Paisley and renfrewshire Events

Visually impaired veterans have been busy building scale dolls houses of some of Paisley’s most recognisable buildings as part of a project aimed at engaging communities with the town’s heritage.

Modelling Paisley Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre
PIC SHOWS modelmaker Franki Finch

The group from The Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre have been taking part in the Modelling Paisley project which is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £4.5 million Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

Modelling Paisley Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre
PIC SHOWS Michael Gray building the steps for the house

TH.CARS2 aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest as well as engage a diverse range of audiences with the heritage and culture of Paisley through learning and making.

Modelling Paisley Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre
PIC SHOWS modelmaker Franki Finch and George Dickson

The Hawkhead Centre in Paisley is for veterans with sight loss. It is an activity hub for men and women of all ages and abilities – and is free of any costs, with local transport provided.  A range of activities and support assist with improving independence and mobility while one-to-one guidance helps veterans regain or maintain their confidence after sight loss.

Modelling Paisley Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre
PIC SHOWS modelmaker Franki Finch

The Modelling Paisley project is being co-led by The Scottish War Blinded wood technician, David Stewart and modelmaker Franki Finch of Finch & Fouracre who are helping the group of ten veterans create four dolls houses. The group are currently working on models of the Sma’ Shot Cottages and 5 George Place and there will be another two models created before they go on display in time for Doors Open Day on 8 and 9 September.

Franki said: “It’s a brilliant project to be part of – both in terms of the historical aspect of learning more about these lovely buildings and the opportunity to work with other people teaching them new skills.

“At the start of the project a lot of the members thought there were certain tasks that they couldn’t do and it’s great that the project has shown them what they are capable of and that they can still make things and use their hands. They’re all enthusiastic about how the project is progressing which has been the best part of the process. For a lot of the members it’s given them a creative outlet which is great.”

Michael Gray (67) is one of the veterans who has been involved in the project. He said: “I hadn’t done any woodwork since I was in school and I’ve spent the last 40 years working in IT – I really missed being creative. It’s great making something and seeing it develop. As well as working on the staircase for 5 George Place I’ve also bought a clock that I want to build a case for. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the skills I’ve learned here.

“I’m hopefully going to build a workshop in my garden so I can do more woodwork projects. The key thing for me is being able to be creative and overcome problems – I’m testing myself and seeing what I can and can’t do and finding a way to work around it – I’ve really enjoyed working on this project.”

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “It’s wonderful to see our veterans learning new skills by celebrating Paisley’s stunning architecture and recreating some of our most well-known landmarks.

“I look forward to seeing the completed models when they are displayed at this year’s Doors Open Days which will give even more people the opportunity to enjoy their work.”

Sally Ross, centre manager said: “The project has been great for the members. It’s allowed them to work as a group and build friendships as well as help them develop skills they didn’t know they had. There’s a great sense of support in the group which has been lovely to see.

“We welcome enquiries from veterans, and anyone interested in referring a veteran to the centre.  With the number of people living with sight loss in Scotland expected to double by 2050 in line with population ageing, the Hawkhead Centre provides a vital service for veterans with sight loss here in Renfrewshire.”

The models will be displayed in Paisley town centre as part of Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Days on 8 and 9 September – the exact venue will be announced nearer the time.

For more information on the TH.CARS2 project please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2.

To find out more about The Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Centre call 0800 035 6409 or visit: www.royalblind.org/scottish-war-blinded.

Derek Mackay MSP has congratulated St James’ Primary School on winning an award for their reading achievements as part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

The school was given an award for the School reading the most books. The only school in Scotland to be given the award.

Primary 7 pupil Kieran Mitchell was also given the Pupil Reading Journey Award by the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon presented awards to pupils and schools from across Scotland at an event in Edinburgh today, recognising their outstanding participation in the FirstMinister’s Reading Challenge.

The reading challenge aims to build on the work already taking place in schools across the country to encourage children to read widely, explore a range of books and develop a love of reading.

Following an evaluation of the first year of the challenge, reading charity Scottish Book Trust is expanding the challenge to secondary schools, libraries and community groups in the next school year.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“It is fantastic that St James’ Primary’s hard work has been recognised by the First Minister, with an award for reading the most books. The only school in Scotland to win this award.

“Almost 1,000 primary schools across Scotland took part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge this year, opening up a world of adventure and fun to young people whilst also giving them really important literacy, writing and language skills.

“I hope we can encourage even more kids to enjoy the benefits of reading by signing even more schools from Renfrewshire up to the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has commented:

“I’d like to congratulate all the schools who have taken part in this year’s challenge. They’ve all worked really hard over the past year and demonstrated great enthusiasm for reading.

“Raising attainment is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s work. That is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – to encourage reading for pleasure from an early age which in turn, helps improve children’s literacy.

“I look forward to the next year of the challenge which will see even more people able to take part from secondary schools, libraries and community groups.”

PUPILS at Renfrew High have created their own comic book with storylines inspired by the town’s rich history.


Now they have seen their work, called ‘A Trip ‘Frew Time’ printed and published with a special launch event at the school.

The project was in collaboration with Renfrewshire Leisure’s school libraries attainment and creative learning teams, along with West College Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust who provided funding.


The comic book’s fictitious stories written by 30 pupils and accompanying illustrations were based on events and historical places in Renfrew and was part of the school’s participation in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge pilot project, at Renfrew High.

Pupils were helped to produce the comic book by Magic Torch Comics, who held a series of workshops in the school.

As well as having a copy of their own comic book creation, pupils will also receive an accredited qualification from West College Scotland to add to their school record of achievement.


Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “The pupils have done a tremendous job in creating not only the storylines, but the publication of the comic book itself. It’s something they can be proud of.

“As well as learning about their home town, the project has also stimulated the pupils’ enthusiasm and engagement in reading for pleasure.”

PROVOST Lorraine Cameron helped make sure the malls were alive to the sound of music when she joined in with the Renfrewshire Carers Centre Choir for an impromptu rendition of a classic ABBA song.


The Paisley-based carers group had been given free space at the intu Braehead shopping centre to raise money and awareness of the work they do and then be treated to a slap-up lunch by mall management to help celebrate Carers Week.

Provost Cameron was due to present certificates to volunteers from the Carers Centre and when she arrived at the mall, the choir was in full voice entertaining shoppers.

The Renfrewshire Provost was asked to join the choir for a song and she immediately agreed, belting out a version of ABBA’s Super Trouper along with the other singers.

As Provost Cameron handed out certificates she told the carers and volunteers: “I’m delighted to be here today to recognise the essential part you all play in the Renfrewshire Carers Centre. It gives me great pleasure to present you with these certificates of thanks.”

Christine Macdonald, intu Braehead’s marketing manager said: “The carers and volunteers at Renfrewshire Carers Centre deserve huge credit for the work they do.

“Giving them a lunch and mall space to have a display stand giving people advice and raising funds is just one way we can pay tribute to the vital work they do.

“The Carers Centre Choir gave shoppers some great entertainment and well done to Provost Cameron for joining in with the singing.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has set out his long-term commitment to help people most in need into work and improve opportunities for future generations.

The £4.5million funding plans for Invest in Renfrewshire – the Council’s economic development service – were approved yesterday (Wednesday 20 June 2018).

This will provide targeted job support to people, communities and local businesses over the next five years.

“We want to provide support to the people and places most in need, to make the greatest difference,” said Councillor Nicolson. “We must ensure the area’s economic growth benefits everyone and that’s why we are targeting our resources to communities facing deprivation and to help people unemployed and underemployed, changing their opportunities and that of future generations.”

The new service will start from 1 October 2018 and includes further development of a community based pilot project under way in Ferguslie which supports people facing a range of barriers to employment.

It is already achieving positive results for local residents like Ronnie Lockhart, who’d been out of work for the past 20 years, but is now working as a gardener with Linstone Housing Association thanks to the support from the Invest team.

The 49-year-old said: “I love it, I’m out cutting grass, using the leaf blower, strimming, litter picking and tidying places up. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me, I’m even out cutting the neighbour’s grass for them.

“I was in a routine of going out once a fortnight to sign on then back home to watch TV. Eventually I got sick of being in the house doing nothing. Now I never want to go back to that – I love the job and the team work. We have such a laugh and we get the work done. I’m learning every day and I’m hopeful I can get kept on.

“My mum is proud of me, my whole family are proud of me and I couldn’t have asked more of the support from Invest, they do their damnedest to get you into employment, they do a great job and I’m really grateful for what they have done for me.”

More will be done to support start-up and early stage businesses through the new service, with exciting plans in place to grow the creative business sector and increase the number of sustainable small businesses and social enterprises.

Local communities will also reap the benefits of staff working locally to grow services and support voluntary groups looking to secure external funding, with 40 applications already in development.

And there is a major focus on maximising key economic growth opportunities in Renfrewshire, including in manufacturing, care and the creative industries by working with local businesses to provide direct pathways into these job growth areas.

Renfrewshire’s economy has grown significantly in the last six years with 8000 more jobs across the local area and employment figures dramatically improved.

Councillor Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire is open for business and there are major areas of growth coming here, with new jobs in the creative and tourism sectors as we build on the legacy of our Paisley 2021 bid and in the care sector as we expand our childcare and nursery provision.

“We are also developing an advanced manufacturing district which will be home to Scotland’s manufacturing institute and a world-first medicines manufacturing centre. This all means new jobs and we want to make sure Renfrewshire people are best placed to seize these opportunities.

“We will tackle the challenges head-on and develop Renfrewshire as an attractive place to locate and do business, supporting local businesses to grow and improving the area’s economic, social and physical regeneration.”

Find out more at www.investinrenfrewshire.com

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde residents are being encouraged to attend a ceremony to celebrate our serving military men and women.

Serving troops, veterans and their families will join the Provosts of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, to mark Armed Forces Day with a service in Paisley Abbey on Saturday 23 June.

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, will lead a short service at 10am to recognise the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

A collection will be held at the service with donations going to Fares4Free, a charity providing free transport for veterans, assisting them with getting to appointments they might not otherwise be able to travel to.

Following the service tea and coffee will be provided within the Abbey.

Both Provost’s and the Lord-Lieutenant will then move on to Hawkhead cemetery where they will lay wreaths at the memorial.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Our Armed Forces make sacrifices every day to protect our country and we must ensure we support them wherever possible.

“Armed Forces Day brings the communities of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire together to pay our respects to those who have served, and to recognise those who currently serve in our name.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

Inverclyde Provost Martin Brennan said: “This is an opportunity for us all to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, including veterans and cadets, and to recognise their outstanding contribution to this country now and in the past.

“Many serving members are currently deployed in extremely dangerous parts of the world and their morale is significantly improved knowing that back home they have the support of the public and that their families are being cared for.”

As well as the joint service with Inverclyde, Renfrewshire will host a flag raising ceremony on Friday 22 June, at 11am, outside Renfrewshire House.

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force and the Year of Young People, Air Cadet Sergeants James Fulton and Aimee Dunlop from 396 Paisley Squadron, will raise the flag which will fly for seven days.

Inverclyde will host a flag raising service on Monday 25 June, 10:30am, at Clyde Square, Greenock.

Visitors can learn the skills and techniques that helped make Paisley famous through a programme of interactive design, textile and craft workshops and demonstrations just released for this year’s Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.

The annual Sma’ Shot Day celebration, which is one of the world’s oldest worker festivals which celebrates the town’s weavers and mill workers, will take place on Saturday 7 July and will, for the second year running, include the Weave Festival – offering an enhanced and diverse programme of cultural events and activities on the day.

Celebrating the town’s weaving heritage visitors will have the chance to head along to a number of weaving demonstrations at the Sma’ Shot Cottages.

Weavers in Residence, Shielagh Tacey and Heather Shields, who are supported by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2), Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland, will run demonstrations throughout the afternoon. Ever wondered what Sma’ Shot actually means? Shielagh and Heather will tell visitors all about it and demonstrate this famous stitch on various weaving looms and there will even be a chance for participants to have a go themselves.

Visual art curator and weaver at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Dan Coughlin, will also run a number of weaving demonstrations at the cottages throughout the day. While at Paisley Museum watch award-winning textile designer and weaver Mariam Syed as she weaves beautiful contemporary patterns on a loom in Paisley Museum’s famous loom and shawl gallery.

One of the weaver’s in residence, Shielagh Tacey, said: “As part of our weaving residency in Paisley Heather Shields and I have been researching the term “Sma’ Shot”. It is such an important part of Paisley’s weaving heritage and yet not many people actually understand what it is or looks like.

“This Sma’ Shot Day and Weave Festival we will be based at the Sma’ Shot cottages, alongside their fantastic volunteers, demonstrating what a woven “Sma’ Shot” is and what it looks like using various looms.”

Carrying on the town’s tradition of making, there will be a series of free design and craft workshops taking place in Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Abbey on the day covering everything from bookbinding and artwork to paper craft.

Award winning architect and designers Krisztina and James McCulloch from KCD Designs will work with participants to create unique art work of Paisley’s historic buildings to take home. While JuJu Books will run a woven spine bookbinding workshop using Coats linen and a selection of high quality recycled paper and bookcloth, to allow participants to bind their own A6 book to take away. Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi will also host a series of block print workshops where people can learn how to print and use stamp/block printing.

Paria said: “I’m looking forward to experiencing the culture, history and community spirit of Paisley during the Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot event. I will be guiding the workshop participants and in the traditional technique of block printing. We will be exploring traditional patterns and coming up with our own designs, producing some colourful and fun tote bags that will be a great reminder of the day.”

There will also be a chance to explore the art of paper crafts and collaging with Louisa Winning, as well as learning simple techniques to mend and adapt clothing with designers from Re-Mode.

Additional workshops supported by TH.CARS2 include Dyed Turkey Red and Textiles Demonstrations at The Paisley Threadmill Museum.

Dyed Turkey Red at Weavolution Paisley Hub, where textile researcher Dr Julie Wertz will deliver a hands-on exploration of the history and processes involved in making and using dyed ‘Turkey red’ – a complex dyeing process which produces a bright, fast red colour.

While at The Paisley Threadmill Museum will see demonstrations delivered by Glasgow Clyde College as part of the Artisan Institute Project on traditional textile techniques focusing on weaving, and including spinning and dyeing.

In addition to the firm favourites visitors have come to expect from Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day such as the workshops, parade and Burning of the Cork, there will also be a new raft of activities to attract and entice the crowds. The town centre will be transformed into a seaside escape in keeping with this year’s theme ‘Doon the Watter’ complete with sandy beach, ice cream and candyfloss.

Visitors can also look forward to a raft of music, poetry and spoken word performances at the Dooslan Stane Stage or take part in the popular Tea Dance at Paisley Town Hall.

To find out more about the event including the full line up for the day and more detail on the workshops and demonstrations please visit: www.paisley.is.

“One of the funniest comedians in the world”

CRAIG FERGUSON, LATE LATE SHOW (CBS)

 

Star of Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Crackerjack, Stewart Francis embarks on a brand-new show, in this, his last tour EVER!!! See him before he heads off… INTO THE PUNSET.

With the added 2019 dates this is turning out to be quite a beast of a tour – beginning in Soho in October and culminating at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith in December next year. This will be Stewart’s last and final stand-up gig – ever! – and so we’re expecting a full house and not a dry eye within it. Brace yourself London, it’s going to be emotional…

 

Winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe, this hugely successful one liner wizard has become a household name in the UK over the last decade, thanks to his ‘perfectly crafted gags’ and expert timing, which he has toured around the UK, and at the Edinburgh Festival, to sell-out audiences.

 

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy, for the last time, his excellent jokes in his farewell tour.  Spring date tickets for INTO THE PUNSET go on sale on Friday 1st June 2018.

 

Stewart has received international acclaim in the US and his native Canada, as well as here in the UK.  Amongst other shows he has appeared on are BBC’s Mock The week, Live At The Apollo, Celebrity Mastermind and Not Going Out, Dave’s One Night Stand, and C4’s 8 Out Of Ten Cats.

 

Perfectly crafted gags” THE SUNDAY TIMES

 

Stewart will be playing Paisley Town Hall on 6 December. Tickets are £18.50 and £17.50 (+ bkg fee*) and are available from the Box office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

* a £1 service charge per transaction applies for bookings made by phone or online. There is no service charge for tickets purchased in person or for tickets booked by phone and later collected from the Box Office.

 

Further information: www.stewartfrancis.com

Tickets: https://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/stewart-francis-tickets

If you have children aged up to 14, Renfrewshire Council is asking you to help shape future nursery and childcare provision for families.

The Council is seeking the views of parents in the area on the provision of early learning and child care, including before and after school services and school holiday cover, by competing a short survey,

Eligible children aged two and three to five year olds are entitled to 600 funded hours annually, which will increase to 1140 hours by August 2020.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “The survey is a great chance for parents to have their say on what they need going forward and even if this doesn’t currently apply to you, your views will help us plan for families in the future.”

The information provided in the survey, which is to be completed by Friday 6 July, 2018, will be treated confidentially and will be used to inform future service provision.

A link can be found here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/4622/Children-and-Young-People-Consultation-2018

Making sure local communities benefit from Renfrewshire’s £274million City Deal projects was high on the list of topics discussed at Paisley North Community Council this week (Tues 12 June) attended by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader is visiting community councils across the region to hear about their local issues and the visit to Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods was the latest in the series of visits.

City Deal employment opportunities, engagement with the Council and grass cutting programmes were all on the agenda, which was well attended by councillors for the area.

Councillor Nicolson said: “When we were elected last year, I made a pledge to continue listening to communities and responding direct to their concerns and that is why I’ve been out and about attending community council meetings across the area, to hear for myself the issues that are being discussed and also where we can work more closely together to improve the quality of life for people.

“Being in close proximity to the airport, the investment in the City Deal projects will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the investment in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also create many training opportunities so we want to make sure we capitalise on this for local people so everyone can share in the benefit these developments will bring.

“We also discussed how we can work more closely together. We want to support communities to take pride in their place, tackle the issues that matter to them and have community backing. By hearing first hand their experiences and ideas, this gives us a great foundation to build on and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we move forward.”