Lanark skinworks picture stirs memories

YET more memories of an old Lanark business have been stirred by a vintage photograph of a group of workers re-printed by the Gazette three weeks ago.

The picture showed a group of fellmongers at the former Hume and Thompson skinworks in the North Vennel, the site of which is now occupied by the Tesco store and carpark.

As reported the photo, which came all the way back to the Burgh via an expatriate Lanarkian in Australia, stirred up a storm of nostalgia among our senior readers, including those who put names to all the faces in the picture.

Indeed, some gave differing names for individuals in the shot and there was even debate over when the photo was taken, some stating it was from the mid-1950s while others were sure it must have been earlier, even dating it as far back as the 1930s.

Now another very authoritative source has contacted us to add some more detail to the story behind the photograph.

It comes from Robert Crosbie, who now lives in retirement in Lanark's Hardacres, who worked in the offices of Hume and Thomson, being an employee there from the early 1950s until shortly before the firm's closure in the early 1990s.

He joins those who feel that the picture was probably taken before the suggested date of 1954 and says that the men pictured, in no particular order, were Harry Tennant, Willy Fitzpatrick, John Swan, Bob Hannah, Willy Dunlop, John Cousins, Jim Murray, Alex Logan, Tom Moffat, Alex McAvoy, John Moffat, Bertie Little and Robert Wilson.

He recalls that these were most of the then 12 to 13 strong team of pullers or fellmongers employed at Hume and Thompson's around the mid-1950s at which time the workforce also included 34 labourers, one manager, three office staff and, of course, the firm's three owners, namely James Kerr Hume, Robert Hume and John Baxter Hume.

For more information on this story, pick up a copy of this week's Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.