanimer Day is the one of the most important dates in their social calendar.

South Lanarkshire Council works hard to make Lanimer Week special and one person who knows just how important Lanimer Week is for the Royal Burgh is Land Services Officer, Jim Robertson whose team is based at Caldwellside depot in Lanark.

For Jim's team Lanimers starts in March with a meeting attended by councillors, reps from Roads and Transportation, Building Control, Lanark town centre manager, the police and the Lanimer Committee.

"In March we also start ordering the marquees the bunting and the cherry pickers," explains Jim. "We also submit building warrants for putting up the stages. One thing we didn't have to worry about this year was hiring a PA system as a new one was built into the new streetscape in the High Street."

Two weeks before Lanimer Week the team checks the stages are all OK, gets the red carpet out and cleaned and puts up all the bunting and the signs.

"A week before we have to collect all the chairs from our halls," says Jim. "We then clean all the roads and paths that the horses will use on the Marches and we cut back and strim all the verges so that Lanark looks immaculate when people come in."

There's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for Jim's team as most events take place in the centre of Lanark but equipment is spread throughout Clydesdale.

Stages, barriers and traffic cones go up for events throughout the week and are taken down after each one so that it's business as usual for Lanark each day.

"On Marches night one of our guys goes round with the marchers picking up litter as they go and two of us ring the bells while the marchers come down the High Street. Not a lot of people know that we have four trained campanologists in Land Services and we start the Lanimer procession with the bells too."

On Tuesday Jim's team collects 850 chairs and benches from community halls around Clydesdale which all have to be cleaned before they go out. Tuesday night is a well-deserved quiet period before the mayhem begins again.

Community Resources make up all the floral decoration which Jim's team then deliver to the venues. They then set up 400 chairs in the Tollbooth and collect another 300 chairs and tables for the meeting rooms at St Mary's Church, where the pipe bands go for refreshments. If you're on Lanark High Street on Lanimer Day, take a look at Wallace's statue on St Nicholas Church and you'll notice he's wearing a rather fetching rhododendron crown - another of Jim's jobs.

Jim's Lanimer Day starts at 5am at the depot before setting up stages, seating, barriers and the red carpet. The team watches the parade and then they swing into steward mode, stewarding the children away from the main stage. After that the chairs have to be collected and stages dismantled.

Friday is spent clearing up litter and returning chairs and tables to community halls and on Sunday the boys remove all the flags, flagpoles and banners.

This is Jim's eighth year doing Lanimer Week but as he's from Kirkfieldbank he knows what it's all about.

"My daughter was in the Court one year so I got that year off," says Jim. "The rest of the time there's no chance of booking your holidays on Lanimer Week!"