Every June the Scottish town of Lanark holds its Lanimer celebrations – a festivity held on the Thursday falling between the 6th & 12th of June when the town’s schoolchildren parade in fancy dress with decorated vehicles, pipe bands, and a Lanimer Queen and her Court, who have been elected from local children. The celebrations are based on King David I granting Lanark the status of Royal Burgh during his reign. A condition of the charter stated that the merchants of the town must inspect their March or Boundary Stones each year and Lanark claims to have carried out this duty every year since then. Over time these Land Marches have become transformed into the annual Lanimer celebrations.
It now spreads over a week beginning on Sunday when the Lord Cornet Elect is led from the town’s Memorial Hall to Saint Nicholas’ Parish Church for the Kirkin’ of the Lord Cornet Elect Service.
On the Monday evening, crowds turn out for the Perambulation of the Marches, when officials and members of the public walk the boundaries. A Scottish Country Dance display takes place at Lanark Cross, followed by the Sashing of the Lord Cornet and the Shifting of the Burgh Standard. The evening ends with the Lord Cornet’s Reception.
An official ride-out around the town takes place on Tuesday night, followed by the presentation of the New Lanark Loving Cup to the Lanimer Queen Elect at New Lanark.
The Lanimer Queen’s Reception is held on the Friday evening in the Memorial Hall and Saturday sees the Lanimer Ball at Lanark Market when the Lord Cornet escorts the Lanimer Queen.
This leaves just one day – Lanimer Day. This Thursday is when schoolchildren and others parade through the town in the Lanimer Queen’s Procession – all dressed in costumes accompanied by decorated lorries. They each receive a Lanimer medal for participating. With the children march the brass and pipe bands, ex-cornets, and visiting dignitaries. The court ride in cars after the parade, and the Queen has an open-top coach. Once the procession has gone once around the town centre, the children mount a stand in front of St Nicholas Church and a statue of William Wallace on the steeple. The court also climbs the stand and the Queen is crowned by a local lady, to acclaim from the assembled crowds. To complete display “Flower of Scotland” and “Scots Wha Hae” are played, and a Lanimer Proclamation read out, followed by “Gods Save the Queen” and the British National Anthem.
This year – 2017 – there is a slight clash with the Thursday General Election.
The Prime Minister’s surprise announcement threw a major spanner in the works – and the Lanimer committee were left with the unenviable task of reviving this year’s schedule.
They have done it!
The Lanark Lanimer Day has been moved to Friday, June 9!
To everyone – I hope you have had a great week so far – and that tomorrow will give you a really wonderful day of fun and enjoyment.