While women were always made welcome the rules stated very clearly that it was a ‘gentlemens’ organisation.
Commenting on the situation, current Dean Scott Blacklaw said: “In days gone by the Guildry looked after the trades in Lanark, which, by their very nature were almost exclusively run by men.
“As the years have progressed however, things have changed and now there are probably as many women as there are men running or managing local businesses in the Burgh.
“We didn’t want to be viewed as stuck in a time warp, by maintaining the status quo, simply because we had never gotten round to making what was, after all, an essential change to bring us into line with current thinking,” he said.
“I was delighted when the vote to allow women was a unanimous one.”
The change to the constitution which read “The number of members shall be restricted to gentlemen resident in the land within the Guildry of Lanark boundary” removed the single word ‘gentlemen’ and changed ‘resident’ to ‘residents’ thereby paving the way for women to be admitted in their own right as full members and not just as invited guests.
Scott concluded saying: “It’s not always an easy task changing something which has been so enshrined in the very being of the organisation, but in this case the time was right.”