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Old friends ‘reconnect’ through technology classes

Two old friends who had not seen each other for more than 60 years have reconnected after they both signed up to tablet classes.

L- R – Christine Maxwell and Elizabeth Young with volunteers at the Adult Tablet Class

Christine Maxwell and Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Young first met when they were 15 and 22 respectively and they worked in the planning department at Thomas White & Sons in Paisley. They each moved on to different jobs and had families and over the years they lost touch, although always sent each other a Christmas card every year.

The pensioners reconnected after they each decided to sign up to tablet classes after receiving tablets as gifts from their families.

The classes which are run by Roar: Connections for Life in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, are part of the Digital Renfrewshire Strategy’s aim to close the digital divide. During the classes participants go from the basics of how to turn on and handle a tablet, to how to safe search online, send emails, use social media, install apps, and sort simple problems.

Commenting on the chance meeting Betty said: “We didn’t recognise each other at first. Christine sat down next to me and then the teacher asked everyone to call out their names and that’s when we realised who each other was.”

Christine added: “It was a great surprise!”

The timing of their reunion is fitting as this week is the first National Digital Learning Week 2017 which aims to celebrate how digital technology can make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Betty explained her reasons for joining the course, she said: “My family bought me an iPad and at first I wasn’t the least bit interested in it. I thought that’s not like me at all. My daughter works in the reception at the University of the West of Scotland where the classes are held and she suggested I go to the tablet classes to learn how to use it. It’s been very interesting and a good laugh. I’ve always been a giggler.

“The classes have really helped me, there were things on the iPad that I didn’t understand but I do now. I’m certainly interested in the iPad now and it’s good to get the company as well.”

Christine added: “My family were always telling me I was behind the times so I shocked them all by asking for a tablet for Christmas. My family are on Facebook a lot but I love playing scrabble on it – it’s really improving my scores I even managed to get a word worth 72 the other day!

“The classes have helped me learn more about what I can do with the tablet and it’s great that there are others there at the same level as me. I’ve also got another reason to look forward to the classes now with Betty being there.

Those interested in participating in the classes can contact Roar: Choices for Life: 0141 889 7481 or email: paul@roarforlife.org. Those with a good working knowledge of tablets wishing to volunteer should contact Lauren Gilmour, Digital Volunteer Co-ordinator, Engage Renfrewshire, 0141 887 7707 email:  lgilmour@engagerenfrewshire.com.

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New products launched at Hail The Villains

hail the villains
New products launched at Hail The Villains! Including a must-have Harley Quinn Infinity Bracelet! Big Bang Theory New Design Soft Kitty T-Shirt and much more at http://www.hailthevillains.com/whatsnew
As a thank you for shopping local we have an exclusive discount code! Use code – COMIC – at the checkout for an epic 10% OFF!!
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Fèis Week 2017

Our Fèis week takes place in July and welcomes all young people aged 8-18.

No previous experience of music is required, just an enthusiastic attitude and willingness to take part. Aimed at complete beginners to intermediate players, we aim to give all participants something that suits their ability and the opportunity to perform as part of a larger group.

Our classes run 10am-4pm from Tuesday 18th to Friday 21st July at Paisley Grammar School.

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Charity champion Corinne to be chief of 4,000 pipers at British championships

One of Renfrewshire’s charity champions will preside over more than 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers when they arrive in Paisley at the weekend.

Corinne last year with her Freedom of Renfrewshire award

Quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton, 47, who started the Finding Your Feet charity, will be event chieftain for the British Pipe Band Championships on Saturday.

She will greet more than 140 pipe bands from as far afield as Canada and Denmark when they gather before her for the final march-past and prize-giving at the event, to be held in the St James Playing Fields.

The Championships are free to attend, run from 10am to 7pm, and are taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Corinne, from Lochwinnoch – who made history as the first quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis – was also awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire last year in honour of her fundraising work.

The mum of one said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved and it was lovely to be asked – I am really looking forward to it.

“It’s a whole new ball game for me, although my brother did play the pipes and my son is now at that age where he might want to start playing a musical instrument.”

Corinne was invited to be event chieftain in recognition of her work to support hundreds of other amputees, inspired by her own near-death experience caused by sudden illness three years ago.

As she explained: “In June 2013 I was fighting for my life and losing – I had a bad cough and it turned into pneumonia and then blood poisoning.

“The medical staff saved my life but while my body was protecting the vital organs my hands and feet turned black and had to be amputated

“At first I couldn’t find any real help and started to feel a bit useless and that I could no longer get a job.

“But my way to fix all of that was by starting a charity called Finding Your Feet which aims to help amputees.

“So far we have worked with more than 150 of our troopers up and down the country by supporting them to get out and take part in activities – we are in Glasgow and Dundee and are looking to branch out into England.”

Attractions at the championships on the day include a bar, food market, the Slug in a Bottle craft market, Highland dancing competition and children’s entertainment zone.

There will be no parking at the site – other than for pipe band coaches – but free shuttle buses will run to and from the free event parking sites at the Paisley 2021 Stadium (Greenhill Road) and West College Scotland (Renfrew Road).

There will also be a free shuttle bus running to and from Paisley Gilmour Street station (Old Sneddon Street entrance) for anybody arriving in town by train. All three shuttle buses run every 15 minutes from 8am to 7.30pm.

More event information is on www.paisley2021.co.uk and a full list of bands and times can be found at www.rspba.org

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Award – Nominated Play, Descent, at Paisley Arts Centre

AWARD NOMINATED PLAY Descent by Linda Duncan McLaughlin TOURING SCOTLAND in Spring 2017

A play about love. And dementia. But mostly about love.

3pm relaxed performance*, 7.30pm evening performance

The CATS Award-nominated (Best New Play) Descent by Scottish playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin, which originally played as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Oran Mor and the Traverse in 2015 to huge critical acclaim, is touring across Scotland. The tour is supported by Creative Scotland Lottery funding.

The tour is visiting venues all over Scotland, from the far north of Thurso to the deep south of New Galloway, it opened at Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Saturday 29th April and will finish in Mull Theatre on Saturday 20th May.

Descent explores the story of 50-somethings Rob and Cathy who are looking forward to reclaiming their own lives now that their daughter Nicola is grown up and settled; but looming over all three of them is a threat that could rip their future apart.

It examines what happens as they try to hold onto each other – and themselves – in the face of early onset dementia. It doesn’t flinch from the heartbreak they face, but it also
celebrates the courage, the hope, the love and the humanity they bring to the fight.

Descent is directed by Allie Butler and is performed by Fiona MacNeil, Greg Powrie and Wendy Seager.

Helen Trew, Equalities and Diversity Officer at Creative Scotland said: “We’re pleased to support this multi-generational project which highlights the challenges faced by those suffering from early-onset dementia and those around them. We wish the company well for the tour which will enable audiences across Scotland the opportunity to engage with this poignant and enlightening work.”

Tickets are £10 (£6 conc) + bkg fee and are available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

*A ‘relaxed’ performance is designed to provide a less formal, more supportive environment for people who might be anxious about attending the theatre.
The show is the same, but sound and lighting levels are adjusted, and people can move about the auditorium during the performance or go to a separate quiet space if they need to.

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The two Johnstone Pipe Bands and Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band travelled to Gourock at the weekend for the local Highland Games.  On a mostly fine day weather-wise all three bands had decent starts to the season with the Schools band coming third in the Novice Juvenile B Grade in their first outdoor event.  The Grade 4 band won both of their competitions at that grade and also best drum corps in what was a fine performance.  The Grade 1 band also came third in their competition as they gear up for the British Championships this coming Saturday in Paisley.

Some of the Grade 4 drummers who won Best Drum Corps.   Pictures by John Shaw

Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “I am delighted with how our bands from Renfrewshire performed at the first outdoor competition of the season. Our brand new Renfrewshire Schools performed extremely well, considering how young and inexperienced they are to the pipe band scene. The grade 4 band continue to improve and perform well, continuing on their success from last year, and the grade one performed well with an improved standard which I hope reflects the hard work we have put in over the winter months. All three bands did our association proud and I wish them all the best for the rest of the 2017 season.”

Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band leaving the circle.

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

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Fun and laughter at marathon Bookbug session

TODDLERS had a marathon session of fun and laughter in the longest ever Bookbug session held at Paisley Central Library.
To celebrate Bookbug Week, Renfrewshire Leisure staged a Gigglethon in the library on Monday.

The theme of the Gigglethon was humour and children under the age of five, along with their parents or carers were invited to come along any time during the day to have some fun and a good laugh.
And everyone at the Gigglethon was given a free book, mask and sticker courtesy of the Scottish Book Trust.

The event, at Central Library is just one of several fun sessions being held in libraries and venues throughout Renfrewshire to celebrate Bookbug’s Big Giggle.
Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Our libraries are really fun places to go all the year round, but the marathon Gigglethon was extra special.”
Log on to www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk for more information about Bookbug Week sessions locally.

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Paisley to welcome 4,000 pipers for British Championships

Paisley will be invaded by a tartan army on Saturday when more than 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers descend on the town for the British Pipe Band Championships.

Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital – infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk

The St James Playing Fields will again host one of the most prestigious events on the world bagpiping calendar, as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

More than 140 pipe bands from as far afield as Canada, Denmark and Ireland will compete in the day-long event before judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).

Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital – infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk

The event is free to attend and a crowd of thousands is expected – the event arena opens at 10am, with the final march-past and prize-giving to take place around 5.30pm.

Attractions on the day include a bar, as well as a food market with a focus on quality Scottish produce from farm to fork, and the Slug in a Bottle craft market.

Free activities include a Highland dancing competition and children’s entertainment zone including giant inflatables, face painting and sporty fun with the team behind Renfrewshire’s Street Stuff Culture Bus.

This year’s chieftain is Renfrewshire charity champion and quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton – who has helped hundreds of people through her Finding Your Feet charity.

There will be no parking at the site – other than for pipe band coaches – but free shuttle buses will run to and from the free event parking sites at the Paisley 2021 Stadium (Greenhill Road) and West College Scotland (Renfrew Road).

There will also be a free shuttle bus running to and from Paisley Gilmour Street station (Old Sneddon Street entrance) for anybody arriving in town by train. All three shuttle buses run every 15 minutes from 8am to 7.30pm.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We are thrilled to welcome the British Pipe Band Championships back to the town for the second of its three-year run here.

“Events like this are important for the UK City of Culture 2021 bid as it shows Paisley has the infrastructure and know-how to host large-scale events.

“Our visitors from throughout Scotland and abroad will be guaranteed a warm welcome in the town.”

Ian Embelton of the RSPBA added: “We are pleased to be back in Paisley for another year and delighted to have another huge turnout from bands.

“Everything is in place for a day of top-class competition and I am sure the piping community and visitors alike will find plenty to enjoy.”

More event information is on www.paisley2021.co.uk and a full list of bands and times can be found at www.rspba.org

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Events at The Old Swan

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Summer Music Classes – Diane Mitchell Music School

During the months of July and August, we are offering a range of fun music activities to keep your children occupied, while learning valuable music skills.

We are now taking bookings for our Summer Weeks, which will run during the school holidays. We have a range of classes at both our Paisley and our Barrhead premises.

For more information on any of these classes, or to book a place contact us on 07896689816 or 01413286983, or by email at info@dianemitchellmusicschool.com

Information on the classes can be found at http://www.dianemitchellmusicschool.com/summer-music-classes/