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Funbox return to Paisley Town Hall with their new show Underwater Adventure

Bust out those arm bands, shimmy on your scuba gear and dive in with Funbox as the tide sweeps them back to Paisley with their brand new show for 2017, UNDERWATER ADVENTURE.

Its been non stop for FUNBOX since their first show in 2015, and now the former Singing Kettle trio have 8 shows, 6 DVDs, 5 CDs and 24 costumes to their name as they embark on their ninth tour in 2 years. When it was made clear that the Singing Kettle was not for sale, Gary, Anya and Kevin took their first steps into business. “We knew we could write songs, perform and make music, but none of us had any real experience of running a business. We just went into it head first.” says Gary. “Our Pirates and Princesses tour was funded out of our own pockets and a Crowdfunding campaign that saw us raise over 20k in 4 weeks thanks to the support of our fans.” The gang admit they were having far too much fun working together and entertaining families of Scotland and beyond to say goodbye. Anya remarked “We wanted to carry on, not just for us but the kids who loved coming to see us and the parents and grandparents who wanted to take their children. It
seemed like too important a thing to let go”.

FUNBOX offers the same traditional songs and silliness known and loved by many but with their own brand of manic humour with a modern twist. “We’ve been described as fresh and edgier than before. Even the big people are enjoying it! We spotted a few grown up mermaids and deep sea divers at our DVD recording at Glasgow SEC back in February.” laughs Kevin.

Take the plunge with Gary, Anya and Kevin (the stars formerly of The Singing Kettle) for their all new show for 2017 – UNDERWATER ADVENTURE where they voyage beneath the waves to the bottom of the ocean. There’s some-fin fishy going on in their latest singalong ‘tail’ – the FUNBOX is locked and the gang will have to cause a splash because their magical keys are all tucked up in the sea bed. Fluffy and Flossie the Funsters will be diving in to lend a hand and of course everyone’s favourite salty sea dog; Bonzo will be joining the aquatic action, but has he packed his trunks, snorkel and rubber ring?

Packed with familiar favourites like ‘When the Boat comes in’, ‘The World must be coming tae an’End’ and ‘Hole at the Bottom of the Sea’ as well as brand new songs, UNDERWATER ADVENTURE is the perfect swimalong singalong treat for kids of all ages from nought to ninety! You might even cause a splash on stage with us!

Dress up for the sea and join in the fun. You’ll have a whale of a time!

Paisley Town Hall, Sunday 14 May, 1pm and 3.30pm

Tickets available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 www.renfrewshireleisure.com or Ticketmaster
For more information go to www.funbox.co.uk or find us on facebook and twitter.

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The Pride of Paisley…work set to begin on our latest lion landmark

A Lion is on its way back to Paisley this summer…and a local artist has been chosen to bring the lion magic back to life.

the winning design

With the theme “Inspired by the town of Paisley and its people”, our judges have chosen Maureen Rocksmoore and her colourful design “Superbia – our pride is our strength” as the perfect lion legacy for Paisley town centre.

Maureen, a renowned visual arts specialist born and living in Paisley, has already taken delivery and will soon begin artwork on the lion which will take pride of place in the town.

Pic of Maureen – photo taken by Andy Bell

Maureen’s design is inspired by Paisley’s history of design and manufacturing which is renowned throughout the world.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “Maureen has several artist residencies in Renfrewshire and has exhibited her work internationally, she was also involved in the Pride of Paisley last year.”

“Her design for this lion was rich and vibrant and encapsulated the real spirit of the Pride of Paisley which was enjoyed by both Buddies and visitors to Paisley.”

“We are all excited to see Maureen’s design brought to life and looking forward to the lion taking its place among the town’s other famous landmarks.”

Maureen said: “The blue pattern throughout my design represents the River Cart running through the heart of the town.”

“While the proud peacock, a symbol of Paisley pride is a common feature in shawls and the cotton threads carried by birds symbolises how far Paisley’s reputation has travelled throughout the world.”

This unpainted lion was donated to Paisley First by local company MacAsphalt.

Ian added: “We are extremely grateful to Jamie Crumlish of MacAsphalt, who bought four painted lions at the auction and also kindly donated three unpainted lions, one each, to both hospices and Paisley First.”

The Pride of Paisley 2016 consisted of 25 full sized lions which were painted by artists and 40 mini lions which were painted by local school children.

The event was visited by more than 20,000 people with the 25 larger  lions then auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.

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Paisley 2021 bid marked with mass Baker Street sax performance in Gerry Rafferty home town

Paisley marked the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 in spectacular style today – with a mass outdoor rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s classic Baker Street.

Around 25 saxophonists were joined a by a live band and a crowd of hundreds on the town’s High Street for a special performance of the Paisley-born singer’s iconic worldwide hit, in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

The Baker Street performance was the brainchild of Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud and Proud, and delivered in partnership with the Paisley 2021 bid team and backed by youth theatre group PACE.

The event was part of an action-packed weekend for the town – with Abbey Close hosting the third annual Paisley Food Festival, with thousands of visitors enjoying street food from some of the country’s finest traders.

The event also featured cooking demos from BBC Masterchef – The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, free workshops for kids, and live entertainment from acts including The Voice finalists Into the Ark and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth.

And Paisley Town Hall was hosting the final day of the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – the largest real-ale festival in Scotland.

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be lodged with the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport this week, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been a mass movement, with incredible buy-in from the local community.

“That was evident again today, with a wonderful turnout and a great atmosphere at both the Baker Street performance, and the food and beer festivals.

“One of the key things our bid will celebrate is the incredible wealth of talent produced by this town, and Gerry Rafferty is one of the best examples of that – so this was a fantastic way to mark the bid submission later this week.”

Gerry’s daughter Martha added: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.”

The UK Government is expected to announce a shortlist of bidding places over the summer, and the winner by the end of the year.

For more information, visit paisley2021.co.uk

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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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Register now for Business Matters in Renfrewshire 2017

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The new stars of Storie Street

The past and the future come together to celebrate Paisley’s proud heritage in latest mural

left to right – Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson, Paisley First BID Manager Andrew Mitchell, seven year old Eva Rose Ross, artists Caroline Gormley and Sandy Guy

The latest mural in the Paisley First Wall Series has been completed with one local youngster taking centre stage in promoting the town’s proud heritage.

Seven year old Eva Rose Ross from Paisley won the competition to be commemorated on the gable wall next to Allan’s Snack Bar on Storie Street, a popular fish and chip shop in the town.

seven year old Eva Rose Ross in front of the Storie Street mural

Local artist Caroline Gormley and co-artist Sandy Guy have been braving sunshine and snow for the last couple of weeks to complete the “Buddie” artwork.

Caroline said: “This mural encourages young people to be curious and to engage with their rich heritage. Hopefully, it will inspire them.”

Eva Rose, who attends St Fergus Primary School, said: “I love everything about Paisley and I still can’t believe that a mural of me is now part of the town.”

“I think it looks great and I am proud that I am playing my part in helping to promote Paisley as a great place to visit.”

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson added: “Both completed murals have received a really positive response and there are more in the pipeline.”

“They really are making a difference in the town and we can’t wait to see the reaction to the rest of the murals we have planned.”

the view of the mural from Storie Street

“Community art groups are also getting involved in some of the upcoming murals; these murals are for the people of Paisley, by the people of Paisley.”

“This is just one of a number of projects aimed at getting local people actively involved in what’s happening in their home town.”

The Paisley First Walls Series is part-funded with a grant through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

Caroline Gormley and Sandy Guy with Eva Rose Ross and Gracie Sarah Cochrane

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We were delighted to support Paisley First to produce these murals through our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, which aims to boost the local creative scene as Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is lodged.”

“Mark Worst’s giant kingfisher on Johnston Street has been turning heads now for weeks, and this latest mural is a lovely piece of work by Caroline Gormley.”

“These murals aren’t just brightening up the town centre for residents and visitors, they are also shining a spotlight on some of the wonderful artistic talent we have here, and I congratulate all involved.”

Caroline’s artwork was originally inspired by an image she had seen of another seven year old, Gracie Sarah Cochrane.

Gracie and competition winner Eva Rose Ross exchanged gifts to mark the completion of the mural – Gracie gave Eva Rose a framed sketch of the image Caroline used to paint the youngster.

Eva Rose then gave Gracie a framed image of Caroline’s original sketch of Gracie when the artist first started to put together potential ideas for the wall.

 

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Gleniffer Braes: Election hopefuls demand action at local beauty spot.

Three SNP candidates

Three SNP candidates have today demanded that Renfrewshire Council takes action to clean up illegal dumping on the Gleniffer Braes.  Lorraine Cameron, currently a councillor for the Paisley Southwest Ward, visited the area along with her colleagues Brian McGuire and Stephen Burns.  The dumped tyres, previously reported in the PDE,  are still there after several months, and Councillor Cameron said ‘ it is a disgrace that the council have, after all this time, failed to clean up this beauty spot, and this issue has to be highlighted.

The undeniable failure of this council to clean up its act is extremely embarrassing given that Paisley is being punted to win City of Culture 2021 – yet our local green spaces lie polluted and endangered like this’.  Mr McGuire said ‘ I have never in my life seen anything like it – a sea of black rubber covers the ground and the stench of rubber is overwhelming’.

Three SNP candidates
The tyres have been added to by fly tipping of household items which have been tossed over the barrier, landing on the hill and ground below.  Stephen Burns added ‘myself, Brian and Lorraine have been all over the ward in recent weeks and have discovered a lot of problems needing attention, but this takes the biscuit.  I cannot believe that the council have known about this and yet not cleared this obnoxious hazard’.

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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

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Paisley to celebrate trio of food and drink events

Paisley is getting set for a food and drink extravaganza next month – with three great events taking place over the same week.

(left to right) – David Cassidy (Renfrewshire CAMRA), Tony Fitzpatrick (St Mirren), Linsey Reith (Three Sisters Bake), Rachna Dheer, (Babu Bombay Street Kitchen), Jason Smith (The Bankhouse Bar) and Hollie Stark (Kilty Kilty’s)

The 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – Scotland’s largest – will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April.

On the Saturday the Paisley Food Festival brings a one-day culinary carnival of street food from across the globe plus free family entertainment to Abbey Close.

And Paisley Restaurant Week, being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, runs from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals at eateries throughout the town centre.

The events are taking place one week before Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged with the UK Government.

The beer festival is organised by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, who are marking the event’s 30th anniversary by celebrating St Mirren’s 1987 Scottish Cup win – which took place on the same day as the first festival – on their logo and pint glasses.

To promote the event, beer festival organisers were joined by St Mirren chief executive and 1987 cup-winner Tony Fitzpatrick, plus some of the vendors from the food festival, and local businesses taking part in Paisley Restaurant Week.

David Cassidy of Renfrewshire CAMRA said: “When we first started we had no idea we would still be going 30 years on – back then we just had 30 beers and one hall.

“Now we are the biggest real ale festival in Scotland with more than 250 beers over three bars, plus a cider bar and foreign beer bar.

“A few of us are St Mirren fans and it was an easy decision to celebrate the link with the 1987 team in this year’s festival. We also want to thank our sponsors, the Bungalow Bar and Callum’s Cavern.”

The food festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and is taking place for the third time, as part of the area’s major events programme, which aims to attract visitors to the town centre and showcase it as a vibrant destination, alongside the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

It will run from noon to 7pm and will include a wide range of food vendors, from global cuisine to the best of the Scottish larder, with smaller-sized portions at reduced prices for children, and all dietary options catered for. There will also be live music, children’s entertainment, cookery demos and workshops and more – all free.

Rachna Dheer of Babu Bombay Street Kitchen said: “We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in the Paisley Food Festival – we’ve done a lot of these events and they are a great way for people to try lots of new things.”

Paisley Restaurant Week is running for a second year and will be backed by more than 20 businesses in the town centre.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First manager, said: “Paisley town centre has a wide range of fantastic restaurants and cafes to suit every taste and budget, and during restaurant week these businesses are putting on some amazing deals which can be found on our website, so don’t miss out on Paisley culinary delights and visit Paisley”.

You can find more information on Paisley Food Festival at www.paisley2021.co.uk, on the beer festival at www.paisleybeerfestival.co.uk and on the restaurant week at www.paisleyfirst.com