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Paisley to host Monte Carlo Classic Rally

Paisley to host Monte Carlo Classic Rally.

Renfrewshire has pulled off a major coup as it gets set to host one of motorsport’s most iconic and world-renowned events – the Monte Carlo Classic Rally.

Up to 100 classic cars dating back to the 1920s will assemble in Paisley town centre before setting off for the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera.

The event – on the evening of 23 January 2014 – will see Paisley as one of five departure points, alongside Barcelona, Stockholm, Oslo and Reims.

Date: 23 January 2014

Time: Entertainment from 4pm, cars leaving from 6pm

Venue: Abbey Close, Paisley

Vehicles driven by classic car lovers will set off from outside Paisley Abbey on the 2,688km adventure to Monte Carlo, via the Channel Tunnel and over the snow-covered French Alps.

Since the event returned to Scotland in 2011, around over 30,000 spectators have watched internationally-famous cars such as Imps, Triumphs, Porsches and Bentleys set off for France.

This year’s event is expected to see the total economic benefit to Scotland top the £4 million mark since 2011.

The entry list is truly global, with crews from Scotland and the UK joining crews from across Europe. Among those are a Mediterranean mega-yacht captain in a 1958 Riley, a Zurich-based world land-speed record hopeful in a Porsche, and two French crews who will travel to Paisley only to go all the way back again.

Residents had a chance to see some classic cars up close for themselves at a launch event outside Paisley Abbey today (Thursday) – including a 1926 Bentley and a Renfrewshire-made Hillman Imp.

There on the day were Rosemary Smith, Irish rally driver of the 1960s, who will be starting the race, and Paul Coulter – who wrote the play Linwood No More about Linwood’s former Hillman Imp factory and who will be taking part in the rally.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to welcome this prestigious event and would like to thank the organisers for bringing it here.

“Being chosen to host an occasion of this calibre is a major thumbs-up for the area and the latest boost to Paisley and Renfrewshire’s fast-growing reputation as a venue for top-class events.

“Our events strategy – including this year’s Royal National Mòd and Spree arts festival – is helping to drive the regeneration of the area and boost local businesses.

“We look forward to another big crowd in January and I’m sure the sight of these magnificent vehicles assembling in the town will be a spectacle not to be missed.”

Douglas Anderson, competitor and spokesman for the Rally Start Committee said: “Since we brought the rally start back to Scotland in 2011, it has surpassed all expectations. It is exciting, colourful and endures in peoples’ imaginations.

“Paisley will be an excellent location as a start venue. It has a stunning visual backdrop, with the historic Abbey and Town Hall.

“It also has quick access to the first stages of the route for the cars of all eras that will be taking part. We know it will be a spectacle which befits such a famous event.”

A still-to-be-announced week-long programme of related events will take place around Renfrewshire to mark the occasion – with the area’s links to the car industry through the former Hillman Imp factory at Linwood set to be celebrated.

Paul Coulter, writer and rally competitor, added: “This year is the 50th anniversary of the production of the first Hillman Imp in the area, and 2014 will be 50 years from the first time Imps took part in the rally.

“Paisley was at one time the epicentre of the Scottish car-building industry and it is fantastic to mark this anniversary with the rally starting from the town.”

You can find information about the rally on its Facebook page.

Images courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

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15 Best places to visit in Paisley

PillarGallery

15 Best places to visit in Paisley.

I asked the question to members of our Facebook Community recently “Where are the best places to visit in Paisley or where is the best place to go?” We had a fabulous response and some I would not have even thought of, I will thank everyone personally at the bottom of this page.

PillarGallery

I am sure even if you live and work in the town you have been to a few of the places listed below, if you have your own favourite and its not listed then please use the comments form at the bottom of the page to add your very own..

  1. Paisley Museum & Art Gallery – The memory of the interior is a big draw for many as it holds a special place in peoples’ thoughts, so shows how much an impact it can make.
  2. Barshaw Park – The serenity of sitting on one of the benches watching the world go by and having a great view of Paisley’s landscape. You can take it easy or use the outdoor gym, there is also a hidden garden which is a real Paisley treasure and often overlooked.
  3. Saucel Hill – Sitting at the top of this hill, which is close to the hustle and bustle of the busy life in town makes it seem a million miles away.
  4. Glennifer Braes Country Park – Its a hit with many visitors, the beauty of living in Scotland is you can be in the countryside within 5 minutes and with stunning views of the town and quiet peaceful soundings this place helps most people gather their thoughts for the day.
  5. Oakshaw area of Paisley – This historic area is abundant in fascinating buildings and has a story around every corner, from Meetinghouse Lane, The Wynd, PACE Theatre, The High Church with its steeple and associated history, The Gaelic Chapel, Thomas Coats Observatory and the old school building of John Neilson makes Oakshaw a must visit.
  6. The Statues of Paisley – Paisley has many fascinating statues and each tells the story of a segment of the town’s history, from Paisley’s poet Robert Tannahill and The Coats brothers through to modern day Scouts statue and lots more. Don’t miss Witherspoon’s statue at the front of The University of the West of Scotland and also our glorious Cenotaph right in the centre of town.
  7. The Sma’ Shot cottages – This really is a place where you can walk through Paisley’s history and also meet some fascinating people. There is so much to see, from the original looms and the cottage set up as a museum of the time, to a relaxing cup of tea from a china cup in the café.
  8. Thomas Coats Observatory – Look outwards towards the universe of which Paisley is of course the centre. This place is astronomical!
  9. Paisley Town Hall – Paisley’s magnificent Town Hall has recently been refurbished outside and in for the recent visit of the Royal National Mod. You will find helpful information about the town at the main desk, lovely events space and a great venue for any kind of party, of course being Scottish we need no excuse.
  10. Paisley Abbey – Parts of the Abbey date back to 1163 when it was a Cluniac Monastery, it has been frequented by many Scottish Kings. William Wallace was educated here. This is the most prominent building on this list and it is rightly so, this is a must visit.
  11. Anchor Mills – Right next to the Hamills waterfall on the River Cart which flows right past this building. This now renovated building is the least visited of all our places due to it being a business centre and private housing, this is usually only open to the public once a year on Doors Open Day, with the beautiful atrium being the main attraction.
  12. The Hamills Waterfall – Mentioned above, this is a place so close to the town centre with many fishermen trying their luck in a now healthy river. This is an excellent place for photographs and some peace and quiet.
  13. Town Centre Walk – Follow the Heritage trail and you will be guided around most of the buildings and statues of the town, information on this can be had from the Town Hall.
  14. Woodside Cemetery – The resting place for many of our ancestors, the walk around the cemetery is likely to be an informative look at the stories of people who are now at peace. The Beild is just as you enter the cemetery and is home to the 7th Paisley Scouts in their newly refurbished centre.
  15. Thomas Coats Memorial Church – The Baptist Cathedral of Europe also features on our list of favourites and when you see this Gothic Style building you will see just why. If you know someone who studied at Paisley’s University then they probably had their graduation ceremony here, making this another jewel in Paisley’s visitor attractions.

 

When asking for this information from our members one of the group Stuart Duffy, who is a local photographer, posted the following statement which I found fascinating and is actually why I started taking interest in the town to begin with.

Stuart says “Paisley: An enormous resource for photographers

No matter your main hook in photography, Paisley presents itself to you as a golden place to spend a day.

Street: Street Photographers will find the “Buddie” a fantastic subject, they are honest and earthy. They are also more approachable than their cousins in other towns and cities, and in Paisley Town Centre there is a backdrop of historical buildings nestled in the architectural mistakes of the 70’s which are being removed/upgraded. Which leads me into …

Architectural: You could spend a day without having to travel more than a mile from the train station and have a months’ work at the end of the day. Cobblestone roads and paths, architecture running from the early 19th century and an Abbey that is not just old, open and friendly, they are positively welcoming.
Take a trip up the hill and pass the Coats Observatory, graveyards and roads and paths that easily let you experience Victoriana

Nature and Wildlife: I have spent a day in Barshaw Park, regardless of the season, but if you travel further afield you have wide open spaces and wild woods to allow you to capture natural wildlife.

Fashion/Social/Portraiture: There are amazing backdrops, panoramic views and cubbyholes where you can really make the session pop… within 15 minutes walk you can go from a waterfall to an ancient building and on to a leafy avenue.

Best of all, its friendly, it’s greatest asset is that the people of Paisley are friendly … oh, and you are normally only 10 minutes from coffee and cake.

When you leave by train, you might want to give yourself some time… Paisley Gilmour Street Station is worth some time!”

I hope that you have found this list helpful and the next time you are in town you will think differently and visit one of these fascinating places.

You can find more paisley Visitor Attractions listed on our Visitor Attraction Section.

Thanks to: Betty McLatchie, Nic Armstrong, Catherine Steel, Aileen Wilson, Anne McNair, Lynsey Moore, James Murray, Robert Smith, Lyndsay Cameron, David McLean, Andy Campbell, John McCue, William Robertson, Stuart Duffy, Mags MacGee, Scott Manson, Margaret Blair and Roddy Boyd.

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Paisley Fireworks Video in full

paisley fireworks

Paisley Fireworks Video in full.

hiltons-hair

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Edwyn Collins at Paisley Abbey Photographs

Edwyn Collins at Paisley Abbey Photographs

The fantastic Edwyn Collins performs in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Festival, all photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with paisley.org.uk

 

 

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HRH The Princess Royal visits Paisley

HRH Princess Royal

HRH The Princess Royal visits Paisley.

Today saw HRH The Princess Royal pay a visit to Paisley and the nine day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature. The Royal National Mod runs from 11th – 19th October 2013 and is to attract thousands of spectators from across the central belt as it visits the Renfrewshire city for the first time in its 121 year history.

Amongst the venues visited by HRH The Princess Royal were Paisley Abbey and also Paisley Town Hall helping raise Paisleys profile nationally.

Here is a fantastic set of Photographs taken by Ian McDonald for www.paisley.org.uk.

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Capercaillie in Concert at Paisley Abbey Photographs

Capercaillie in Concert

Capercaillie in Concert at Paisley Abbey Photographs

From their homeland roots of Argyll, Capercaillie have been credited with being the major force in bringing traditional Celtic music to the world stage.  With some of the finest musicians on the scene:  Manus Lunny; Charlie McKerron; Donald Shaw; Ewen Vernal; Michael McGoldrick; David Robertson; Che Beresford and the exquisite voice of Karen Matheson, their innovative approach to traditional sources and influences and the excitement they create through live performance explains the widespread esteem in which they are held in the current explosive folk scene.

Photographs courtesy of Digitalpict Photography in partnership with www.paisley.org.uk text courtesy of www.thespree.co.uk

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Paisley Fireworks Event 2013

fireworks-abbey

Paisley Fireworks Event 2013

The town centre of Paisley will be alive to the sound of Fireworks this year when the annual pyrotechnics display comes to town on the 2nd November 2013. This event is extremely popular with families and if last years Halloween theme event was anything to go by then they just get bigger and better…

Time: Entertainment from noon, fireworks at 6pm

Venue: Paisley Town Centre

fireworks-abbey

Don’t miss Paisley’s fabulous Fireworks Spectacular! We have entertainment through the day in Paisley town centre before the fireworks finale.

The day kicks off at noon, with street entertainment including stilt walkers, balloon modellers and face painters, plus puppet shows in Paisley Town Hall.

The Clyde 1 roadshow will provide entertainment all afternoon on the stage in Gauze Street, with live performances from boyband Rewind and kids’ favourites the Singing Kettle.

Running order is as follows: Noon – Clyde 1, 1.30pm – Sweet Injection, 2pm – Clyde 1, 3pm – Singing Kettle, 3.30pm – Clyde 1, 4pm- Nycki Symz, 4.30pm – Clyde 1, 5.30pm – Rewind, 6pm – Fireworks display

The big event will take place at 6pm, when the skies above Paisley will explode with colour during the fireworks display.

In celebration of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this year’s display will be focused around great sporting music, from the movies to the big sporting events themselves – everything from Chariots of Fire to Rocky!

The event has been increasingly popular in previous years so we advise visitors to get here early, enjoy the sideshows, and get the best view of the fireworks.

Remember, parking is free in all council-metered bays every weekend. There will also be additional free parking at West College Scotland, Paisley Grammar School, Wallneuk Road and Castlehead High School.

Please note there will be extensive road closures in the area around Gauze Street in the town centre, starting from Saturday morning.

Below is a small video from last years event, in the foreground is Paisley Abbey, video was taken by Ian McDonald for www.paisley.org.uk

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks

Photographs are taken by various photographers for www.paisley.org.uk including, Alex Kyle, Anchor Mill Studios, Ian McDonald, Tracey Clements and Brian McGuire.

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Explore area’s hidden gems for Doors Open Day

Paisley Abbey

Explore area’s hidden gems for Doors Open Day

The countdown is on to Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Day, with more than 60 local buildings set to offer visitors a peek behind the scenes this weekend.

The event offers residents a showcase of the area’s fascinating architectural history, with this year marking the 20th anniversary of Renfrewshire’s participation.

This year – for the first time – there is a special feature for children in the form of a wicked-history-themed Diabolical Diaries booklet.

There will be prizes for any child who picks up at least five ‘venue-stamps’ in their booklet, available through all libraries and participating venues.

Buildings set to throw open their doors include historic gems such as Paisley Abbey as well as newer sites like St Mirren Park and the On-X Leisure Centre in Linwood.

Other highlights include a chance to see the A-listed Bascule Bridge at Renfrew in action, with the bridge set to open at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on Saturday.

Also open will be local churches, fire stations and Paisley Sheriff Court. There will also be tours of Glasgow Airport, but places on these are now fully booked.

Paisley Abbey

Other events of note include:

– a family fun day in Paisley’s Johnston Street to mark the end of a £1m investment in the Causeyside Street area from noon until 5pm on Saturday;

– an information event regarding the project to restore the stunning 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens from 1 to 4pm on Saturday;

– a consultation event to let residents have their say on the latest proposals for the Semple Heritage Trail project in Lochwinnoch’s Castle Semple Centre on Sunday from noon until 4pm.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Doors Open Day is a great chance for residents to uncover the hidden gems on their own doorstep.

“Renfrewshire has some superb buildings, both old and new, and I would encourage everybody to get out and about and take stock of their own surroundings.”

Residents are also invited to take part in a photo competition through social media.

All they have to do to be in with a chance of some great prizes is share their photos of the day on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram tagged with the hashtag #doorsopendaysrenfrewshire

Doors Open Day is one of many European Heritage Days, which take place in over 50 countries, with more than 20 million visits each year.

For more information and for a full list of participating venues, visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk, or pick up a brochure from any Renfrewshire library.

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Doors Open Days unlocks over 1000 doors this September

paisley abbey

Doors Open Days unlocks over 1000 doors this September

Knights Templar on horseback, Princess Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce, King Edward, young people from PACE and Spark or Genius, Aberdeen Asset Management’s David Watt, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and some Diabolical Diaries officially launched Doors Open Days 2013, Scotland’s annual celebration of buildings, people and places at Paisley Abbey on Wednesday 28 August.  

(This years Doors Open Day takes place on 14th-15th September)

paisley abbey
Doors Open Days® 2013 introduces a bit of theatrical flair to an already exciting programme of artists studios, castles, caves, houses, factories, riverboats, canal cruises, green doors, early railways and much, much more.

Paisley Abbey and staff hosted the national launch event on Wednesday 28 August, along with national Doors Open Days® coordinators Scottish Civic Trust’s staff John Pelan (Director) and Pauline McCloy (Events and Development Officer) and Renfrewshire Council staff Amanda Moulson (Town Centre Projects and Events Manager) and Donna Gallagher (Town Centre Projects and Events Assistant).

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and Aberdeen Asset Management’s David Watt’s joined in the fun in Paisley’s town centre where staff and young people from Spark of Genius donned Knights Templar costumes on horseback to mark the occasion, whilst young people from PACE youth theatre group dressed as famous faces from the Abbey’s past introduced Renfrewshire’s Diabolical Diaries, a specially designed young person’s programme of Doors Open Days events throughout the region. Diabolical Diaries are now available to collect from libraries and participating venues.
To download a copy of the Diabolical Diaries or the Adult programme for Renfrewshire see http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

For the full, national programme of Doors Open Days events see www.doorsopendays.org.uk

Background:

Doors Open Days gives free access to sites normally closed to the public, or which usually charge an entrance fee.  Doors Open Days® is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust. It runs throughout Scotland every September as part of European Heritage Days.

From the first event in 1990 as part of Glasgow’s City of Culture festival the Doors Open Days® event has grown to become of one of Scotland’s most popular and widespread cultural festivals. Now in its 24 year Doors Open Days can look forward to over 1000 buildings and events taking part from the highlands to the borders, more than 5000 staff and volunteers helping organise and run events and venues, and more than 200,000 visitors expected to attend.   For more details see www.doorsopendays.org.uk

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said:

 “Aberdeen Asset Management is delighted to support Doors Open Days for the third year running.  We decided to remain involved in 2013 and 2014 following the excellent feedback we received from colleagues and visitors who had taken advantage of the wonderful opportunity to tour the buildings covered by this great initiative.”

 

John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said:

“Doors Open Days is a wonderful celebration of buildings and communities in equal measure. It gives people a unique access to places normally out of bounds and spaces out of sight. The Scottish Civic Trust are proud to be the national coordinators of this wonderful festival and of the opportunity it provides to the Scottish public to explore their local surroundings. We are delighted to have the support of Historic Scotland and Aberdeen Asset Management.”

 

Anne Hall, Provost of Renfrewshire, said:
“Renfrewshire very proud to hold the National launch for Doors Open Days which always proves hugely popular. It is a wonderful way for local people and visitors to enjoy and celebrate Renfrewshire’s rich heritage for free. I would like to say thank you to everyone who came along to the national launch event for Doors Open Days, in particular to ‘Spark of Genius’ and Pace Theatre Company for their support.  I feel it’s really important to involve the young people in Renfrewshire and I hope that they not only enjoy Renfrewshire’s buildings, but also its past in the Children’s booklets ‘Diabolical Diaries’ and what a better way to start it than here at the Abbey.  This administration is fully supportive of town centre events to assist with the regeneration of the town centre and Renfrewshire on the whole.”

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Paisley 10k road race attracts almost 1,500 runners

paisley 10k

Paisley 10k road race attracts almost 1,500 runners

Around 1,500 runners pounded the streets of Paisley at the weekend as the annual Paisley Vision 10k road race took place.

The event – doubling as the Scottish Athletics West District 10K Road Race Championship – saw serious runners and enthusiastic amateurs alike strap on their running shoes.

Hundreds of residents lined the streets as they turned out to cheer on the runners in the sunshine.

The 10k course started and ended in County Square and took runners through Ferguslie Park on its way to Asda, before coming back through the west end of the town along the Paisley – Kilmacolm cycle track.

Along the way, runners passed local landmarks such as Paisley Abbey and Town Hall, St Mirren Park and the University of the West of Scotland.

The first man home was Callum Hawkins of Kilbarchan AAC, in a time of 30:40 and the fastest woman was team-mate Hayley Haining, in 34:28.

The road race was followed by a fun run, which saw a record-breaking entry of around 700 runners tackle the 3km route around the town centre.

The winner was Kilbarchan AAC’s Conor Thomson in a time of 08:47.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, who was there on the day to present medals to the winners, said: “Events like this are great for bringing a crowd into the town centre and it was lovely to see so many people turn out to cheer on their friends and family.

“The runners will have had their own reasons for getting involved, whether it be to raise money for charity or just to get themselves fit – but they are all winners.”

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, added: “The promotion of sport and healthy lifestyles is something the council is very keen to be part of.

“The turnout was up on recent years, which is testament to how well-established this event has become.

“We made changes to the pricing structure for this year’s event in line with feedback from participants, and I am glad people have responded to that.

“I would like to thank all those who gave up their time to help with the organisation of the race, as well as our race sponsors MEPC for their contribution.”

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.