Lanimer Day will not be a quiet one for Kevin McNally!
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That is, until last Sunday when they welcomed Lanimer Committee chairman Gordon Gray and selection committee member Stephen Pillans into their Redrow estate home.
The McNallys thought 2023 would be their last Lanimers with their foot on the gas – for many years, they helped build the lorry for Robert Owen Memorial Primary School.
With their children – Oscar (16) and Evelyn (13) – now at the Grammar, they decided to stand down in 2023.
However, Kevin and Lis will be busier than ever … as he’s been selected as this year’s Lord Cornet-elect.
Kevin (47) said: “I got a call from Oscar on the Saturday saying two guys from Lanark Round Table had been round and one of them had the Lord Cornet’s jacket on.
“I was out at the time so that was my first clue! Gordon and Stephen came back on Saturday night and asked if I’d like to do it.”
Working from home as a finance broker in his own business, PFC Finance, Kevin talked it over with Lis before agreeing to the role.
He explained: “I’ve got a lot on this year with work so I wanted to make sure I’d be able to do the role justice and that Lis was on board too.
“Coming from Bellshill, I didn’t realise I’d be in the running! However, it’s a great honour to be selected and I’m really looking forward to representing the town.
“Last Sunday was a wee taster; we had the selection committee around first and then we had a house full! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind!”
Kevin is no stranger to Lanimers; for several years he has helped out at the equestrian events, riding the lead quad bike to make sure the gates are open for the Tuesday and Thursday ride-outs.
However, there is one wee fly in the ointment he’ll need to overcome.
He joked: “I’m far more at home on four wheels on the quad than I am on a horse!
“I think I’ve been on one twice in my life and I was being led about.
“The Cornets Club has organised riding lessons for me though so fingers crossed I’ll be fully competent.
“I ride my bike a lot so I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick it up easy enough...we’ll see!”
Kevin is already well known locally for his work with the town's Round Table; he helped organise the return of the 2023 fireworks event and is a past chairman.
However, he’s now preparing to be front and centre this year in the biggest event in the town’s calendar.
He said: “I’ve got a list of all the duties sitting here in front of me and it’s pretty daunting.
“I thought Lis and I would be having a quiet Lanimers this year; it doesn’t look like that’ll be the case now!
“However, it’s also a great honour to be asked and I’m really looking forward to Lanimers Week, as well as representing the town at events across the country.”
Having moved to Lanark in 2008, the family is excited at the prospect of Kevin’s starring role. As well as Lis, Oscar and Evelyn, he’ll be cheered on by his parents Joe and Mary, brother Ryan and the extended family.
He added: “The kids always helped with the lorries and Oscar was a page in 2014.
“We’ll not have to get up early on Lanimer Day to get the ROMPS lorry but it looks like it’ll be a busy week!”