Christmas is pantomime season and Carluke had its very own pantos between 1944 and 1957 when members of the YMCA entertained. The old Town Hall was packed out for each performance especially the Saturday matinee. One story handed down is of the hallkeeper complaining to the local police sergeant that he would get the jile for letting so many children in to the overcrowded hall. The sergeant’s reply was to get these greeting weans inside off the street!
“Simple Simon” was the first pantomime in February 1944. Reserved tickets cost 2/6 and unreserved 1/6. All proceeds went to the War Relief Fund. The show was such a success that a second production, “Tartan Tammie”, was staged in December the same year. The cast is listed in the attached programme and the characters and scenes show how the script writers included local jokes throughout. Sir Crawford Walls, the Laird of Stanistane, appeared in “Babes in the Wood” in 1947.
The annual YMCA pantomime travelled all over Lanarkshire entertaining troops and patients in hospitals and appearing in other local theatres. In so doing, the group helped raise funds for many organisations and appeals. Below is a list of the shows performed by Carluke Y.M.C.A.
February 1944 Simple Simon
December 1944 Tartan Tammie
December 1945 Dick Whittington and his Cat
April 1947 Babes in the Wood
March 1948 Sinbad the Sailor
December 1948 Cinderella
December 1949 Aladdin
December 1950 Mother Goose
1952 S.S. Rainbow
January 1953 Jack and the Beanstalk
January 1954 Cinderella
January 1955 Robinson Crusoe
January 1957 Little Polly Flinders
Other pantomimes were also mentioned in the old Gazettes. “Puss in Boots” was staged by pupils of Miss Margaret Nelson of Sandy Road, Carluke in March and April, 1947. The first show was in the Welfare Hall in aid of the Girl Guides and later the show was in Crossford for the Hazelbank Building Fund.
Law Hospital Drama Club performed pantos for staff and patients. Some examples are ‘Babes in Carluke’ in December 1946, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in December 1947 and ‘Simple Simon’ in December 1952.
An RAF Concert Party performed in ‘Cinderella’ accompanied by the Raffians Orchestra in January 1945.
Do you remember going to any of these pantomimes or perhaps even performing in one? If so, perhaps you would be willing to share any photos or memories with us.