Paisley Thread Mill Museum.

Following a recent award from the Weir Trust, we are now open all year around on Wednesday and Saturdays from 12-4pm.  Visitors can be taken around the museum’s displays by one of our volunteer guides, some of whom are former mill workers and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

We currently run a stitching group on the days we are open to stitch two panels about Paisley for the Scottish Diaspora project, designed to celebrate the Scottish influence around the world as part of the 2014 Year of Homecoming

New volunteers are always welcome, especially if you have a personal connection to the Mills or practicals skills that can help us maintain the museum and our displays.   If anyone is interested in volunteering, please drop in when we are open or contact us via our website, Facebook or twitter.



paisley songwriters guild

The Paisley Songwriters’ Guild.

The following blog is a brand new feature to the Paisley website and is written by Alan McKim who is a talented musician and song writer from Paisley. I have followed Alan’s progress over the years and I have to say his talent and hard work is abundant. I just had to invite Alan to share his journey and explain just what goes in Paisley’s Music scene, please click the links below to find out more information and show your support for local talent.

Alan McKim Blog.

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Brian McGuire for the opportunity and invitation to post my first ever blog on Paisley’s official website ( It gives me great pleasure to be one of the many people involved in Paisley’s current music scene, which it seems for generations, has been a hot-bed of thriving talent and diverse creativity.

I’m lucky to be involved with both The Bungalow and the Paisley Songwriters’ Guild, two great platforms for such musicianship. Having been open for just over a year and a half, The Bungalow has already played host to countless quality performances from hundreds of artists and bands. Our initial goal was to create a welcoming space, atmosphere and environment for both musicians and gig-goers alike, and this continues to be our main objective to this day. We have many great things in store, and all upcoming events can be found on the ‘Gig Listings’ section of our website at The Bungalow consists of a great team of wonderful and hard-working people who all aim to make your visit to our venue as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. The Bungalow was built with pride, love and integrity, and I believe the spirit of such work continues to resonate throughout the entire building to this day.

paisley songwriters guild

It is without doubt, one of the most humbling projects I have ever been involved with. That’s not to say I take any credit whatsoever in the creation of the venue, as my job mainly consisted of making cups of tea and coffee, and mixing the odd dodgy batch of cement! The Bungalow to me represents more than just a music venue; it represents the coming together of like-minded souls who share an equal passion for the spirit and sense of community both musical and otherwise. To say that The Bungalow is run by friends is an understatement; it is more like a family. This not only includes those who work there and those who helped to build the venue, but the customers as well.

I joined forces with Chic O’Connor, founder of The Paisley Songwriters’ Guild, when several years ago outside the Paisley Beer Festival over a cigarette he asked me if I’d like to be involved. Knowing the sheer volume of talent I had witnessed in my days hosting the Crow Bar open mic night, it was without hesitation I came on-board. We held our first night in Caffe Luna on Storie Street (what is now De Beers), and the success of this evening encouraged us to continue with the project. From there we moved to the original Hamishes Hoose, which saw many an evening of cracking original song-writing talent. After two years, and with the opening of The Bungalow music venue, it was mutually decided that it made sense to move the Guild there and make this our new home. The Paisley Songwriters’ Guild hosts nights on the first Sunday of every month at The Bungalow, running from roughly 5:30pm to 8:30pm (next one is this Sunday 2nd of February).

It doesn’t stop there though; at the end of last year, the PSG released their debut album, ‘The Paisley Songwriters’ Guild, Volume 1’. This contained 16 members who had all put forward a song to be included. If you’d like to purchase this album, it is available in not only The Bungalow, but also The Argyll Bar, The Old Swan Inn, as well as Apollo Music in Causeyside Street and both The Record Market and The Music Centre in the west-end. Physical copies of the album can also be ordered and delivered worldwide directly from To download a digital version of the album, it is available on iTunes, Amazon, HMV Digital (all the usual digital download websites etc.), and is even available to stream on Spotify if you simply fancy a listen. This is an album that both Chic, I and all of those involved are immensely proud of, and believe it showcases some of the incredible level of song-writing, the PSG has to offer. In fact, already since its release there have been many more talented musicians come forward and request to be included in Volume 2, which we aim to begin work on at some point this year.

The latest addition and branch to the PSG tree, is the creation of PSG Radio, Paisley’s very own musical internet radio show, which broadcasts around the world live every Monday from 7-8pm (GMT), streaming directly from We’ve already had some wonderful guests and featured artists on previous shows (all of which can be heard as podcasts found on the site), and we aim to continue this high standard of musicianship long into the future!

Paisley’s ambitious regeneration proposals are approved.

An ambitious multi-million-pound masterplan aimed at transforming Paisley’s future has taken its first step forward after being given the thumbs-up by councillors.

The Paisley Town Centre Asset Strategy contains a series of bold proposals which – if fully adopted – could increase the town’s tourist economy by £45m a year, create 800 jobs, and pave the way for a bid for UK City of Culture status.

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall

Councillors on the Economy and Jobs Board today (Wednesday) gave the green light for a series of detailed business cases to be prepared outlining how the plans can be brought to life.

And the decision has been hailed by Council Leader Mark Macmillan as ‘the start of something great’ for the area.

Councillor Macmillan said: “If these forward-thinking and exciting ideas are carried through, it would result in a total transformation of the town’s tourist potential.

“Today is just the first step, but it may be the start of something great, and the first step towards a better future for all of Renfrewshire.

“These plans may be aiming high but we have every reason to be talking the area up – the report makes clear just how much Paisley has to offer.

“I want the area to be all it can be and to fulfil its potential. What we have agreed today is a clear vision of how – with the right investment – we can do just that.”

The report describes Paisley’s heritage offerings – including more than 100 listed buildings, rare books and paintings, and the finest Paisley Shawl collection in the world – as being of ‘international interest and significance’.

The recommendations in the strategy – written after extensive consultation with experts – include:

– a multi-million-pound revamp of Paisley Museum to create a nationally-recognised Museum of Textiles, Fashion, Costume and Design;

– a study into possible new theatre space in the town, and further development at key tourist sites including Paisley Town Hall and the Coats Observatory;

– the creation of a Paisley Fashion and Design Centre, amid other improvements to the look of the town centre;

– work to investigate whether Paisley’s industrial legacy could be recognised as having UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Should this work be delivered, Paisley would be in a position to bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021, potentially following other areas which have successfully used heritage-led regeneration strategies in recent years, such as Derry-Londonderry and Hull.

The contest – run by the UK Government – is open to large towns and urban areas.

Councillor Mark Macmillan on Paisley High Street

Councillor Macmillan added: “We are already carrying out a lot of good work in the area – improvements to Paisley Town Hall, funding secured to preserve the Russell Institute, development under way on the former Arnotts site.

“But the plans agreed today would see us take that work to the next level.

“They will also see an expanded programme of cultural activity around the town, meaning we can build on our existing and successful events strategy.

“That saw us attract a crowd of 10,000 for the Monte Carlo Classic Rally last week, on top of the success of the Royal National Mòd and Spree festival last year – and we hope to attract more events of that calibre in future.”

Council officers will now prepare detailed plans for how each of the strands of the strategy can be made to happen, including exploring funding routes for where the estimated £90m investment could be secured.

These will be brought back before the council at a later date.

Next stop, China – Ballet West presents Swan Lake at Paisley Town Hall.

For one night only, the dancers of Ballet West will perform the classic tale of Swan Lake at Paisley Town Hall on 20 February 2014.

Using Tchaikovsky’s stirring score and a moving adaptation of the original choreography, the dancers of Ballet West will tell the story of the love of a young man for the cursed Odette, who is destined to spend her life as a swan, unless true love can release her from the spell of the evil Von Rothbart.

Ballet West uses professional dancers with students about to begin their careers. Over recent years, the company has developed a significant reputation for producing very high quality, classical ballet, which has developed loyal audiences in venues throughout Scotland.


Swan Lake is expected to take flight to China following an extensive tour of Scotland in January and February. This move to the Far East follows extremely successful Chinese tours of previous productions The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet in recent years.

Please be aware that tickets to this event are selling very quickly and we advise booking soon to avoid disappointment.

Swan Lake will be at Paisley Town Hall on Thursday 20 February, 7.30pm. Tickets to the performance cost £12 (£10 conc) and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

The Butterfly Trust.

The Butterfly Trust provides support in the community for people affected by cystic fibrosis throughout Scotland. Our team of trained volunteers provide face to face support services that include emotional support, help to negotiate official systems in regard to housing, education and employment issues, mentoring for young people with cystic fibrosis, massage therapy for young adults with the condition and transport to hospital appointments for people who are not sick enough to qualify for mobility help and cannot afford a car.


The Befriender role is a role which involves offering support to a young person living with Cystic Fibrosis. Befrienders share social activities and support to explore concerns so the person can grow self confidence and develop life skills.

Young people living with this progressive and debilitating condition can face a variety of challenges that disadvantage them socially, financially and in the workplace. Their restrictions on their lifestyle can leave them isolated and sometimes struggling to cope. A befriender will meet with a young person regularly to build a trusting one to one relationship. This will allow the young person space and a suitable environment to explore their feelings, discuss their fears and grow their self-esteem.

A befriender must have access to a car and held their driving licence for a minimum of two years.

If you require any further information, please contact me on or call 0131 445 5590.

Sony Award winning presenter and comedian kicks off a New Year of laughter.

Des McLean, the award-winning presenter, actor and stand-up legend from Glasgow will headline our first comedy night of 2014.

A Buddy Good Laugh, Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ newest comedy strand, is where laughter fans should flock to catch the hysterical Des on stage on Thursday 30 January at Paisley Arts Centre.

By far the runaway success of Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ autumn 2013 programme, A Buddy Good Laugh has been created in partnership with local promoters Dead Sheep Comedy with one goal in mind: to bring top-notch comedy to Renfrewshire.

Des McLean

With each night MC’d by Dead Sheep Comedy creator and local comic Scott Gibson, A Buddy Good Laugh enjoyed a hugely successful debut last year and everyone involved is looking forward to another five gigs between January and June in 2014.

Joining Des McLean on January 30 will be ex Scottish Comedian of the Year Scott Agnew as well as Only An Excuse creator Phil Differ.

A Buddy Good Laugh will be back for 2014 on Thursday 30 January. Doors open at 8.15pm and the show will start at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8 conc) and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

Line-ups for A Buddy Good Laugh gigs Feb – June are available online now, visit for more details.

New approach to help troubled teens launched.

Renfrewshire Council has launched a campaign to recruit a team of ‘treatment’ foster carers in a pioneering approach to help troubled teens.

Treatment fostering is a new programme proven to help young people with challenging behaviour and provide support for their families.

Central to the programme is the recruitment of the treatment foster carers who offer temporary foster placements to a young person and who have the time to work as part of a dedicated treatment team to bring about positive change for the young person and their family.


Treatment Foster Care Manager, Angie Gillies, said: “There’s no better or more rewarding challenge than helping a young person to get back on their feet.

“Anyone who understands young people and wants to make a significant difference can become a treatment foster carer.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to do something meaningful and potentially, it could be the start a new professional career.

“Our foster carers provide full time care to our young people and receive a fee equivalent to a full-time salary and allowances to meet the young person’s care needs.

“They are supported around the clock, able to take frequent breaks and are entitled to four weeks annual leave”.

Renfrewshire Council has signed up to deliver this innovative programme in partnership with East Renfrewshire Council, East and West Dunbartonshire councils, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and the Scottish Government.

Treatment fostering was recently introduced in Scotland by Glasgow City Council. It is an evidence based model of intervention from Oregan in the USA, which has been trialled in other parts of the UK.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Well-Being Policy Board said: “The best place for a young person to develop is with their own family. But where this isn’t safe or doesn’t meet the young person’s needs, we have a duty to provide an alternative option.

“Treatment foster care is a new initiative we want to be able to offer to young people and families in Renfrewshire. Families who could benefit from a temporary break from each other in order to recoup and rebuild their relationships.

“We therefore hope anyone who has an interest or background in helping young people comes forward to find out more information about treatment fostering”.

For more information visit or free text FOSTER along with your name to 80800.

Quest4Talent – Renfrewshire’s very own X Factor-style show

– is looking for talented youngsters to apply for this year’s extravaganza.

The race is on to find the next generation of singing and dancing talent in Renfrewshire

Quest4Talent – Renfrewshire’s very own X Factor-style show – is looking for talented youngsters to apply for this year’s extravaganza.

Organised by Paisley Rotary Club, the annual talent search has uncovered some hidden gems in the past – and, this year, it could be you.

The chairwoman of the competition, Diane Mitchell, said: “I am delighted that we are able to launch Quest4Talent 2014.

“It has been very hard work but it is so exciting and rewarding to see the wealth of talent that exists in Renfrewshire and the surrounding area.

“We believe that, by running this event, we are doing something positive for the young people in Paisley, giving them a chance to promote their talent.”

This year, there are six categories – vocal, instrumental, piano, dance, traditional, groups and bands, and choirs/glee clubs.

Each category is split into three age groups: seven to 11, 12 to 17 and 18 to 25.

Auditions will be held at Paisley’s Wynd Centre, and the David Lloyd health club, in Renfrew, with the finalists picked to perform on stage at Paisley Town Hall.

This year’s launch event was held at Braehead, where a large crowd gathered to watch former winners put on a show.

Jade Burke, Courtney McHarg and Rebekah Kirk all sang, while Rebekah Mitchell played the accordion.

The event was hosted by Your Radio DJ Fraser Thompson, and Diane was thrilled that it was such a success.

She said: “We received a great reception from shoppers, many of whom stopped to watch the show.

“We were also taking a collection for the restoration of the Glen Cinema Disaster memorial and that was also successful.

“This year’s show will hopefully raise even more money for the memorial, and it’s hoped that we can get close to our target of £6,000.”

In the past, Quest4Talent has raised thousands of pounds for charities such as PolioPlus and Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, as well as local charities Paisley YMCA and Paisley Caring Group.

Rebekah Mitchell, 18, a former pupil at Gleniffer High, in Paisley, is a previous winner of the instrumental category through her accordion playing.

She said: “I’ve been playing the accordion since I was six and I’ve been entering Quest4Talent since it started. It’s a great experience.”

Her mum, organiser Diane, said: “Hundreds of youngsters have entered Quest4Talent since its inception, but this year we’re hoping to make it bigger and better.”

This year’s heats will be staged at the Wynd Centre on Monday, February 17; Tuesday, February 18; and Wednesday, February 19; and at the David Lloyd Centre on Monday, February 24; Tuesday, February 25; and Wednesday, February 26.

The grand final takes place at Paisley Town Hall on Thursday, April 3.

To enter or for more details, go to the website at or phone Natalie on 0845 130 5218.

All photographs above were taken by Alex Kyle Photography.

Paisley Photographs of the World-famous Monte Carlo Classic Car Rally.

Here are more excellent photographs from Paisley and the Monte Carlo Classic Rally which left from Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall. All photographs below were taken by one of our volunteers and local photographer Alex Slaven Photography.

Scottish Cup comes to Hamishes.

Tonight, the Scottish Cup comes to Hamishes as part of a Carling Promotion, photographs will be taken by our in house team and yours to take away. Football teams welcome.

scottish_cup_sns (1)

Tomorrow: Shoot the Craw a powerhouse female vocal led band that will blow your cobwebs away. Brilliant stuff.

20th Feb Psychic Evening, Individual readings must be booked before hand a £1 will reserve your place, pop in and get the bar staff to add you to the list, evening followed by our famous Karaoke.

1st March Penny Dogs, a fabulous Duo covering all types of music with an incredible guitarist and a smooth Saxophone player, a sort of live request show, dancing is encouraged.

3rd May Republic of Soul Hamishes favourite sons return for the first of their summer gigs. A brilliand sound which covers rock, soul, punk and funk.

5th July Sma Shot day. The Underground Jam make another welcome appearance in the Hoose in aid of local charity Loud n Proud, last year the place was packed with admittance only if someone left, but no one did.

30th August Republic of Soul again


Paisley to Monte Carlo Rally Photographs.

Paisley went classic car crazy this evening as a crowd of around 10,000 turned out to see magnificent machines from through the ages for the Monte Carlo Classic Rally.

A total of 66 vehicles set off from outside Paisley Abbey on the 2,688km trek to the French Riviera at the only UK start leg of the world-famous event.

Drivers of lovingly-preserved Porsches, Triumphs, BMWs and Mini Coopers happily mingled with the public, who enjoyed getting up close to the vehicles.

All photographs above were taken by Tracey Clements for the Paisley website.

Bereaved relatives gather for suicide memorial.

Renfrewshire residents who have lost loved ones to suicide gathered in Paisley for a special service on Tuesday 21 January.

The memorial service is in its fifth year and has become an established event where friends and relatives can find support and the chance to remember the people they miss.

The event is organised by the local support group of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS), and was attended this year by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall.

Those attending the annual event met at Renfrewshire Council’s HQ in Cotton Street for a short service led by Reverend Alan Birss of Paisley Abbey and Father John Tormey of St Mirin’s Cathedral.  They then gathered at the memorial tree for suicide victims where the Provost laid a wreath and lit the tree.

Visitors then had the chance to leave their loved-ones handwritten messages, on purple paper hearts on the tree’s branches.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall – who welcomed guests to a reception in Paisley Abbey after the event – said: “I was touched by the poignant stories of people who have been affected by suicide. It really brings home the extent to which it affects the lives of those who are left behind.

“Attendance at the service has grown since it began five years ago and shows just how relevant the service is to those who have been bereaved by suicide.

“The support that this occasion offers is vital to those who have lost a loved one to suicide but is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue.

“Talking about suicide can save lives. Anyone struggling to cope should be aware that they aren’t alone and help is available.”

The event was supported by Choose Life, the national strategy to prevent suicide in Scotland.
Lisa Aitken, local Choose Life Young Person’s Resource Worker, added: “Every day, two people in Scotland die from suicide, but talking about it can save lives.

“If you are worried someone is suicidal, ask them – it could make the difference. And if you feel suicidal, talk to someone you trust or call a helpline.”

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

For more information on the Renfrewshire meetings of SOBS, call 0141 849 2200, or email

All photographs above were taken for by Tracey Clements.