Lanimers is in the genes for committee chairman Gordon Gray

It would be fair to say that loving the Lanimers is in the Gray family genes.
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Gordon Gray is following in his dad Leonard’s footsteps, who was Lord Cornet in 1987 and president of the Cornets Club in 1993.

His late papa Robert Barr – his mum Anne’s dad – was also Lord Cornet in 1949 and president in 1950.

Gordon’s paternal gran, Dorothy K. Hanyes, was Sashing Lady in 1983 and mum Anne and brother Alisdair were Crowning Lady and Second Lord respectively in 1992.

With a long family pedigree in the Lanimers, Gordon Gray (right) also learned the ropes from past chairman Kenny Lean.With a long family pedigree in the Lanimers, Gordon Gray (right) also learned the ropes from past chairman Kenny Lean.
With a long family pedigree in the Lanimers, Gordon Gray (right) also learned the ropes from past chairman Kenny Lean.

It’s quite the pedigree for the outgoing Lord Cornets Club President and recently appointed chairman of the Lanimer Committee, a post he’ll hold for the next three years having taken over from Kenny Lean in October.

While Gordon (44) was never selected for the court, he joined the Lanimer Committee when he was just 16 and has risen up the ranks since, serving for the last three years as vice-chairman.

He said: “My dad was a member of the committee the first year it was formed, after the town council disbanded, so I followed in his footsteps.

“I was 16 when I first joined, washing glasses at events and then helping with the bar at Castlebank Park when my brother was convener there.

“In 2004, I started helping Molly Cummings with the brochure and publicity and when Molly stood down in 2015, I took up that role – the same year I was Lord Cornet. That was a busy year.

“I’ll stand down as Cornets Club President in February, with Gordon Jess taking on that role; until then I’m wearing two chains of office!

“Becoming chairman is a big responsibility as you’re heading up the organising committee for all the Lanimer events so, in some ways, the buck stops with you.

“It’s a huge honour though and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been learning the ropes from Kenny for the last three years so I had a great teacher. We’re good friends as Kenny was president of the Cornets Club when I was Lord Cornet – he's a great mentor.”

Born in the town's Smellie Memorial Maternity Hospital, Gordon was educated at Lanark Primary and Lanark Grammar Schools.

He then graduated from Strathclyde University with a Bachelor of Engineering honours degree. He works as a consultant civil engineer with SWECO. Having met fellow Lanarkian Karen on the bus to Glasgow, the couple married in 2003 and lived for a short time in Glasgow.

However, they returned to Lanark in 2004 where they had their children, Erin (17), who is in sixth year at the Grammar, and Emma (15), who is in fourth year.

Gordon and Karen became involved in St Mary's Primary School’s Lanimer entry in 2013 and bowed out in 2020; sadly, their fabulous Toy Story creation that year was never completed thanks to the pandemic.

Having worked in the old Alston’s Shed on several entries, Gordon is delighted that plans to create a purpose-built facility, on a brownfield site next to the town’s racecourse, are now progressing.

He added: “People did a brilliant job, working out of garages after Alston's became a car park. However, we’re hoping the new premises we’re leasing from the council will be ready this year.

“It’s purpose-built, with electricty, toilets and a small kitchen so it will be a huge boost for everyone.”