Lanarkshire Paranormal investigated The Sma’ Shot Cottages in Shuttle Street Paisley on September 23rd 2012. Here is the report of the event.

An unlikely location.
There is nothing like the excitement of a large castle or a derelict hospital, the creepy atmosphere adds to the thrills associated with paranormal investigating, but never overlook the small and even cosy-looking places sited around our cities.
We were reminded of this when visiting an unlikely location, The Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley.

Sma-Shot-CottagesBeing a charitable organisation, we agreed to investigate the cottages and open up to the public in order to raise funds for this quaint little location. With a nightclub situated next door and the noise bellowing out, on arrival the team was uneasy about the success of this location and concerns grew as we set up the camera system and got a feel of the place.
How are we going to successfully call out with all that night club noise? And are we all going to spread out enough to get any activity without hearing each other? All this was on our minds, expecting a long and uneventful investigation… how wrong we were.
The teams decided, the cameras rolling, were ready to begin.
The first location was the area nearest the nightclub, the noise was horrendous. People queuing for the bar outside, calling out became more like shouting out (dawning on us now that a Saturday night was not the greatest idea here). After 20 minutes of nothing, we noticed the area getting really dark to a point where the street lights shining into the room through gaps in the window shutters were no longer silhouetting the antique looms and other furnishings in the room. People had to use their night vision cameras now just to see where they were walking. It was then we noticed the small bird cages hanging from the giant wooden looms swinging quite violently.
Being a solid stone floor and everyone far away from the looms themselves, we found this to be quite remarkable as well as physically impossible as there were no draughts, wind or any other elements that could have caused it.
As randomly as it started, it stopped again almost instantly. The light started to come back into the room, people started to report seeing human shapes in corners moving. Maybe we had underestimated this little location.
As the night went on, more shapes and several strange lights on the cameras appeared, not your usual perfect circle “orb like” lights, these had very abstract shapes and patterns.
The team was now in the reconstructed living room/bedroom area, already pleasantly surprised that this small city museum had more activity again – while calling out, again came the darkness. We asked if we were welcome and with an almighty crash the door into this room violently smashed open as if kicked from the other side, startling everyone. The door closed, we asked again and again, the door swinging open with incredible force.
Shadows and uneasy feelings were all around us throughout the night affecting emotions, the ladies feeling incredibly sad and the gentlemen feeling incredible anger. Strange smells of burning and choking were felt and we were only to find out later that there had been a fire in which a child died many years ago.
We left the building speechless and with great feelings of confusion. These are not your average bumps and bangs, not your normal, were they or weren’t they shapes? There is a story in this place, a story that the spirits which still reside in there are trying to show us.
We will return in March 2013 to try to find out what this place is telling us, other than never to underestimate small unlikely locations such as The Sma’ Shot Cottages Paisley.

Lanarkshire Paranormal ( are:
Stefan Richards, Co-Founder/Co-Manager
Jan Murdoch, Co-Founder/Co-Manager
Alex Kelly, Investigator
Debbie Murdoch, Investigator
Mark Adams, Investigator
Jamie Kelly, Investigator


Recruits show their Steel in engineering trip

Sparks were flying for Renfrewshire’s latest batch of Recruits when they paid a week-long visit to a local engineering firm.

The teenagers on the popular youth employability scheme were given a welding masterclass by staff at Steel Engineering in Renfrew.

The Recruit is a council-run programme loosely based on TV favourite The Apprentice, where young people take part in a series of challenges, with jobs on offer for the winners.

Currently, there are two editions of the scheme, set to run until March – one for school leavers aged 16 to 17 and one for unemployed young people aged 18 to 24.

The younger set of Recruits were given a tour of Steel’s site at Westway Park, and were trained in how to operate some of the equipment in the workshop.

And some of the youngsters put their new-found skills to good use, welding together some scrap metal to make a creation they called Robbie the Recruit Robot!

Two of the youngsters – Connor Barr, 17, and Skye Donnelly, 16, both of Paisley – were judged as the best-performing Recruits over the week.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, added: “Tackling youth employment is one of the council’s top priorities.

“This is why we have included an extra £4.5million to support jobs and the economy in the most recent council budget.

“The Recruit is a key part of our strategy to help equip young people for work and has gone from strength to strength over the few years it has been in operation.

“As always, we are grateful to local companies such as Steel Engineering, who give up their time to give the Recruits an insight into their work.”

Peter Breslin, managing director of Steel Engineering, said: “We were delighted to sign up for The Recruit.

“The engineering and renewable energy sectors offer wonderful career opportunities and The Recruit gives young people the change to experience real work environments and see what is involved.

“As an Investor in People company, we are extremely passionate about supporting youth employment initiatives and firmly believe in giving young people every opportunity to flourish within our expanding business.

“We are committed to providing top-quality training through our renewable energy training academy, TRESTA, and also employ 34 modern apprentices from our base at Westway Park.”

Steel Engineering is one of Scotland’s leading engineering companies, with a long-established base in Renfrewshire.

The company has developed a solid reputation within the expanding renewable-energy sector with a range of major contracts.


Songs of Praise recording at Paisley Abbey on Monday 1st April 2013

Churches, schools, choirs and keen singers from Paisley & surrounding areas are invited to sing hymns in a ‘combined choir’ for a Songs of Praise recording on Monday 1st April 1-5pm at Paisley Abbey. You are also invited to join the congregation for Holy Communion on Easter Day, Sunday 31st March at 10am. This service which we will broadcast live on BBC One.


To apply for tickets for the Easter Monday Songs of Praise recording follow the instructions below. The 10am service on Sunday 31st March is not ticketed but please arrive early and be seated by 9.30am.

  • Via email:
  • Or via post: Songs of Praise (Paisley Tickets), 1st Floor, Dock House, MediaCityUK, Salford M50 2LH

Paisley-Poster-2 FINALPlease be sure to include the following:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if applicable)
  • Number of tickets you would like to apply for
  • Whether you would like Congregation or Choir tickets (N.B. for Choir – please also remember to state how many Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass tickets your require)
  • Any access requirements

Deadline for ticket applications is Wednesday 6th March

Please note that our recordings are often very popular and therefore we ask that you only apply for tickets that you will be able to use. We do try to accommodate everyone, but in the event that we are oversubscribed we will allocate on a pro rata basis.

Download the Application Form to take part in Paisley

For more information please visit

Recruits with James (left) and Mark (right)

Recruits get trained up in blaze of glory

A group of young people from Renfrewshire’s Recruit programme were put on red alert when they took part in a day of fire warden training.

The Recruits – all aged 18 to 24 – are taking part in the latest edition of the popular youth employability scheme – loosely based on telly favourite The Apprentice.

The two-month-long programme sees them take part in vocational training while competing in a series of challenges designed to help them improve their skills.

The fire training was hosted by Paisley-based company Code Red, which helps educate organisations about fire safety and first aid.

The young people were given a presentation on fire safety and took part in some group exercises – including using extinguishers to tackle a real fire!

James McMahon, director of Code Red, said: “We are a local firm so it is an honour and pleasure to be part of The Recruit and to give something back to the community.

“This was the first time we have been involved with The Recruit but we enjoyed the day immensely.

“We talked to them about the importance of fire training and about what the role of a fire warden involves.

“This means the Recruits now have all they need to be fire wardens at any future employer – they know how to use extinguishers and evacuate buildings.”

Recruit Kathryn Ingram, 20, originally from South Africa, but who now lives in Paisley, said: “The Recruit is really fabulous and I would recommend it to anyone.

“It is tough to get a job, as you often find you can apply for things and never hear back.

“But this is a great way to improve your skills and knowledge. Even getting the chance to meet new people is good too.

“I really look forward to it – sometimes the days where we aren’t in seem boring in comparison!”

Currently, there are two editions of The Recruit – one is for 16 and 17-year-old school leavers, and the other for unemployed young people aged from 18 to 25.

Both programmes are set to conclude with a grand finale at Renfrew’s Glynhill Hotel in March, with the winners on the night to receive job offers.

Fairtrade at Kilbarchan PS

Fairtrade Fortnight events kick off around area

Schools and organisations across Renfrewshire have been trading fair as part of the nationwide Fairtrade Fortnight extravaganza.

The event – designed to raise awareness of the scheme, which guarantees fair prices for producers in the developing world – kicked off on Monday 25 February and runs until 11 March.

Many of the area’s primary and secondary pupils are being asked to think about how they can help improve conditions for poor farmers on the other side of the planet.

Among them were pupils at Kilbarchan Primary, which is running a rice challenge, where pupils will sell Malawian rice to help raise awareness of farmers in the impoverished African country.

Head teacher Liz Somerville said: “The children on the school’s Fairtrade group came up with their own plans and we had a special assembly.

“Every child went home with a Fairtrade balloon, weighted down with an order form for Malawian rice.

“That way, they would be walking about the village with the balloons, meaning people would see them and ask what they were for.”

Other activities taking place at local schools include tuck shops, food taster sessions and Fairtrade-based learning activities.

Elsewhere, various Fairtrade groups around Renfrewshire are banding together to help promote the scheme.

Saturday 2 March will see the second annual big banana walk, in the form of a ‘relay’ from village to village, with members of each local group passing on the banana-shaped ‘torch’.

It starts at Lochwinnoch cross at 9.45am, and moves on to Kilbarchan, then Bridge of Weir and other villages. Along the way, walkers will visit local businesses which serve Fairtrade products.

The Lochwinnoch Fairtrade group will host a special coffee morning on Thursday 28 February at the Junction, while their Bishopton counterparts will do the same at The Cornerstone on Saturday 9 March.

Also, Paisley’s Piazza Shopping Centre will play host to a Fairtrade Fine Fare cookery demonstration on Friday 8 March.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, who chairs the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, added: “Fairtrade Fortnight is a fun way to be part of a very worthwhile scheme.

“The recent announcement of Scotland as a Fairtrade nation shows how much people have taken the cause to their hearts.

“There is more information on how you can get involved at”

Renfrewshire Council is also running a Fairtrade Business of the Year competition, with all local firms invited to show their ethical trading credentials.

Application forms can be downloaded at


Council Leader says Paisley rail timetable change is ‘too little, too late’

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has criticised a decision to introduce an additional hourly off-peak service running on Saturdays only from  Glasgow to Ayr Gilmour Street via Paisley Gilmour Street  as ‘too little, too late.’

A timetable change introduced in December 2012 halved off-peak rail services from Paisley Gilmour Street to Ayr to two journeys per hour.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Now First Scotrail is planning to add a further hourly off-peak service on Saturdays only from May 2013.

The company says a similar change  will be put in place on services running between   Monday to Friday – but not until  2014.

Councillor Macmillan said:  “Renfrewshire Council, along with business and academic leaders, warned before the journey cuts were made in December 2012 that the cuts in the number of journeys from Paisley to Ayr was a mistake.

“Despite that, the timetable changes were forced through.  At the time, Transport Minister Keith Brown assured passengers there would be no significant impact.

“It has taken just two months for the true impact to become apparent and this change to be made.

“I welcome the fact the rail authorities have listened.  But more needs to be done – and quicker.

“This reversal of policy is also proof the efforts of Renfrewshire Council and others to speak up for Renfrewshire and make our case to government for fairer treatment on funding and services are bringing results.

“As regards rail transport, Paisley Gilmour Street is Scotland’s fourthth busiest rail station.  Reducing the number of services stopping at the station damages the regeneration effort for Paisley, Scotland’s largest town, and reduces transport connections to both Glasgow and Prestwick Airports.

“It also affects the student community travelling between the UWS campuses at Paisley and Ayr.

“We will continue to press for full restoration of rail services at Paisley Gilmour Street on a fast-track basis – not the year of delay and wasted opportunity which is presently on offer.”


Come and Sing at Thomas Coats Memorial Church

This coming Easter we will be hosting a Come and Sing event to raise funds for the church. The Crucifixion by Sir John Stainer is known and loved around the world, with his lyrical solos to the flinging wide the gates (with tuba fanfares!). We last performed this work in 2010, when a recording was made – the final copies of this will be available to purchase on the night.

thomas-coatsJoining us for the performance will be organ virtuoso Christopher Nickol, and vocal soloists Kieran White and Nick Cowie from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Full details of the event, and the booking form for singers are attached. Audience tickets will be available on the door.

This event will be the first of many this year to use our famous 4 manual Hill pipe organ. The organ has been silent for the last few weeks as expert restoration work has been carried out on the main bellows below the church.

Starting in April we are delighted to announce a series of free recitals on the organ. It is hoped that, if successful, these will become a regular feature at TCM.

The first three recitals are:

  • Sunday 21st April, 4pm:       Matt Edwards (TCM)
  • Sunday 19th May, 4pm:       Laurence Caldecote (Nuneaton)
  • Sunday 16th June, 4pm:       Christopher Nickol (New Kilpatrick)

Each recital will be approximately 40-45 minutes and entry is free – yes FREE!

It is hoped to have CCTV in place so that the audience can see what happens at the console.

Thank you again for your support of our work at TCM, for more details on the church, music and concerts please visit our website: The website also includes several video clips of the organ in action.

We look forward to welcoming you back to TCM in the coming months!

Download the application form StainerForm-300313


David Wallace walks the hot coals to help PACE Youth Theatre would like to express our support to David Wallace from PACE Youth Theatre in his endeavours to walk on hot coals, please read below for more information on how to help.

pace-youth-theatreDavid says “I think I once said I would walk over hot coals for our Youth Theatre. Well now I am going to. In these hard and difficult times the Youth Theatre needs every penny it can get and so I and others are walking on hot coals on Saturday 20th April to raise much needed funds.

PACE has an ethos of using drama to give young people the skills that will help them in life, but we also provide happy memories and true lifelong friendships…..that’s something money just can’t buy….! So please go to and support us if you can, with whatever you can, and share this with your friends. Thanks so very very much.”


David Wallace
Executive Director
PACE Theatre Company
0141 848 7471

George Pub Fire

Causeyside Street fire – latest

Demolition contractors working for Renfrewshire Council have started work making safe the gutted remains of The George public house on the corner of Causeyside Street and George Street, Paisley.

Once the structure has been brought down to a safe level engineers from Scottish Power will move in to restore electricity to 47 people who have been without power since Sunday night.
George Pub Fire
Power supplies are expected to be restored by approximately 7pm tonight (Monday 25 February).

Six flats above the public house were destroyed in the blaze rendering 18 people homeless. All were either immediately provided with short-term accommodation by the council or made their own alternative arrangements.

No-one was injured in the fire, which started at 3.25am on Sunday 24 February, extensively damaging the building and prompting a major response from

Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.
All the road closures, put in place in the aftermath of the fire, are still in place:
·       Causeyside Street is closed in both directions between Gordon Street and New Street
·       George Street is closed between Wardrop Street and Causeyside Street
·       Johnston Street is closed because it can only be accessed by vehicles from Causeyside Street at George Street.

The situation is being kept under review. Residents and drivers should watch media road reports for updates and the council’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.
Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “The council plays a major role at the height of an incident alongside the emergency services. But once the hose pipes have been rolled up and the Police cars have gone we take over the ‘recovery phase’ of the incident.

“Building standards employees are coordinating the demolition work needed to make the structure safe and allow Scottish Power to restore electricity to the area. Other employees are patrolling nearby streets, providing information to residents and an all important safety net for those residents who were away from their flats and have come back to find that their homes’ have been destroyed.”

“A key part of the council’s role is providing information during and after an incident and we have set up a range of communications channels to keep people in touch with the latest developments.”
·       Telephone:  0141 618 4399
·       Mobile (on-site employees): 07733 307983
·       Twitter:  @rencouncilnews#GeorgeSt
·       Facebook: facebook/renfrewshirecouncil
·       An information point is also operating at 58 Causeyside Street.


NLP Theatre presents ‘How to Make a Killing in Bollywood’.

Join us at Paisley Arts Centre on March 22 for a brand new comedy full of life, laughter, colour, dance, music and tragedy.

make-killing-bolywoodFrom the theatre company that brought us ‘Singin’ I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim’, How to Make a Killing in Bollywoodfollows Scottish based actor Raza Khan as he is turned down for yet another acting job. Faced with the stark reality of a lifetime serving chips and cheese to local neds in the family takeaway, Raza resolves to give his acting ambition one last try. A last ditch attempt to make it big. And where better to hit the dizzying heights of fame and fortune? Bollywood! 

Join in the laughter as Raza and fellow actor friend Gurjit set out on a journey that will change both of their lives forever.

How to Make a Killing in Bollywood will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Fri 22 March at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling our Box Office on  0141 887 1010 or

For further information on How to Make a Killing in Bollywood, future events and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook

You can find out more from following this link

George Pub Fire

The George Pub fire damage, Paisley Photographs & Video

Fire damage to the George Pub on Causeyside Street / George Street, Paisley.
Fire ripped through the building in the early hours of Sunday 24th February 2013; thankfully there are no reports of any injuries. Firefighters from Strathclyde Fire Brigade are dousing the smouldering shell which looks unsafe, while Reigart Demolition are inspecting the premises in preparation for either securing or the demolition of the building. Causeyside Street and the end of George Street are closed to traffic and to the public until further notice. All Paisley Photographs taken by Brian McGuire.

Video of the Fire Damage:

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Traditional Scottish design for the home

Whether or not the home is actually in Scotland there are plenty of Scottish designs that can be incorporated to create a feeling of highland living. Some of the ideas may mean a little remodelling of the home that is not always possible for those on a tight budget, but there are several tips and tricks that can be used by those who do not have a lot to spend but who still want to create a little taste of Scotland right there in their own home.


cottageFor those who do not mind a little remodelling of the home to create the look they want, then stone fireplaces are the way to go. Make it a feature of the room, and have the wall it is on covered in stone cladding. Done just right this can give the living area of the house the wow factor. It also means that it is possible to have a real fire blazing on those cold winter nights – just like in a traditional Scottish home. A wicker basket nearby containing logs for the fire will also look pleasing, and a lovely ornate fireguard can be used for both safety and style. Older style guards and fireplace tools can be bought from a reclamation or salvage yard for a little authenticity.


Tartan fabrics are synonymous with Scotland. If there is any Scottish heritage in the family it is possible to find out if the family has their own tartan pattern and colour, and then it can be utilised throughout the home. If there is no Scottish ancestry then simply pick a style that feels right – it can be used for curtains, throws and bedspreads. It can also be used to reupholster furniture. However, too much tartan will look overwhelming, so cushion covers in the chosen tartan fabric against a plain sofa will look great, just like a tartan bedspread and curtains would look very good in an otherwise neutral bedroom.


Scottish people are very family orientated so furniture is often large to accommodate plenty of seating space. If the home has enough space then a large 3-seater or 4-seater sofa and two armchairs will work well. The dining room is often the heart of the home so extending dining tables are a must-have item. This way they can be closed when there are only a few people eating or expanded when the whole family gets together for a meal.

Finishing touches

Vases of fresh flowers are a must and should be included in many of the rooms.  If they are wild flowers than that is even better, particularly when arranged in a rustic style vase. Scotland has many open spaces, it is full of beautiful countryside and fabulous wildlife, so the fresh wild flowers help to bring a little of that wonderful beauty into the home.  Wooden furniture should also be chosen. Large sideboards, dressers and tables with antique handles will look fabulous in a Scottish style home. Adorn the walls with framed canvases of sweeping highland landscapes to really finish off the look.