Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders awarded Freedom of Renfrewshire
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Paisley to watch the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders receive the Freedom of Renfrewshire.
400 members of the Fifth Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland marched through the town centre before being presented with the honour by Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson in front of the historic Paisley Abbey.
The soldiers were met with cheers and applause throughout the parade and presentation.
Colonel Bruce Russell MBE, Representative Colonel of Five Scots, accepted a framed scroll from Provost Lawson and in return presented her with the regiment’s official plaque and a painting called “The Thin Red Line”.
Provost Celia Lawson said: “I was extremely proud to see them all march through the town and to see the wonderful turn out from the people of Renfrewshire. They do an incredible job and the people living at home are very, very grateful. The award of the Freedom of Renfrewshire isn’t given often but the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are an inspirational to us all and very deserving of this title.”
The Freedom is the highest honour a local authority can give an individual or group. Historically the title would have provided rights such as to trade and to graze cattle, however, it is now purely a civic honour.
Following the ceremony the soldiers and their families were invited to a civic reception in Paisley Town Hall. The event was sponsored by local firms Chivas Bros Ltd and Goudie’s Ltd.
The event formed part of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations in Renfrewshire following a flagraising ceremony on Friday 17 June and a joint service in Paisley Abbey lead by the Provosts of both Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.