Eleri will be Carluke and District Gala Queen

The court dresses are in the shop windows and work is going on frantically to turn the homes of the courtiers into scenes from fantasy in the last days before Carluke Gala.
Queen to be:  Eleri Conaghan with Champion Rory Spalding (Picture Sarah Peters)Queen to be:  Eleri Conaghan with Champion Rory Spalding (Picture Sarah Peters)
Queen to be: Eleri Conaghan with Champion Rory Spalding (Picture Sarah Peters)

This year theprocession boasts 20 entries and no fewer than five bands.

“Most of the schools are taking part,” said former chairman George Sirrell.

“It is going to be a great procession with loads of entertainment, and we just hope and pray that the weather is going to be good!”

As well as the schools, there are entries from dance groups, the Young Farmers and Carluke Operatic Society.

Organisers also have their fingers crossed for good weather on Friday, when the decorated houses are judged. As well as the homes of the court, the home of the Crowning Lady Janette Cairns has been decorated, and the Jenny Maclachlan Centre is joining the fun!

It is always worth having a tour of the town to see the work and imagination put into the homes.

“We are encouraging the shops and business premises to decorate their windows as well, to bring a bit of cheer into the High Street,” said George.

“Hopefully a lot of the shops will take part, even if it is just by putting bunting in the window, or something like that.”

On Saturday those taking part in the procession start to assemble in Sandy Road at 9.45am, gathering round their floats ready for the judging, which takes place from 10am until 11pm, when the whole procession moves off.

Bands this year are Whitburn Band, Stonehouse Pipe Band, 3rd Johnstone Brigade Band, Lanark and District Pipe Band. and, for the first time, a Samba band. That should be capable of keeping spirits up no matter what the weather!

The procession makes its way to the Cross via Stewart Street, then turns down High Street, and on into Hamilton Street, then Park Street, John Street and James Street, and back to the Cross via Kirkton Street.

The floats then disappear down Clyde Street, and the youngsters make their way into the market for the crowning.

Carluke and District Gala Queen this year will be Eleri Conaghan, and her champion Rory Spalding, both pupils of Kirkton Primary School.

The Crown will be carried by fellow pupil Gregor Mackie.

Members of her court are drawn from all the schools in Carluke, as well as Law and Braidwood.

Eleri will kneel in front of the crowds for her crowning, which will take place about 12.15pm.

There will be plenty of entertainment afterwards, with a funfair in the main street, full of traditional fairground rides and stalls, jugglers and face painting.

With all the work that has gone into the day, let’s hope the sun shines!

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