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Paolo Nutini backs home-town culture bid with exclusive one-off Paisley Abbey show

Paisley’s Paolo Nutini has announced an exclusive one-off homecoming charity show in the stunning surroundings of Paisley Abbey to back the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The show – on Friday 20 October – tops the bill for Paisley’s annual Spree festival and is taking place in support of a number of local good causes.

Paolo and his band will deliver an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to be in the town’s 850-year-old Abbey to see it.

Only a limited number of gold-dust tickets will be available to the public for the 550-capacity venue.

Fans will be able to register via thespree.co.uk from Friday for a chance to get the option to purchase a pair.

100 tickets will be made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

All ticket monies will go directly to five local charities selected by Paolo himself – The Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, The Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and some of the town’s Syrian refugee children.

Paolo said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Abbey since I was a wee boy. I’m proud to be a part of The Spree … I’m proud to be from Paisley … love is music and music is home. Big love people.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story.

Bids were submitted to the UK Government in April and a decision on the shortlist for the next stage is due over the summer. The winner will be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo’s support has been absolutely instrumental to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and we are utterly thrilled he is playing this gig – it will be spectacular and we cannot wait.

“It is wonderful to see him helping us realise the bid’s aim to open up the benefits of culture to everybody in the town by supporting local charities and communities who face real barriers to accessing world-class cultural experiences.”

The Spree is Paisley’s flagship annual arts festival and takes place over ten days in October, with Paisley Abbey also hosting a one-off – and now sold-out – collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The full bill is available at thespree.co.uk

Tickets for Paolo’s show are £30 each and restricted to two per person. Ticket sales will be via an online ballot utilising Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan System. The ballot opens at 9am on Friday 30 June and runs until Thursday 6 July.

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Archaeological dig to explore a mysterious site near Paisley Abbey

A mysterious site next to the grounds of Paisley Abbey will be unearthed after funding was secured for an archaeological dig.

The north west side of the building. Original source – black & white 3½” x 5½” photograph

Renfrewshire Council has been awarded £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones programme as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology to conduct a ‘Wee Dig’ of part of the Abbey Drain site.

The 12th century Abbey is renowned not only for its outstanding architecture but also as the cradle of the Royal House of Stewart as a number of the Stewarts were buried within its walls. It is also believed that Robert II, the first Stewart king of Scotland and the grandson of Robert the Bruce, was born within the walls of Paisley’s Abbey. The Abbey also has a fascinating underground history – the magnificent medieval Abbey Drain.

View of Abbey from window of the George A. Clark Town Hall looking south showing Clark’s Anchor Thread Works Mill faintly in the background. Original source – black & white 6½” x 4¾” photograph.

The Paisley “Wee Dig 2017” will take place between 18 and 24 September 2017. This significant heritage-led regeneration project will see a previously unexplored part of the Abbey Drain site excavated to shed light on what lies beneath alongside a programme of events to allow people to get involved. This ties in with ambitions set out in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The “Wee Dig 2017” will expand what is already known about Paisley’s monastic past as well as inspiring some budding archaeologists of the future.

Councillor Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The ‘Wee Dig 2017’ is a very exciting project which celebrates our unique heritage – one of the main themes of our Paisley Town Centre Action Plan 2016 – 2026 which aims to regenerate the town centre and create jobs.

“This project demonstrates how we are delivering on these plans by making the most of our assets to attract more people and businesses into the town.”

Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it’s our ambition that people of all ages will have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about.

“We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, Paisley will be opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”

Over the course of the week a series of interactive workshops will be held with a number of local groups and members of the public. These sessions will involve experiencing the dig itself, learning about various archaeological techniques and looking at artefacts from previous digs.  A film on the Paisley Abbey Drain will be featured to allow visitors to see what is under the area of the dig site.

The dig and supporting activities will be led by archaeologist firm GUARD Archaeology Limited who will manage the project on the ground, lead the workshops and be on hand to answer questions about what is uncovered.

Iraia Arabaolaza from GUARD, said: “We are very excited to be part of the Wee Dig and work alongside volunteers and local people. This project will provide an opportunity to carry on with our long involvement with Paisley and the Abbey Drain, and introduce this part of local heritage to future generations.”

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister for Paisley Abbey said: “I am delighted to support the Wee Dig project.  It is always fascinating to discover more about the past. It is good that the dig will have a strong community focus as the history of Paisley is so closely interwoven with the Abbey’s history.

“The Wee Dig will give everyone the opportunity to become detectives investigating our shared past.”

The public is encouraged to come along, get involved and to share their experiences of this week-long event on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #WeeDig2017.

Further information about the programme of activities and guidance on how the public can get involved will be available later this summer.

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Frightened Rabbit and RSNO among headliners for Paisley’s Spree festival

The bill has been announced for Paisley’s Spree festival – featuring a one-off collaboration between Scottish indie actFrightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Paisley Abbey.

frightened rabbit

The festival of music, comedy, theatre and more – which will take over the town centre between 13 and 22 October – is now in its sixth year and is part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Frightened Rabbit will be the latest in a line of Scottish bands to team up with the orchestra in the stunning setting of the 850-year-old Abbey on 17 October for a show which has been a highlight of previous Sprees.

Much of the action will take place in a specially-erected Spiegeltent in the town centre, which will host trad acts Dougie MacLean and Canada’s De Temps Antan (18 Oct), Breabach, Kris Drever and Talisk (20 Oct), plus Sharon Shannon and Fara(15 Oct).

Paisley Arts Centre will welcome Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert (15 Oct) and a gathering of artists from the Lost Map record label, curated by The Pictish Trail (22 Oct).

The festival will have a strong international feel with an Americana night boasting Boston’s Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, and opened by England’s Yola Carter, named UK Artist of the Year at the 2017 American Music Association UK Awards.

Specially-commissioned shows in support of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid include:

– an opening night concert where three Scottish acts – Ross Ainslie, Blue Rose Code and Angus Lyon – and from India – Smita Bellur, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan – weave together traditional music from both countries. The same show will also open the prestigious Rajastan International Folk Festival a week before;

– a show celebrating Paisley’s untold story featuring and curated by acclaimed songwriter James Grant;

– a literary celebration at a Banks Supper night inspired by Iain Banks’ novel Espedair Street, about a rock band from the town, featuring award-winning author Alan Bissett;

Tickets for all shows will be available from thespree.co.uk from 9am on Wednesday 21 June.

The line-up was announced on Radio Scotland tonight by Vic Galloway, who will broadcast his radio show before a live audience in the town during the festival, as will his BBC colleague Janice Forsyth.

There remains one major headline act still to be announced, with Paisley music fans encouraged to keep their eyes on the Spree social media channels as it is one they won’t want to miss.

The Spree will also feature two comedy nights in conjunction with the Gilded Balloon, as well as film events and songwriting workshops, while unsigned musical talent will be given a showcase through the nightly Danny Kyle Open Stage run by Celtic Music Radio.

The festival sees the return of the ever-popular ModStuff celebration of all things Mod run by LNP Promotions – headlined byThe Style Councillors and taking over The Spiegeltent on the final Saturday.

Paisley Town Hall will also host award-winning disabled choreographer Marc Brew’s BREWBAND, fusing together indie-rock music and dance.

There will be plenty for kids too, with the National Theatre of Scotland bringing their Rocket Post show to town, fresh from a run at the Edinburgh Fringe, while the Big Telly Theatre Company present Operation Paisley – Alien Pursuit, an interactive, town-wide treasure hunt for kids.

A full programme of free children’s shows taking place over the October school holidays is still to be announced.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council and programmed by Active Events.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree festival is the one of the flagship dates on Paisley’s current events calendar and has gone from strength to strength over the years.

“In the year we are bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 it is fitting the Spree bill manages at once to be outward-looking and internationally-flavoured, yet also unmistakeably Paisley – showcasing the town’s unique story and giving a platform to some of our fantastic local talent.

“The event again shows Paisley’s ability to host large-scale events featuring some of Scotland’s finest talent, and will attract fans from throughout the country to our unique town centre venues.”

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture is taking place as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using the town’s unique heritage and cultural story and was lodged with the UK government in April, with a decision expected over which places make the shortlist this summer.

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Hundreds turn out to pay tribute to our Armed Forces

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde have come together to celebrate Armed Forces Day with a special service at Paisley Abbey.

(L-R) RBL standard bearer x 2, Rev. Alan Sorenson, Minister of Wellpark Mid Kirk, Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, Inverclyde’s Provost Martin Brennan, Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, Reverend Robert Craig, Minister of Stow Brae Kirk, Father Louis Mendy (St Mirin Cathedral, RBL standard bearer x 2, President of RBL- Paisley Comrades Branch, George Gaughan.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, the Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron, and Provost of Inverclyde, Martin Brennan, were in attendance to recognise the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

Rev. Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, Inverclyde’s Provost Martin Brennan, Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron and Royal British Legion member Robert Pope at the Hawkhead cemetery memorial.

The Renfrewshire Schools Brass Ensemble performed within the Abbey as members of the congregation arrived for the service- which was led by Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, Reverend Robert Craig, Minister of Stow Brae Kirk and Canon Oliver Freney from the Diocese of Paisley.

Inverclyde Schools Choir perform at the service within Paisley Abbey.

The Royal British Legion- Paisley Comrades Branch displayed their standard in the Abbey cloisters as the congregation were piped in by a lone piper.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, completed the first reading of the service, and was followed by Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron.

The Inverclyde Senior Choir then put on a poignant performance of Goodnight my Angel and Love Divine which was followed by a prayer of intercession, led by Provost Brennan.

Provost Cameron said: “It is extremely important that we recognise the sacrifices which our Armed Forces have made, and will make, to ensure the safety of our country.

“I was delighted to see such a large attendance of veterans, serving military personnel and members of the public there to pay tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our benefit.”

The service took place in advance of the national Armed Forces Day- which is Saturday 24 June- in order to allow those in attendance the chance to pay tribute at both a local and national service.

Provost Brennan said: “The service was led with dignity and respect and the setting of Paisley Abbey was befitting of such a meaningful occasion.

“I hope the service can provide comfort to those in attendance as we come together to remember the servicemen and women lost in all conflicts.”

The service was preceded on Friday by a short ceremony outside Renfrewshire House which saw the Armed Forces Day flag raised by Royal Navy veteran Robert Pope, of the Royal British Legion- Paisley Comrades branch.

The flag flies for seven days in recognition of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women to protect the country.

Inverclyde will host their flag raising service on Monday 19 June at 10:30am in Clyde Square in Greenock.

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Kirkin’ of the Council set to take place in Renfrewshire

A traditional church service to mark the start of the new five-year term for Renfrewshire Council will take place at Paisley Abbey this weekend.

The Kirkin’ of the Council is a long-held custom to inaugurate a new term for the local authority, and this year’s event takes place at 11am on Sunday 18 June.

Members of the public are invited to attend the event, where they will join councillors, MPs, MSPs, council officials, and representatives of local church and community groups.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who will give a reading at the service, said: “The Kirkin’ of the Council is a tradition which is of great symbolic importance for the Council.

“We are keen to invite all of those who we have been elected to serve to be a part of this special occasion and I would invite everyone, of all faiths, to attend.”

Those attending are asked to be in their seats no later than ten minutes before the start of the service which will be led by Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey.

Rev. Birss said: “At the Kirking of the Council the whole community is invited to come together in the Abbey to pray for God’s blessing on those we have elected to serve in local government and for the officials who will support them.

“I look forward to Sunday’s service and assure all of a very warm welcome in Paisley Abbey.”

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Paisley Pattern ‘on trend’ with Pringle

The iconic Paisley Pattern is to feature in luxury knitwear brand, Pringle of Scotland’s, upcoming autumn/winter 2017 collection.

The collaboration occurred after Pringle’s Womenswear Design Director, Fran Stringer, was granted access to the original Paisley Pattern designs during a visit to Paisley Museum. The internationally significant collection is currently valued at £1 million.

Paisley Pattern Autumn/Winter Collection preview
Photographer: Letty Schmiterlow
Original Paisley Pattern design top: Pringle of Scotland

In addition to the original designs held at the museum, the archive has also been digitised to allow people to access it for research, education, media and local community reasons as well as commercial purposes.

various bespoke Paisley Pattern designs modelled outside Westminister during London Craft Week
Photographer: Stewart Bryden
Styling by Genuine
PaisleyMake Bespoke Pattern Kilt: Siobhan Mackenzie
‘Venice’ Silk Bomber Jacket: Mairi McDonald ‘Off Duty’ Collection
Vintage Paisley Pattern Dress in Liberty Fabric: Marion Donaldson

There are also plans underway for the commercialisation of the Paisley Pattern to support and grow the ambition to connect the town back to the globally-recognised pattern through working with external textile and fashion related industry experts.

In this case Pringle accessed the digital archive to select unique designs for the bespoke creations which will feature in the upcoming collection. Pringle also have a history of using the pattern in their designs having previously used in collections in the 1960s.

Fran Stringer, Womenswear Design Director, said: “There are so many icons in Pringle’s history.

“The archives are always such a rich source of inspiration! Many heritage patterns and signature designs remain relevant today, and we were happy to also work with Paisley in its original form, but printed onto knitwear in much the same way as Pringle first did in the Sixties. I want to continue to celebrate Pringle as the knitwear pioneer that it always has been.”

Pringle announced the Paisley Pattern collaboration as part of a special Paisley-themed exhibition and workshops taking place during London Craft Week.

The event saw collaboration with G F Smith, historic luxury paper makers of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, Bentleys London and Charles Laurie London with the UK’s largest leather manufacturer, Scottish Leather Group, and two new businesses supported by Renfrewshire business incubator InCube – Misty Concepts and Paisley Pins.

Showcasing Paisley’s textile credentials to the world is part of wide-ranging regeneration plans developed by Renfrewshire Council that will put Paisley back on the global textiles map, boosted by textiles and design festival PaisleyMake.

Makers from Scotland, the UK and around the globe came to Paisley for the inaugural PaisleyMake festival last year – held in partnership with Scotland’s national fashion and textiles organisation Scotland Re:Designed – to be one of the first people to view the complete Paisley Pattern archive.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “Both the Paisley Pattern and Pringle can be recognised throughout the world for celebrating Scottish heritage and this is something we are very proud to support especially as it links with our ambitions set out in our bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“Partnerships like this amplify the pattern and the town and are part of a much bigger push to use heritage and culture to transform Renfrewshire’s future.”

The collaboration with Pringle celebrates and promotes Paisley’s unique heritage which is also highlighted in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 submitted to UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport last month.

PaisleyMake returns with a new programme of bespoke and creative events on Monday 28 August 2017. For more information, visit thttps://paisleymake.com.

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Paisley’s Beer and Food Festival recognised in Parliament

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has submitted an Early Day Motion to the UK Parliament to recognise the success of the most recent Paisley Beer and Food Festival.

The 30th anniversary of the Paisley Beer Festival took place from the 19th to the 22nd of April in the Paisley Town Hall and was held in conjunction with the Paisley Food Festival.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Over the past 30 years, the Paisley Beer Festival has gone from strength to strength, with the most recent one proving once again how successful this event is for locals and to those who visit Paisley to sample beers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK. As a regular attendee of this annual festival, I know how great an event it is for the town.

“Last Saturday, our annual Beer Festival was held alongside the food festival, allowing locals to try a variety of foods from all over the world and to see cooking demonstrations from top chefs.

“As we take forward our bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021, the Paisley Beer and Food Festival highlights once again the very best that our town has to offer.”

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Top food and drink producers to attend Paisley Food Festival

The crème de la crème of Scotland’s food and drink producers will attend Paisley’s food fiesta this weekend.

Paisley Food Festival
Darrel Douglas from the Rum Shack

Visitors will be able to sample tasty treats from more than 30 street food traders and producers at the free Paisley Food Festival this Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12 to 7pm.

Paisley Food Festival

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 which will be submitted at the end of the month.

The event is running alongside Scotland’s largest beer and ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, which is run by Renfrewshire CAMRA, launched earlier this week and will be at Paisley Town Hall until Saturday 22 April.

Paisley Food Festival

The event has a wide selection of producers serving hand reared produce, including The Kitchen Farmer from Perthshire with their gourmet lamb burgers, and outdoor reared pork and apple burgers from Duntarrin Farm in Argyll. In addition Alba Seafood will be showcasing their delicious fresh smoked seafood and fishcakes while Geraldo’s of Largs will be offering the best in Scottish craft spirits to enjoy at home. For those with a sweet tooth there are exquisite French patisseries from les Plaisirs d’Odette and scrumptious cakes from the Three Sisters Bake.

Serena Durante, from Porrelli, said: This is the first time Porrelli has taken part in the festival and we’re really excited to serve our delicious Churros, it is something new that complements our ice cream well, and we know the visitors will love it! It’s a great event.”

Matthew Stevenson from Linburn’s Farm, said: “Some of the best food in Scotland is made right here in Renfrewshire and the festival gives us a chance to celebrate that. It also gives people the opportunity to try new foods from producers and traders from further afield.

“We are looking forward to serving up our famous Paisley Buddie burger which we’re sure will be popular on the day.”

David Cassidy, of Renfrewshire CAMRA, added: “We are all looking forward to this year’s beer festival, and the organisers are buzzing.

“The selection of beers will be bigger than ever – we have more than 200 real ales and another 100 or so beers at the foreign beer bar.

“We are also delighted to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of St Mirren’s 1987 cup win as part of our own 30th anniversary – many of the organisers are St Mirren fans so it’s great to be able to do that.”

Also confirmed to attend the event are Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, who will host a series of cooking demonstrations, and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs. The Voice finalists Into the Ark are also confirmed as the headline music act for the event performing their first gig since appearing on the show.

Also taking place this week is Paisley Restaurant Week which is being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First and will be running until 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre including Cardosi’s, Hamishes Hoose and Saporito Restaurants.

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Paisley’s global weaving story to be retold during festival

Paisley will host a weekend-long celebration of the town’s radical weaving heritage and international links – and is looking for artists to help tell that story to the world.

Sma Shot drummer Tony Lawler with weaver Mariam Syed and artist Paria Goodarzi in Paisley’s Abbey Close (outside Abbey and Town Hall).

The town’s traditional Sma’ Shot Day celebration – one of the world’s oldest workers festivals – is this year joined by a two-day arts programme called Weave.

Weave – on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July – is one of Visit Scotland’s signature events for the country’s Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology 2017.

Part of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, the event will reconnect the town’s weaving heritage and global connections via a programme of music, design, art, poetry, dance and theatre, set against Paisley’s historic town centre.

As part of that, visual artists can apply for awards of £1,500 to create temporary public artworks in the town centre telling Paisley’s unique global textile story in new and innovative ways. For more info and an application form, email events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Sma’ Shot Day is a much-loved part of Paisley’s events calendar – and this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever with the addition of Weave.

“The weekend will combine the traditional family elements of Sma’ Shot Day with a two-day programme of top-class performers telling Paisley’s unique historic story as a global textile hub and centre of radical political thought.

“Through the public art commission we want visual artists and makers to help us tell that story in exciting, creative and original ways which can be enjoyed by all.

“The event will help show off everything Paisley has to offer as a key destination within Scotland for heritage tourism.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations.

“Scotland’s history and heritage is defined by its people, both past and present and is an integral & iconic part of our national identity.

“The wide-ranging programme for Weave will celebrate a wealth of exciting cultural heritage through music, poetry, dance, workshops, crafts and design, presenting a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals to experience Paisley’s vibrant personality.”

A full Weave programme is still being developed and will be released later in the spring – but to publicise the call-out for participants, a Sma’Shot Day stalwart was joined by two artists already signed up to this year’s Weave bill.

Tony Lawler will this year mark his 25th year as the man banging the Charleston Drum at the head of the traditional Sma’ Shot parade through the town from Brodie Park to the festivities in Abbey Close on the Saturday afternoon.

He was joined at Paisley Abbey and Town Hall by Mariam Syed, who will give free drop-in demonstrations of traditional weaving skills on the looms at Paisley Museum.

Also involved in Weave is Iranian textiles artist Paria Goodarzi, who will exhibit work from her solo show Mass Movement, inspired by her journey to Scotland as a refugee, plus a joint show about identity and heritage with Indian photographer Arpita Singh called The Routes We Thread, both at Paisley Arts Centre.

Sma’ Shot Day marks the victory of Paisley’s weavers in an industrial dispute over payment for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls together.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and saw the traditional first-weekend-in-July holiday renamed Sma’ Shot Day.

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Paisley welcomes MasterChef – The Professionals winner to food fiesta

Gary Maclean, the winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016 will teach Buddies how to prepare top class meals at the upcoming Paisley Food Festival.

Chef extraordinaire Gary will host a series of cooking demonstrations at the free event which will take place on Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12pm – 7pm.

Also confirmed to attend is CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs.

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The event has a wide selection of producer traders serving hand reared produce, including The Kitchen Farmer from Perthshire with their gourmet lamb burgers, and outdoor reared Pork and apple burgers from Duntarrin Farm in Argyll. The event caters for both savoury and sweet pallets, with Indian street food from Bombay Kitchen, and exquisite French patisseries from les Plaisirs d’Odette and artisan crème brule from Crema Caravan.

All traders will offer smaller portion sizes at reduced prices for children and the event will offer a range of halal, gluten free and vegetarian options. Visitors will also be able to sample a wide range of craft beers, small batch gins and prosecco on tap.

The Cooking Demonstration tent offers a jam-packed programme of free workshops around the theme of food and where it comes from, including showstopping dinners from Gary Maclean, a fermentation workshop on how to make your own healthy ginger beer from Bottle of Ginger, Asian cooking from STV’s Julie Lin Macleod, and how to conquer your fear of cooking fish from the chefs at seafood restaurant A’Challtainn. Demand for the demonstrations is expected to be high, so pre-booking is recommended.

Gary said: “I love everything about cooking from preparation through to patisserie but I also get a real buzz from teaching others how to be a success in the kitchen. I look forward to sharing my passion with Paisley’s cooking enthusiasts and showing them how to create showstopping meals at Paisley’s Food and Drink Festival.”

In addition to the cooking demonstrations taking place there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained. Children will be able to take part in hands on cooking fun with free chocolate treat workshops, fruit bouquets and challenge each other on the smoothie bike.

CBeebies Katy Ashworth is ready to entertain families on the day. She said: “Events like this are a great day out for the whole family. I’ll be bringing a burst of silliness and fun for all through fun-packed games, songs and giggles and I’m looking forward to being part of the day.”

The festival is just one of three food and drink events taking place that week. Scotland’s largest beer and ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April. While Paisley Restaurant Week, being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, will run from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The range of food and drink events taking place in April is likely to attract around 15,000 visitors to the area over the course of the week demonstrating our capacity for hosting large-scale, national events that bring visitors to the area and I for one can’t wait to head along and try some of the tasty treats on offer.

“The timing of the events gives us even more reason to celebrate as they take place one week before Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged with the UK Government.”

To book a place or find out more about the cookery demonstrations on the day visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/foodfestival2017