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Diane Mitchell Music School update

We have new spaces available for individual guitar lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

We are taking names for the next taster block, as the present block is full. The next one will start on Saturday April 22nd from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

We have new spaces on a Wednesday and a Sunday for drum lessons. We are also starting a beginner guitar group on a Thursday. For more information contact us by email on info@dianemitchellmusicschool.com or call us on 07896689816 or 07410918555.

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Celebrating Burns Night? – Paisley Museum has evidence the Bard loved to party

A wonderful, rare Burns manuscript that was recently rediscovered in the collection of Paisley Museum has gone on display in the museum in time for Burns Night.

The text, which has been authenticated as genuine, is the Bard’s response to a party invitation from friends.

 

Sir,

Yours this moment I unseal,

And faith I’m gay and hearty!

To tell the truth and shame the deil,

I am as fou as Bartie:

But Foorsday, sir, my promise leal,

Expect me o’ your partie,

If on a beastie I can speel

Or hurl in a cartie.

Yours,

Robert Burns

 

Machlin,

Monday Night, 10 o’clock

 

A letter to the Museum from Professor Gerard Carruthers from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow says the poem dates back to 1785 – 1786.

It is on display at Paisley Museum alongside a portrait of Burns by James Tannock (1784 – 1862) until Sunday, 19th February.

For more information on Paisley Museum visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com   

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Cars set to depart Paisley for historic Monte Carlo Rally

The clock is ticking to the start of the 2017 historic Monte Carlo Rally when up to eighty cars will be flagged away from the centre of Paisley.

Drivers from the Monte Carlo rally with Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens today

It’s the fourth time the town – which is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 – is the only British start point out of seven European cities including Stockholm, Lisbon and Barcelona, for the 1300-mile trip to the South of France.

A stunning range of classic cars will leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm tomorrow (Wednesday January 25th) in three separate categories.

The Historique class is being run for the 20th year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will take place over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews undertaking a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

Included in the line-up will be an ex-BMC works Mini Cooper S which competed in the Monte Carlo Rally 50 years ago, finishing 6th overall in the hands of rally legend Paddy Hopkirk.

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1980 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages.

Among the cars in this category are a 1930 Austin 7 Ulster open 2-seater sports and a Sunbeam Stiletto, built nearby at the Linwood car plant and looks as good as it did when it rolled off the production line in 1968.

Once again the event will also feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland.

Last year a crowd of more than 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and pyrotechnics.

Working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland, the organisers expect this year’s start to be even bigger and better.

The council has laid on a programme of entertainment, which starts at 4pm, and includes car-themed arts and crafts, street entertainment and music from Pulse FM

Final preparations are now being completed and Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011 believes this year will be the best yet.

He said: “This year’s Monte start has all the ingredients to make it a unique mid-winter festival which is guaranteed to lift the spirits of all the folk from Paisley and beyond who come along each year to enjoy the wonderful carnival atmosphere.”

Douglas will also be doing the trip to the Mediterranean in his MG Midget which will run ahead of the group as the official opening car.

He joined some of the entrants who’ll be heading off on Burns Night as they proudly posed with their cars in the shadow of a statue of the Bard in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens

Against the striking backdrop of the park’s A-listed ornate Victorian-era fountain was Paddy Hopkirk’s Mini, Cuthbert the Rover, a Volvo Amazon and a branded Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021 Sunbeam which will also be making the run to Monte Carlo.

The event is being supported by Renfrewshire Council. Provost Anne Hall said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Monte Carlo Classic Rally back to Paisley for the fourth year in a row.

“Hosting such a truly international event as this is really helping to put Paisley on the map ahead of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 being submitted in a couple of months.

“Paisley Abbey always makes a fantastic backdrop for the spectacle of these classic cars setting off for France.

“The people of Renfrewshire have given the event great backing in previous years as they turn out in their numbers to wave them off and I am sure they will again – I’m looking forward to being part of another memorable night.”

Tomorrow afternoon, the cars have to undergo strict scrutineering checks to make sure they comply with the Rally’s regulations. Among those casting a careful eye over the cars will be apprentices at GTG Training in Glasgow.
Ian Taylor, Group Operations Manager at GTG said:”It’s wonderful to once again have the Monte Carlo Rally cars here. Our apprentices look forward to working with the cars which gives them fantastic, hands-on experience. We wish all cars and drivers taking part this year the very best of luck”.

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Paisley 2021 gets 2021st backer at music festival

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 just passed another magical milestone – after 2021 people signed up to back it online.

Scott Lever and Nyree Marsh pushing the button to back the bid

The bid website at paisley2021.co.uk has had an option for residents to ‘push the button’ to register their support since the start of November.

And University of the West of Scotland music student Scott Lever – one of the team who organised the uni’s Scottish Music Festival, taking place today – was the man who helped tip the total over the line.

The first ever music festival at the university saw a number of performances in the Atrium and Brough Hall throughout the day.

The festival was headlined by local band Lemonhaze, who recently won a nationwide competition to open for Paolo Nutini before a crowd of tens of thousands at Edinburgh’s world-famous Hogmanay street party.

And Scott and fellow events management student Nyree Marsh, both from Greenock, were delighted to add their names to the thousands who have already backed the bid online,

Scott said: “We fully support the Paisley 2021 bid and it’s a real honour for me to be the 2021st backer.

“Paisley has so much going on, with the Monte Carlo Rally next week and the Scottish Album of the Year coming back, plus there’s so many good bands.

“The music festival came about when we were asked to put an event on with some bands in the Atrium as part of our course – word got out and it started to grow and we added in guest speakers and people from the Scottish music industry.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council leader and chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board, added: “For Paisley 2021 to reach 2021 online backers in less than three months just shows the depth of support here in the town.

“That number can be added to the almost 10,000 who have already taken part in conversations around the bid online or at one of our events.

“From the start we said the bid would be led by the people of Paisley for the people of Paisley, and that has been the case.

“So it was fitting the 2021st backer was Scott – someone who is doing great work to help showcase the great musical talent we have in the town.

“But the drive for support doesn’t stop here – for us to have a chance of winning we need people to help us show the judges at DCMS that the people of Paisley want the bid and can make it happen.

“You can push the button at paisley2021.co.uk now – let’s see how many we can get to show their support by the time the bid is lodged in April.”

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Brothers team up for first joint art exhibition

AN art exhibition featuring the work of two Paisley-born brothers, Kevin and Dermott Egan has opened in the town’s Museum and Art Galleries.

Kevin Egan and his brother, Dermott at their art exhibition in Paisley Museum and Art Galleries.

Much of the brothers’ paintings, drawings, carvings and sculptures relate to their working class roots growing up in both Paisley’s Ferguslie Park and Glenburn housing schemes.

The free exhibition, Form and Colour: A Way of Being in the World, runs until February 26.

Kevin, 61 and 57-year-old Dermott come from a very creative family. Their brother Tommy was a well-known folk singer locally and their late brother, Jim was also an accomplished singer of folk music and popular standards of the 1950s and 60s, appearing on radio and television.

Another brother, Joe enjoyed chart success in the music business as one half of the band, Stealer’s Wheel along with fellow-Paisley singer-songwriter, Gerry Rafferty.

Following a college course in commercial art, Dermott worked for different artistic agencies producing posters for venues like The Pavilion and King’s Theatres, in Glasgow. Some of his early artistic work in this field can be found in the Mitchell Library archive.

Kevin’s early work was in polychrome bas relief and free standing sculpture. His relief carvings – produced for the Marquis of Bute – can still be seen at Mount Stuart House, on the Isle of Bute. One of these particular pieces was shortlisted for the Saltire Prize.

Kevin said: “All our family were good at art and at the same time all of us, including Dermott and I were also musical and could sing.
“I suspect that on a subconscious level, Dermott and I decided to take the road of painting, drawing and sculpture, so as not to compete with our older brothers.
“When you’re in such a big family you try to find your own place to be creative and we choose art.”
Dermott adds: “Almost all of my art and much of Kevin’s is based on Paisley and the worthies we knew when we were growing up.
“This is our first joint exhibition and we hope that when people come along they bring their imagination with them and share some of the unexpected discoveries we have made while creating our art.”

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Smarter help for Renfrewshire’s young job seekers

In a nationwide first Renfrewshire Council, Transport Scotland and McGill’s buses are using Scotland’s smart travel network to help young people between the ages of 16-25 into employment and training.

Where a young person registered with the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme is eligible for free travel, advisors can now load pre-paid tickets for McGill’s local bus service onto their Young Scot National Entitlement Card, which is part of the saltirecard family of smartcards.

Advisors at the council’s Youth Employability Hub in Paisley will be able to load one, seven or twenty-eight unlimited travel tickets, which eligible young people would redeem by simply tapping their Young Scot National Entitlement Card on-board a McGill’s bus.

Staff at Youth Employability Hub provide support to young people registered with Invest in Renfrewshire. Working with an Adviser tickets are provided based on an individual’s need and can be used for a wide variety of reasons. For example, bus tickets can be provided to attend interviews and training opportunities or to support young people until their first pay packet arrives.

Through offering support at a key time of transition for young people Renfrewshire Council hope to help them find a new job and continue their journey to a positive life destination.

The project is possible because of Transport Scotland’s nationwide smart card infrastructure and the National Entitlement Card which is available to all Young People aged 11-26. It is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s buses, Transport Scotland and Young Scot.

Transport is mentioned by young people as one of their biggest barriers to accessing opportunities. This new initiative is an example of how Scotland’s smart ticketing network can be used to provide targeted help to specific groups of young people. As all young people have the opportunity to have a Young Scot card it can be used for travel without labelling those who benefit.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Helping young people facing particular challenges to achieve their potential is at the heart of our approach to getting people out of poverty.

“We have made it a top priority to increase the opportunities available to people throughout our communities.

“Our ground-breaking £6 million Tackling Poverty programme makes a real difference and is leading the way in Scotland, so it is fitting that Renfrewshire Council is the first local authority in the country to be involved in this initiative.

“This is yet another innovative way to help overcome the barriers that too often stand in the way of someone finding work and achieving a better future.”

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is another important step towards the delivery of Smart-enabled travel products which aims to help young people on their journey to employment and training across Renfrewshire.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.

“We will continue to work with local authorities and bus operators to develop multi-operator schemes for all commuters across Scotland.”

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said: “McGill’s is delighted to be involved with this ground-breaking initiative.  Our £1m+ investment in new ticketing machines in 2016 has allowed us to support this Smart initiative, and we look forward to working closely with Renfrewshire Council, Young Scot and Transport Scotland on future Smart ticketing projects.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said: “This is really excellent example of how the Young Scot National Entitlement Card can be used to promote equality. By helping young people find and stay in employment, this programme it will have an incredible impact during one of the most important stages in a young person’s journey.”

The project is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £6 million Tackling Poverty Action Plan to end child poverty in Renfrewshire. The smart card scheme one of several ways Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team are using the Young Scot’s services to tackle inequality and improve services. This is the first in a series of smart travel initiatives happening in Renfrewshire in collaboration between Renfrewshire Council and Transport Scotland. More will be announced soon.

ENDS

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Last property remaining!

A well-appointed brand new, mid terraced house at Thrushcraigs Crescent has become available!

This property sits on a generous plot with private drive and back garden and has two double bedrooms, stylish new kitchen and large living area for entertaining.

For more information, contact the Link2Let team at link2let@linkhousing.org.uk
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Service of Dedication to remember those lost to suicide

An annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley next week.

The memorial tree

Renfrewshire support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) will be holding a short service open to all on Thursday 26 January.

The service will be attended by Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall, Reverend Alan Birss and Deacon Jack Gallacher and will be held in the Marriage Suite of Renfrewshire House.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall lays a remembrance wreath

Friends and relatives are invited to meet at the Marriage Suite from 3:15pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if so desired.

At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings followed by a procession to the memorial tree where the Provost will lay a wreath and light the tree.

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

A girl places a purple heart on the tree in remembrance

Following the service all those attending are cordially invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced a similar situation.

Provost Hall said: “The annual service provides those who have been affected by suicide a chance to commemorate their loved ones and also find support from others who have faced similar heartbreak.

“I would encourage anyone who feels this may benefit them to come along and join me at the service as we remember those lost too soon.”

The local support group meets on the last Wednesday of the month, 7:00pm-8:30pm, at the Wynd Centre, Paisley and new members are always welcome.

Lisa Aitken, Choose Life Resource Worker, said: “It is important that we remember those lost to suicide and also support those who have been affected by the loss of a loved one.

“The annual service provides an opportunity for people to meet others who have faced similar difficulties and all are welcome to attend.”

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093

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CONTACT THE ELDERLY RECEIVES £10,000 FROM THE AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND

Contact the Elderly has kicked of the New Year with a bang, being announced as the winner of the 2016 Aviva Community Fund receiving £10,000.

The funds will help support the charity’s existing groups, including two in Paisley, ensuring its older guests continue to have regular, free tea parties to look forward to throughout the year.

Contact the Elderly competed with hundreds of local organisations around the UK to receive funding as part of the Aviva Community Fund 2016. The annual nationwide initiative, which launched in September, called upon Aviva customers and passionate charity supporters to submit a project close to their hearts to be in with a chance of securing funding ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000.

Morna O’ May, Head of Scotland for Contact the Elderly said:

“We are thrilled to receive this fantastic funding boost from the Aviva Community Fund and would like to say a big thank you to all of our supporters who voted for us and helped spread the word.

“We are looking forward to putting this money to good use as we continue to make a real difference to the lives of our older guests, combatting loneliness and social isolation.”

Once a month, on a Sunday, a volunteer driver collects one or two guests from their homes and joins them at a volunteer’s house for afternoon tea before returning them safely home. A volunteer host welcomes a group of six to eight people once or twice a year.

To find out more about Contact the Elderly tea parties in your area or to become a guest or volunteer please visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

 

 

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Piazza shows support for bid with Paisley 2021 signage

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be seen by five million rail passengers this year – after bosses at the town’s Piazza shopping centre unveiled a giant Paisley 2021 sign.

The branding has just been installed on the side of the centre’s recently-revamped multi-story car park, which faces on to the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street station.

And it means passengers at the station – Scotland’s fourth-busiest – won’t be able to miss the giant advert for Paisley’s ambitions.

Maureen Hill and Cllr Macmillan on the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street, looking on to the sign

Councillor Mark Macmillan – chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board – said: “We looked at various sites in the town and identified the Piazza car park as one being seen by huge numbers of people.

“A big part of the bid is about raising awareness of Paisley and changing perceptions of the town among potential visitors.

“This means the millions of passengers a year travelling between Glasgow, the airport, Ayrshire and Inverclyde will be aware of what is happening here.

“A successful bid will bring massive economic benefits to Paisley town centre and huge numbers of visitors spending their money with local businesses.

“When the bid goes in it will be crucial we can show the judges at DCMS there is support from throughout the local community.

“To date more than 100 local businesses have shown their support and I would like thank The Piazza for getting involved in this way.”

The Piazza multi-storey car park has a capacity of 336 spaces and recently had a £1.3m revamp, which saw external and internal improvements.

That included extra disabled and parent/child bays, work on the lighting and surfaces, repainting the outside of the building, and new lifts and CCTV.

Piazza manager Maureen Hill added: “We made a major investment in the new car park because we have confidence in what lies ahead for Paisley town centre.

“If Paisley was to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it would be a massive boost to ourselves and other town centre businesses in terms of footfall.

“We are delighted to show our support for the bid to the many millions who pass through the station each year.”