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  • Writer's pictureCPHS

Sending Christmas Greetings

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Once again it is the time of year to write and post your Christmas cards and calendars. This is a tradition that the people of Carluke and the surrounding communities have been following for at least 150 years.

As you will see from the uploaded images of cards and calendars from the late 19th and early 20th century, styles have changed quite a bit. The earliest examples are actually embroidered with silk. While we don’t have any examples of her work, newspaper adverts from 1907 reveal that local photographer Miss Agnes R Orrock was promoting ‘Christmas Cards – With Your Own Photograph’.

It is not just the card styles which have altered. So too have delivery services. Believe it or not, there used to be postal deliveries on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Not on New Year’s Day, however 😊.

In 1983 Carluke Ladies Circle decided that they would offer a local card delivery service as part of their fundraising efforts. Meeting with great success, they continued this service for many years. For the cost of just 10p per card, the Ladies were happy to deliver the cards almost anywhere in Carluke, the farms being the only exception. The one stipulation was that the cards were clearly marked with names and addresses and not just names. The charity which benefitted from the 1986 delivery was the Glasgow branch of Glasgow ARMS – Action Research for Multiple Sclerosis.

By the mid-1990s, the local Scouts and Boys’ Brigade companies were making the delivery. The attached photo shows some of 3rd Carluke (Kirkton) Scout troop organising their delivery in 1997. By this point the cost of local delivery had risen to 15p per card, still much cheaper than the Royal Mail and they even delivered cards on Sundays.

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