(new syllabus will appear soon)
At the January joint club meeting of the Inner Wheel Club of Larkhall and the Inner Wheel Club of Motherwell & Wishaw, Larkhall Jewellers Shirley Paris and her daughter Hannah gave an insight to jewellery design and care. They have a well earned reputation of being one of Scotlands finest creators of bespoke jewellery. The pictures shows some of their unique designs.
Our first meeting of the new session started with an excellent speaker from Scotland Fire & Rescue Service giving an insight to the diversity of the Fire Service and an exhibition display of some historical items used by the Service.
About the area
Larkhall is situated 5 miles south of Hamilton and is on the edge of the Clyde Valley. It nestles between two rivers, the Clyde and the Avon and it is twinned with Seclin in northern France.
The name Larkhall or Laverock 'Ha first appears in journals around 1620. The origins of the name are unknown, although Laverock is the Scots word for skylark. However, there is no evidence that the town is named after the bird. The photograph shows a sculpture created by artist Alan and designed by Larkhall Academy pupils. The stainless steel sculpture depicts two outlined hands with threads rising to form a lark and depicts the regeneration in Larkhall.
The population is approximately 16,000 and has modern Industrial Estates within its boundary. Larkhall sits on the arterial route for the M74 north and south. It is also serviced with a frequent bus and train service with the reopening in 2005 of Larkhall Railway line, thanks to Larkhall Rotarians who were the main campaigners. These provide good commuter access to Glasgow and surrounding towns and cities.
There is a mixture of private and council housing ranging from weavers cottages to modern style buildings, giving a varied character to the town’s appearance.
In the early days hand loom weaving was the specialised occupation. In the 1790s they had 100 looms at work and in the 1840s there were 462 weavers, being 42% of the population.
The most crucial factor in the development of Larkhall was the discovery of the "Black Diamond" - Coal. Research discovered that Larkhall sat on a rich coal seam. Before the year 1900 there were at least 40 working mines in and around Larkhall. Now there are none.
In 1939 an Industrial Estate was started and firms such as Atco, Hunter-Douglas and Daks Simpson came to the town giving employment to the many inhabitants and now have firms such as Norfolkline and Rosti Engineering and a large NHS Distribution Warehouse
The Morgan Glen railway viaduct is the most famous landmark of the town. Standing at a height of 148 feet (45m) and having six spans which cover 236m (226 feet) it is the highest railway viaduct in Scotland and the second highest in Britain although it now lies in a state of neglect and disrepair.
On the outskirts of town we have the picturesque Clyde Valley area with its fruit growing and many Garden Centres where we can spend a most enjoyable afternoon.
We also have within a short distance the famous Chatelherault Country Park where at its centre stands the magnificent Chatelherault Hunting Lodge built and used by the 5th Duke of Hamilton.
Larkhall is now a thriving town with amenities such as Golf Course, Bowling Greens, Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool. It is also home to the West of Scotland Karting Club, with many young Scottish karters having gone on to establish themselves among the world’s finest drivers, including David Coulthard, Allan McNish, Dario Franchitti and Paul Di Resta. Louis Hamilton also raced there.