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Swimmers enjoyed dancing the Splashing White Sergeant!

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Swimmers at Renfrew Victory Baths certainly splashed out to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. They took part in an Aqua Ceilidh with Scottish dancing in the pool.

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Leisure and as well as enjoying Scottish music being played on the pool’s sound system, the swimmers were entertained by six-year-old Hayley Carlton, from Renfrew, who gave them a demonstration of Highland dancing at the poolside.



And afterwards there were traditional Scottish refreshments of
Irn Bru, shortcake and teacakes.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The staff at Renfrew Victory Baths always go the extra mile to put on events to mark special occasions and involve the swimmers who come along on a regular basis.
“The poolside was festooned with Scottish flags and everyone had a great time, especially when they danced the Splashing White Sergeant and the Spray Gordons in the pool!”

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Kids bag themselves some great books

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah

EVERY Primary One pupil in Renfrewshire has been given a bag full of books and fun activities to encourage them to read.

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah


Renfrewshire Leisure staff visited schools to hand out Bookbug Family Bags as part of Book Week Scotland.
The family bags – produced by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government – contain three picture books, an activity book, a whiteboard, pen and magnetic numbers.

The three books are – There’s a Bear on My Chair, by Ross Collins; Hare and Tortoise, by Alison Murray and Shark in the Park, by Nick Sharratt.

All three titles have been shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Prize 2017 and youngsters also received a voting form to choose their favourite for the award.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning mobile library and event space, The Skoobmobile also visited local primary schools when the gift bags were handed out.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “By handing out Bookbug Bags we aim to create a lasting link between reading at school and at home.

“If youngsters can develop a love of reading and books at an early age, the chances are this will continue into adulthood.
“We’re doing all we can to encourage youngsters to read and enjoy books.”

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“Star” Paisley Museum Burns manuscript to go on show every January

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An original Burns manuscript that has been in Paisley Museum and Art Gallery’s collection for almost 100 years, but was only recently rediscovered and authenticated, is to go on display in the museum every January when light levels are low enough to protect the delicate ink on paper artifact, and to coincide with Burns Night.

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Announcing the month-long exhibit in 2017 (January 17 – February 19) for St. Andrew’s Day (November 30), Renfrewshire Leisure chair, Councillor Jim Harte, said, “I am absolutely delighted that the only existing manuscript of a lovely piece of Burns social verse will be on display in Paisley Museum in the New Year for a limited period and each subsequent January thereafter.

“We are proud to possess this charming piece and thrilled to share it with visitors during what is an extremely important time for Scotland’s largest town. We will be finalising Paisley’s bid for the title UK City of Culture 2021 during the early part of 2017 and this fantastic exhibit reveals yet another layer to our fascinating culture.”

The short verse, written in reply to a party invitation, is in typical Burns style  including wordplay – he combines the tradition for indicating the day of writing with something that suggests he is worse for wear, in “Foorsday”; highlights his joy at the invite, and pledges his attendance whether by horse, or by cart.

The artifact was verified in a letter to the Museum last year by Professor Gerard Carruthers of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow. He said:

“The manuscript is clearly in the handwriting of Robert Burns. The ink and paper are a good match to other authentic Burns manuscript productions. 

“The poem dates from 1785 – 1786. The first publication to give an indication of its origins, and how it came to be in the collection of Paisley Library is ‘The Works of Robert Burns Volumes 1 – 5’ edited by The Ettrick Shepherd and William Motherwell. Motherwell was Secretary of the Paisley Burns Club in 1819 and became President in 1821. This puts him at the centre of Paisley literary life when the poem first surfaces. Motherwell noted that, ‘We are informed it was presented to the library by the late Mr. John Clarkson, of McGavin and Clarkson, threadmakers, Paisley’.”

The manuscript will be displayed alongside a portrait of Burns by James Tannock (1784 – 1862) also in Paisley Museum’s collection. Born in Kilmarnock, Tannock was originally a house painter, but after lessons from Alexander Nasmyth – who was a friend of Burns – became a successful portrait painter.

 

The manuscript reads:

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

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

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Water way to celebrate St Andrew’s Day

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SWIMMERS at Renfrew’s Victory Baths are being given the chance to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in a rather unique way.

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Staff have organised an Aqua Ceilidh with Scottish dancing in the pool.

The event takes place between noon and 1pm on Wednesday, November 30 and there will be Scottish music playing along with traditional refreshments, like Irn Bru, shortcake and teacakes afterwards.

Staff will be wearing lots of tartan for the St Andrew’s Day Aqua Ceilidh and tickets are only £1.50 from the pool reception.

And after the adults have had their fun, it’s the turn of the kids with an Aqua Run inflatable for them to play on in the pool between 1pm and 3pm.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have regular water aerobics classes at Renfrew Victory Baths, but since St Andrew’s Day was coming up, we thought we’d inject a bit of extra fun into the proceedings and have Scottish dancing at the shallow end of the pool.

“It will still be great exercise and afterwards everyone can enjoy a taste of Scotland.
“We can’t wait to see everyone doing the Splashing White Sergeant!”

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Renfrew hosts major national athletics event

Laura Muir

RENFREW plays host to a major national athletics event for the first time on Saturday. (November 5)

Scottish Athletics bring their Short Course Championships to King George V Park at Broadloan with six races across junior and senior age groups.

Laura Muir

Laura Muir

And already the event is being declared a success with more than 1200 athletes on the entry lists – a record for these particular cross-country championships.

Adding to the excitement is the news that Laura Muir will defend the 4K title she won a year ago at Bellahouston Glasgow at Renfrew on Saturday – with the Commonwealth Record holder at 1500m and Olympian having been named Scottish Athlete of the Year last Saturday night.

The Short Course Championships are the second event in the Lindsays Cross Country season following a National Relays at Cumbernauld.

“Laura has regularly competed at cross country at this time of the season as part of her training and racing programme,’ said Muir’s coach, Andy Young.

“We feel doing that at this stage gives an endurance athlete a great base of fitness for the track season the following year. The conditions were extremely wet and muddy last year in Glasgow but she still won the race well and I understand the course at Renfrew is very flat, which should lead to good times over 4K.’”

The U15 girls and boys race first, over 2K, followed by U17 girls and boys over 3k. The Senior Women’s race, which has attracted almost 300 entries, goes off at 12.10pm and then the Senior Men’s race is at 12.35pm. Jake Wightman, the Scottish athlete who reached the European Championship final in the 1500m for GB in Holland in the summer, is among 493 names for that race.

“We’re delighted to be bringing a National Scottish Athletics event to Renfrew,’ said Alasdhair (correct) Love, the organisation’s events manager.

“Renfrewshire Leisure have been extremely supportive about the whole idea and we are looking forward to Saturday. The Short Course is one of our fastest-growing events in terms of cross country and we need a large venue.

“The entry numbers have jumped from 700 only three or four years ago to just over 1200 this time, but with the support of Renfrewshire Leisure, help from our volunteers and officials and a common sense and patient approach by athletes and clubs, I’m sure it will be a successful day.

“Scottish National Championship medals are at stake for teams and individuals and it is also a big factor in Scotland selections for cross country for a forthcoming British event in Liverpool, so that certainly adds to the competitive element.”

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have some of the best sports facilities in the country for both outdoor and indoor events.

“It’s testimony to these high standards that the course at KGV has been chosen to host such a prestigious race in the athletics calendar.

“We’re looking forward to a fantastic day of racing, particularly as there is such a high calibre of athletes competing.”
Muir and Andy Butchart won the 4K titles last November at Bellahouston but Butchart, who was also at the Olympics in Rio, misses Saturday’s race at Renfrew because of altitude training in the Pyrenees.

Nearby club Kilbarchan AAC are always strong in the younger age groups and, at U20 (who run within the Senior races), look to have medal contenders in Euan Gillham, Jemma Reekie and Laura Stark.

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Take a selfie in Dracula’s coffin!

Graveyard tour guide Emma Armstrong gets a fright as she stumbles on Dracula and his coffin in the ground of Paisley Arts Centre

HALLOWEEN horror fans are being given the chance to take a selfie as they lie in a coffin at an ancient graveyard.

That’s the spooky experience on offer at Paisley Arts Centre as part of a Halloween Graveyard Tour, on Friday, October 28, as dusk falls at 5.30pm.

Graveyard tour guide Emma Armstrong gets a fright as she stumbles on Dracula and his coffin in the ground of Paisley Arts Centre

Graveyard tour guide Emma Armstrong gets a fright as she stumbles on Dracula and his coffin in the ground of Paisley Arts Centre

The arts centre is in the converted Laigh Kirk – which was the second oldest church in Paisley when it opened in 1738 and had almost 70 graves in the church grounds.

Dracula gets ready to welcome visitors to the Paisley Arts Centre Halloween Graveyard Tour

Dracula gets ready to welcome visitors to the Paisley Arts Centre Halloween Graveyard Tour

Paisley Arts Centre, in the town’s Witherspoon Street, opened in 1987 and visitors are intrigued by the unusual mort graves that look like table-tops they see close to the entrance.

The centre is now a popular venue with a diverse range of drama, dance, comedy, jazz, popular music and family events throughout the year.

In the run-up to Halloween, the grounds are being transformed into a pumpkin patch for the free graveside tour with pumpkin soup and Halloween cupcakes on sale in the arts centre café.

coffin-2
And of course, the fang-tastic opportunity to pretend you are Dracula and rise out of the coffin, which will be placed among the gravestones.

The arts centre is run by Renfrewshire Leisure and its chief executive, Joyce McKellar said:
“We’re having a really spook-tacular event at Paisley Arts Centre in the run-up to Halloween this year and the Graveyard Tour will not only be educational, but fun as well.
“The grounds of the former Laigh Kirk can feel eerie, especially as darkness begins to fall – and that’s when we’ll be having the graveyard tour.
“It might even get a wee bit scary if visitors stumble on people lying in a coffin taking selfies!”

Contact Paisley Arts Centre on 0300 300 1210 for more information about the Halloween Graveyard Tour.

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Paisley gets set for Halloween spooktacular

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Paisley is gearing up for a spooky entertainment extravaganza at the weekend when the annual Halloween festival once again takes over the town centre.

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The hugely popular annual event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is one of only a few of its kind in Scotland and will take place over Friday evening and all-day Saturday.

The first day of fun runs from 6 to 9pm on Friday, starting with a lantern-lit parade down the High Street from the UWS main entrance to Abbey Close, led by the stunning Spark! LED drummers.

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Abbey Close itself will be home to a fire garden run by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank, featuring fire-breathing sculptures, illuminations and much more.

Paisley Town Hall will be Spook Central, with Halloween arts and crafts, family disco, storytelling, puppet shows and music sessions with Feis Phaislig.

Saturday will see more of the same from 12 until 9pm, but with the addition of a main stage featuring live music from local musicians and dance groups and entertainment from Pulse FM DJs.

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Both days will also have a funfair, street entertainers and a great selection of outdoor food vendors.

This will be the third year of the Halloween Festival and kicks off Renfrewshire’s major winter events programme, with the Paisley Fireworks display (Sat 5 Nov) and Christmas Lights Switch-on (Sat 12 Nov) set to follow.

And this year will see a special treat with the world premiere of a new performance by award-winning visual theatre artist Al Seed taking place in Paisley Town Hall’s Loggia room.

Described as a dark gothic melodrama inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Raven, tickets for shows on Wednesday and Thursday are on sale now via www.renfrewshireleisure.com

The show is one of the first to be funded by Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events fund, which aims to boost cultural capacity in the run-up to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Paisley Halloween Festival back for another year – it has been a hugely popular family day out with locals and visitors alike since it started in 2014.

“Again, we expect thousands of people to descend on Paisley town centre over the two days, providing an economic boost to the local area and local traders.

“This year’s winter events are extra special as the last ones to take place before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 goes in next year.

“And with that in mind, we are delighted to welcome critically-acclaimed performer Al Seed to the town for a unique performance made possible by the Paisley 2021 bid.

“But the event is also a great showcase of the talents of the thriving grassroots creative scene we have here in the town.

“That goes from the young people making costumes and starring in the parade, to the many music and dance performers of various ages who will take to the main stage on the Saturday.”

The groups taking part in the weekend include Independent State of Happiness, Right To Dance, Street Stuff, Floor4orce, Solid Rock Cheerleaders and Rock Us Community Choir.

For more information, visit  www.paisley2021.com

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Award-winning theatre maker premieres new show in Paisley

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Paisley is set for a unique Halloween spectacular as multi-award-winning visual theatre maker Al Seed holds the world premiere of his latest solo show The Tapping as part of the town’s winter festivities.

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The show – a gothic-horror melodrama based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – is part of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and taking place during its Halloween festival, in Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October.

Al – a former artist in residence at Glasgow’s The Arches – is a critically-acclaimed performer who designed his latest performance based upon a long-term fascination with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and elements from Greek myths.

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The show is one of the first to be funded through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – a five-year £500k programme to transform the town’s creative scene and build up cultural capacity during the Paisley 2021 bid.

Paisley 2021 Project Director Jean Cameron said: “For an artist as well respected as Al Seed to premiere his new show here is a major coup for Paisley ahead of the bid going in next year – and it just highlights our growing reputation as one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations.

“We are delighted the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has enabled Al to create this original piece of work and I would recommend you book early for what is sure to be a fantastic spectacle in one of Paisley’s iconic venues.”

The Tapping is described as ‘drawing upon the myth of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld’ and will ‘take its audience down a hallucinatory spiral of madness’ within the stunning backdrop of Paisley Town Hall.

The show relies heavily upon strong visual and design elements, original music, and the space in which it is set, while drawing upon the history and conventions of gothic-horror literature and art, and related genres.

Al Seed added: “I am delighted to be presenting the debut of The Tapping at Paisley Town Hall and in support of the Paisley 2021 bid.

“This past year it has been wonderful to receive so much support in the making of the show; especially from the staff at Paisley Arts Centre, Johnstone Town Hall, and Paisley Town Hall itself. I am now really looking forward to sharing the finished results.”

The Tapping will be at Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October. Tickets – costing £10 and £6 – are available now at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by calling 0300 300 1210.

The show is being produced by FERAL Arts in association with Renfrewshire Leisure. Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Events and Heritage Fund as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

Paisley’s Halloween festival is free to attend and runs from Friday 28 until Saturday 29 October and will feature a spectacular lantern-lit parade through the town and a fire garden of flame-breathing sculptures. More information at www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Radio show comes live from Johnstone Library tomorrow 2nd November 2-4pm

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

BOOK fans will be able to attend a live broadcast of BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth Show, at Johnstone Library tomorrow 2nd November 2-4pm.

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

Janice Forsyth, who will present her live radio show from Johnstone Library

Producers chose the library to host the popular arts and culture show – between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday, November 2 – after it had been recommended by the Scottish Library and Information Council.

Johnstone Library will remain open throughout the broadcast and people are being encouraged to come along and make up the audience.

The show is being held at the library as part of the BBC’s Love to Read campaign, which encourages people to read books.

Presenter Janice Forsyth will interview library staff, a youngster from the local Children’s Book Group and members of the public, as well as featuring Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning Skoobmobile mobile library and activity space.

She will also chat with authors, including romantic comedy fiction writer, Jenny Colgan, who will visit Johnstone library to take part in the show.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, which runs the local libraries service, Joyce McKellar said:
“Everyone who is interested in books and reading is invited to come along to the library to watch and hear the show being broadcast.
“It’s a feather in the cap of the staff who run our libraries that a Renfrewshire library was recommended as a good place to host a live radio show like this.”

Jacqueline McBurnie, Head Teacher of St Anthony’s Primary School in Johnstone, is among the guests on BBC Radio Scotland’s popular Janice Forsyth Show being broadcast today live from Johnstone Library.
Jacqueline is one of more than 800 teachers in Renfrewshire who have taken part in a ground-breaking partnership with the University of Strathclyde to transform the way children are taught to read. She says that it’s had an amazing effect on the way she and her colleagues deliver the way they teach reading – and on pupils.

The Renfrewshire Schools Literacy Development Programme has been so successful in improving reading abilities that Renfrewshire Council plans to extend the scheme even wider locally – along with a number of other measures to improve children’s school performances.

You can listen to Jacqueline talk about instilling a love of books and reading among children on the Janice Forsyth Show’s live broadcast from Johnstone Library, shortly after 3pm on BBC Radio Scotland today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07zxjyd

 

 

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They’re good sports for backing Paisley’s City of Culture bid

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

THE team running sports and leisure activities in Renfrewshire is backing Paisley’s bid to win City of Culture status in 2021.

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Yesterday, board members of Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs sports, leisure and cultural centres locally – spelled out exactly why they support the bid.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have no doubt that Paisley’s rich heritage allied to the vibrant cultural activities Buddies are presently involved in and the fantastic plans for the future, merit City of Culture status.
“Sport, whether in participating or spectating, plays a huge part in the culture of our town. And we at Renfrewshire Leisure, as providers of sporting and leisure facilities are well aware of the wide variety of activities people are enthusiastically taking part in.
“Our role in delivering a first-class arts and culture service also supports the bid for City of Culture status.
“We’re big supporters of the Paisley City of Culture bid and we’ll do all we can to persuade the powers that be that the town deserves that accolade.”

Renfrewshire Council launched the Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021 campaign to capitalise on their long term regeneration plans for the town – such as the £56.7m flagship museum project and £200m investment in the town centre as part of Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “It’s fantastic that Renfrewshire Leisure has publically declared their backing for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
“RLL offer significant support to Paisley’s bid with a packed cultural programme that builds upon Paisley’s contemporary cultural scene, taking place in some of Paisley’s magnificent venues – such as thought-provoking exhibitions in Paisley Museum and spectacular performances in Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall.
“Paisley 2021 has already been a journey of self discovery for Paisley and Renfrewshire – the town is realising its ambitions, its self confidence and the profound relationship between culture, health and wellbeing – and that’s thanks to our diverse cultural programme.