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A colourful tapestry that captures the events of the Royal Burgh of Renfrew is set to take pride of place at the town’s major shopping mall.

The Renfrew 600 Tapestry was created by residents in 1997 to commemorate 600 years of Renfrew as a Royal Burgh – and is now destined to be displayed at intu Braehead.

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The 18 year old tapestry reflects events of Renfrew from 1397 when it became a Royal Burgh and was originally hung in the main hall of Renfrew Town Hall.

However there was no suitable location in the town hall after its refurb and the tapestry has been in Council storage since Renfrew Town Hall’s development.

Renfrewshire Council’s Finance and Resources Policy Board this week gave the go-ahead for £15,140 from the Renfrew Common Good Fund to meet the cost of a suitable protective case for the tapestry and its re-location.

Councillor Eddie Grady, Depute Convener of the Finance and Resources Policy Board said: “It’s great news that the Renfrew 600 Tapestry is set to take pride of place at intu Braehead. Renfrew Community Council has worked extremely hard to make this relocation happen, and it’s wonderful that the tapestry will be displayed in prominent location where many visitors, young and old alike, will be able to see and appreciate it.”

Jim Gamble from Renfrew Community Council said: “This is excellent news for the community of Renfrew that the tapestry will now have a permanent home where it can be seen by the many thousands who pass through Braehead on a daily basis.

“Renfrew Community Council is appreciative of the support from Renfrewshire Council and the management of intu Braehead to ensure the tapestry can be located within our town for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Our local high schools, Trininty High and Renfrew High, designed the storyboards that will accompany the tapestry to provide information on its history and a snapshot of Renfrew post 1997.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “Renfrew has a fantastic history and it’s only right that as many people as possible find out about it. The tapestry is a great way to depict the town’s heritage and by displaying it at intu Braehead, we will be able to let hundreds of thousands of people see the tapestry and learn about the local area. I’m sure visitors to intu Braehead will be mightily impressed with the tapestry and it will soon become a popular attraction for people coming to the shopping centre.”

The tapestry will be situated in the link corridor between the upper mall and the blue multi-storey car park. It’s hoped re-location will be complete nearer the end of 2015.

depute provost

RENFREWSHIRE’S depute provost John Caldwell yesterday admitted he was no athlete.

But the 66-year-old still put himself through the physical exertions of completing the Paisley 10k Race as he’d promised to raise money for the Renfrewshire Carers Centre.

depute provost

Depute Provost Caldwell walked the course in two hours and he made history by being the first civic leader ever to take part in the race.

He was part of the Renfrewshire Carers Centre team taking part in the Paisley 10k hoping to raise hundreds of pounds in sponsorship.

After crossing the finishing line he said:
“I’ll never be Mo Farah, but what is important is taking part and raising money and awareness for a very good cause.

“I might not have won the race but the Carer’s Centre is certainly one of the many winners here today as many charities and good causes will be tens of thousands of pounds better off.

“It’s also been a great day for the village of Elderslie, as Callum Hawkins was first over the finishing line, I was last and we both come from Elderslie!”

He added: “Paisley is another winner today. We’ve witnessed thousands of people coming into the town centre to enjoy the race and the street entertainment. There’s been a real party atmosphere and everyone has enjoyed themselves.”

More than 1700 people took part in the 10k Race. The men’s winner was Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC), with a time of 29 minutes 24 seconds. Second place in the men’s race went to Kamil Sieracki (Shettleston Harriers) with 30.42 and third was Tewolde Mengisteab (Shettleston Harriers) with 30.48.

The ladies winner was Gemma Rankin (Kilbarchan AAC), with a time of 35.36; second was Lesley Chisholm (Garscube Harriers), with 36.34 and third was Jessica Oliver-Bell (Shettleston Harriers) with a time of 36.50.

The shorter 3k Fun Run, which began after the Paisley 10k finished, attracted almost 700 runners.

They came in all shapes and sizes, ages and levels of fitness – some even ran in fancy dress. But they ran to raise much-needed funds for charities and good causes.

And it was revealed that future Paisley 10k Races and Fun Runs would be even bigger and better

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, one of the race organisers said:

“ Once again we had a fantastic turnout for the Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.
“We really have to pay tribute to the runners who participated and the huge amount of money they will have raised for charities and good causes.

“It’s not just that they deserve praise turning up on the day to take part in the event, it’s the months of preparation and training that goes into running the race.

“The nights of pounding the streets in the wind and rain to get ready for the race can’t have been easy, so well done to everybody for selflessly giving up their time.”

Joyce added that Renfrewshire Leisure aims to make the Paisley 10k and Fun Run an even bigger event in the next few years.

She said: “We’ll be taking it to the next stage as a major community event for Paisley’s bid to be named City of Culture 2021. Sport in general and Renfrewshire Leisure in particular has a part to play in winning this accolade for the town.

“We aim to make the Paisley 10 and Fun Run a major cultural as well as sporting event in the town.”

BRAVE Jay Semple ran both the Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run yesterday even though he is blind.

The 36-yer-old dad was determined not to let his lack of sight stop him taking part and raise money for charity.

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Jay, from Glaive Road, in Glasgow was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition when he was 15 and last October he eventually completely lost his sight.

But the determined runner tied a rope to his wrist and attached it to his friend, William Robertson, who ran with him and guided him through the streets of Paisley for the 10k race.

Then shortly after completing the course in a creditable one hour and two minutes, Jay put his two-year-old son, Tyler-James on his shoulders, attached the wrist cord to his sister, Diane and ran the 3k Fun Run course.

Jay suffers from Choroideremia – a recessive eye disease that leads to blindness – but even when his sight was deteriorating, he has ran an amazing 55 races since 2012, as he raised money for various charities.

Yesterday, Jay was running to raise sponsorship for the Rangers Charity Foundation.

He said: “I only completely lost my sight last October and now I can only see light. I can’t even see my son smiling.
“But I’m determined that my blindness isn’t going to stop me running and raising money for charity.

“It was quite scary running and not being able to see where I was going, but I knew my wee boy would be waiting for me at the finishing line and that kept me going.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could still do it. No matter how bad my eyesight is I’m determined to carry on running.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, who are one of the Paisley 10k race organisers said: “Jay is an inspiration to us all and it’s fantastic that he not only ran the 10k, but went on to complete the fun run as well.”


SERGEANT Andy Laird gave his men the runaround yesterday, so they’d know the drill when they took part in the Paisley 10k Race at the weekend.

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A team of five soldiers from the Territorial Army 102 Field Squadron, based in Paisley, got some last-minute training at the hands of Sergeant Laird, as they prepared to join the ranks of thousands of other athletes and fun runners pounding the streets.

The Hillington Park-sponsored Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run has become one of the most popular events of its kind in Scotland and this year takes place on Sunday, August 30 in and around the town centre.

The team from 102 Field Squadron is Corporal Robert Storrie, Corporal Darren Forsythe, Sapper David McMenamay (correct) Lance Corporal Sean Deans and Sergeant Danny Lafferty.

Sergeant Laird said: “We’re all about teamwork at 102 Field Squadron and also being part of the community in Paisley.

“The Paisley 10k and Fun Run is a major event for the local community, so it was something we wanted to be involved with and enter a team into the race.

“We might not win the Paisley 10k, but the lads taking part will give it their best shot, if you’ll pardon the military pun!”
Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, one of the event organisers and she said:

“The Paisley 10k and Fun Run is something for everyone of all ages and from all walks of life to take part in and enjoy.

“It’s great that the lads from 102 Field Squadron decided to take part in the race and I hope they get a big cheer as they run round the course. ”

As well as the race and fun run, there will be children’s entertainment In County Square from 9.30am – 2.30pm with free face painting, balloon modeler and inflatable slide along with comedy street entertainers on stilts in and around the race area.


Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has today highlighted deeply concerning figures that have been recently released by the Department of Work and Pensions, which show that thousands of people have died after being found fit for work.

The Department of Work and Pensions’ figures show that 2,380 people died between December 2011 and February 2014 shortly after a work capability assessment found them fit to work. The department’s data also reveals that during the same period, 50,580 people who received Employment and Support Allowance died within two weeks of their claim ending.

These alarming figures follow the revelation that almost half of all ESA and JSA sanctions have been overturned when challenged.



Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:

“These disturbing figures from the Department of Work and Pensions make grim reading and it is the latest blunder in this sorry saga of the UK Government’s welfare reforms under Iain Duncan Smith.

“I believe that the social security system should exist to ensure that our people are able to live a happy and healthy life but, as the figures show the reality is that the Tory government is dismantling this system – so much so that it is endangering the lives of those it should be helping to get on in life.

“The evidence speaks for itself – the UK Government is presiding over a department that is a perpetual car crash and is dogged by chaos.

“In the past month we have learnt that 50 per cent of the ESA and JSA sanctions were being overturned, that the DWP had faked testimonials that stated the these sanctions were helping people and, most recently, that the undue stress and anxiety has been damaging to people’s health.

“As I have said numerous times since being elected as the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, the UK Government must now allow an independent root and branch review of its benefits regime to take place and suspend sanctions from being issued until it concludes.

“There is an alternative to the Tory misery that is imposed from the UK Government. We can devolve crucial powers over welfare and the economy to the Scottish Parliament and allow our parliament and government to begin to create a fairer society.”



The DWP figures can be accessed here:


Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire and North, visited Our Place Our Families in Renfrew to congratulate the OPOF team on successfully securing £10,000 worth of funding from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All Scotland – enabling the local group to expand into the Erskine area.


The Our Place Our Families group based in Renfrew will use the funding for a series of family fun days aimed at identifying and addressing the concerns of the local community.

Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am delighted that Our Place Our Families have been successfully awarded £10,000 from the Big Lottery. Diane and the OPOF team do fantastic work in our local community and this vital cash will allow them to continue to go from strength to strength.”

Diane Booth, Project Manager of OPOF, said:

“We are delighted to receive £10,000 worth of funding from the Big Lottery – this gives us a great opportunity to expand into the Erskine community through a series of family-focused fun days and events.

“We will strive to bring the community of Erskine more together and add a sense of pride back into the community.

“Without these types of funding opportunities, provided by the Big Lottery Fund, vital work like this could not happen. We have already done this type of work in the Renfrew area with great success and we are looking forward to working in Erskine.”


Our Place Our Families was established in 2001 and is run by volunteers from the local community and three members of staff. OPOF hold drop in sessions for local people who need help and advice, CV and job seeking support as well as family fun days.

Awards For All Scotland gives groups a chance to apply for a grant of between £500 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. We will fund a range of projects which involve bringing local people together, helping people learn, improving local spaces and getting people more active.

An image of Gavin Newlands MP and the OPOF team is attached.

All media enquiries to Drew McGowan, Communications Officer, on 01413780604 / 07341842164 or, alternatively, at drew.mcgowan@parliament.uk.

Paisley pirates


Paisley Pirates’ coach Ian Turley has continued the rebuilding of his squad for the new season of Scottish National League ice hockey by announcing a further four signings to bolster an already impressive looking roster.


Returning from last year’s side are Graham McCamley, David Orr, and netminder Gordon Langford, while teenage forward Dylan Robertson has also joined the club from North Ayrshire Wild.


“Yes,” I’m well pleased with the way the squad is coming together,” commented Turley. “McCamley and Orr are well noted for their firepower up front, while Langford had a very good season for us last year, one which we anticipate him repeating in the coming months, as he and Graeme Meechan share the duties between the pipes. I’m also very excited about young Dylan coming to the club. He, like a few young players, have been told by various people that the Pirates will always give good young talent a chance to develop, and he asked me about coming to join the squad. He’s only just turned 17, and it’s very important to us to continue to attract good young players to the squad, as they’re the future for teams such as ourselves. He’ll continue to make big strides with the Pirates, and he’s already been looking good in training, so he goes straight into the lineup for the first leg of our Autumn Cup quarter final at Kilmarnock Storm on Saturday 5 September (face off 7.00pm). Because of North Ayr’s withdrawal from the competition, it’s now a straight knock out over two legs at Kilmarnock, with the second leg also taking place at the Galleon Centre a week later.2


“While like I say I’m happy with the squad now in place, I expect to sign at least a couple more players before our first match, a few have been unavailable at training for various reasons of work and the like, which happens at this level, but I really can’t wait for the new season to get under way on the 5th. It’s been a long summer, but the waiting is nearly over!”


The newly re-formed Paisley Pirates Supporters Club is also looking forward to its first official “fixture”, as on Friday 18 September it’s running a Fundraising Night at the 5 on 5 Club, part of the Prolife Fitness Suite Complex, in Paisley. “We’ve now got no match that weekend,” explained chairman Bill Elliot, “so it seemed a good opportunity to run a social event which gets everyone together, although I know there will be a big turnout of Pirates supporters for the Autumn Cup matches on the two preceding weekends.”


“The format for the evening will be to formally launch the Supporters Club and tell supporters about some of the plans to raise money and generally support the team in the coming months. Apart from there being a few fundraising elements which were very popular at a previous social evening, which had a quiz and a few games of bingo amongst other features, folk will have a chance to actually join the club, and maybe enlist in a monthly draw which will help raise vital funds for the Pirates. We’ll also be auctioning off one of club icon Chris Conaboy’s shirts, and we’re taking bids for it as of NOW! There will also be a Meet the Players element to the night, where the members of this year’s squad will be formally introduced to supporters, so all in all we think it’s excellent value for the £3 admission fee that will be charged at the door on the night. After 6 months of a starvation diet with no ice hockey, it’s time to get the show on the road and with two matches and a social night to look forward to in the next few weeks, the wheels are very definitely in motion!”


Budding archaeologists are being offered the opportunity to join a team of experts in digging up a piece of Paisley’s history.

As part of Doors Open Day this year, a week-long archaeological dig is to take place at Paisley Abbey’s ‘Great Drain’ from Monday 31 August – Sunday 6 September.

abbey drain

The historic drain was only rediscovered in 1990 revealing a very well preserved medieval drain. As well as the drain itself being exceptional, the items discovered through various digs and from the silt reveal insights into a 14th century monastic community.

An initial excavation found several hundred fragments of pottery along with a complete chamber pot which is on display in the sacristy of Paisley Abbey.

Other artefacts found at that time included inscribed slates, gaming pieces and the remains of more than 140 plants, many used for food or medicine.

The dig, which will be lead by GUARD Archaeology Limited, will open up three trenches in the Abbey Close area allowing further investigation into this important site.


The project, which is being run by Renfrewshire Council with support from Renfrewshire Local History Forum (RLHF), who have been passionate supporters of further research, is open to the public to drop in and take part or just come along to see what’s happening. The archaeologists and volunteers from RLHF will be on hand to answer questions.

Provost Anne Hall said: “Paisley is brimming with historic sites and the Great Drain at Paisley Abbey is perhaps one of the most fascinating of them all. This unique site provides a glimpse into the past and this project will allow members of the public to come along and have a look, or even a dig, for themselves.”

As well as taking part in the dig itself, members of the public can get a glimpse inside the drain thanks to a virtual tour.

The tour can be viewed over the Doors Open Day weekend (Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September) within Paisley Museum along with virtual tours of two other historic Paisley sites, the Russell Institute and the Liberal Club.

There will be an opportunity at Paisley Museum to find out more about the Stage Two Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new Townscape Heritage project which is to focus on the High Street. If successful, it would run from 2016 to 2021 and play a significant part in the wider regeneration plans for Paisley, including the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Over the weekend, 63 venues across Renfrewshire will throw open their doors to the public to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

Children can also get in on the act with the return of the Children’s Passport which this year takes on a Culture Club theme highlighting for young people the strength of the areas cultural history. Children can get their passports stamped at venues in order to collect a prize.

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Parents in Johnstone are set to be consulted on new investment plans for Spateston Pre5 Centre and St Anthony’s Primary.

Renfrewshire Council has put forward plans to relocate Spateston Pre5 Centre into a refurbished St Anthony’s primary school building.

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The plans are part of the council’s £32.5million multi-year investment in primary school and pre5 buildings.

St Anthony’s Primary currently has 183 pupils and that number is expected to rise to 200 in the next three years.

The building would continue to feature an integrated additional support needs facility which requires facilities to support the individual needs of up to 30 pupils.

Spateston Pre5 Centre accommodates early years provision for 80 children aged three to 5.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “We have looked at the options available to us and believe that a refurbished St Anthony’s Primary will deliver lasting educational and community benefits.

“A refurbished facility will better support the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence in primary. At pre5 level, an upgraded building with more facilities will offer learning experiences that will develop skills that will help educational attainment in later years.

“Our education service has extensive experience of providing modernised school facilities while maintaining high standards of teaching and learning as the buildings are modernised. That is our intention here.

“We want to work with parents throughout that process as we have done successfully elsewhere in recent years.”

An online consultation about the proposals is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

The results of the consultation will be considered in January 2016.

The exact cost of the project will be finalised once a final decision is taken on the proposal.

caroline gormley artwork

Talented local Paisley Artist Caroline Gormley is working on a piece of artwork at the moment which is taking up a huge amount of time, and has been taking her away from the day to day hand to mouth bread and butter type thing and was wanting to let locals and those not so local know that she also does pet portraits and portraits of people and was wanting people to get in touch to order artwork that she would love to do …

Caroline says “I do oil paintings or drawings and each commission is priced on their requirements” …  Prices range from £150 upwards dependant on what the client is looking for and of course requirements.


Pictured above is Caroline in her studio with one of her paintings, to contact Caroline to order any of her work or to as for a commission to be created please contact Caroline by email karolinegormley@me.com or via mobile 07793057151.

Below are some of her animal portrait work.

The outside artwork Caroline is working on at the moment is this painting of a seagull in its glory.

community councils

Local residents who want to be a ‘voice for their community’ will get the chance this month with elections to community councils across Renfrewshire.

22 community councils across the area will be accepting nominations for membership during an ‘election period’ from 1-30 September.

community councils

The only exception will be Foxbar and Brediland where a new community council was formed this June.

Any person who is 16 or over, resident within the community council area and listed on the electoral roll is eligible to become a member of a community council.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Community councils are the first statutory level of democracy in our country and an important voice for their community. The work they do to raise issues and concerns on behalf of local people is invaluable.

“It was very encouraging to see residents of Foxbar and Brediland come together this summer and form a new community council after its absence for several years.

“I would urge anyone interested in doing likewise to find out more about what their local community council does and consider becoming a member.”

Anne McNaughton, Community Council Liaison Officer for Renfrewshire Council, explained: “While we call this an election period, it’s important to point out that people won’t actually have to campaign for votes at this stage. It’s simply a period of time where all active community councils open up for the nomination of members. An election would only be necessary if the number of nominations exceeds the maximum membership size for a community council.”

More information about community council elections is available online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/ccelections

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THE race is on to take part in this weekend’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

There has been a late surge in entries for the popular event this week, but the deadline for signing up to be involved in the race is noon tomorrow. (Friday August 28)

Thousands of people of all ages will pound the streets of Paisley in the Hillington Park-sponsored 10k race and shorter distance 3k Fun Run, on Sunday, August 30 with many raising money for charities and good causes.

Anyone who wants to take part should log on to www.sportsystems.co.uk/ss/event/Paisley10KRoadRacewithFunRun for more information and an application form before tomorrow’s noon deadline.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure who are one of the Paisley 10k race organisers said: “There’s still time for people to register to take part in the Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

“The event has been as popular as ever this year and if anyone is considering taking part they should get themselves registered before it’s too late.”

Joyce added: “In years past I’ve heard people saying they wish they had taken part in the event because their friends or family have told them how much fun it is and how they raised lots of money for their favourite charity.

“So, don’t be disappointed by being too late to register.”



With pic. Caption:  Running out of time – Karen McDougall, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure at Paisley’s Lagoon centre lets people know that they have until noon tomorrow to sign up for the Paisley 10k and fun run.