Skyline Paisley

A new fund designed to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector launched this week as one of the legacies of Paisley’s UK City of Culture bidding process.

Skyline Paisley

The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is open to cultural and creative organisations from across Paisley and Renfrewshire, it will provide support to build the resilience and sustainability of organisations, helping them realise their cultural ambitions and fulfil their potential.

The fund will run for the next three years (to 2022) and could support organisations to cover core costs such as staffing, improve their governance and management, and build new audiences and partnerships across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

It is open to Renfrewshire based organisations or groups that have a cultural or creative purpose.

The fund will complement the existing Culture, Heritage and Events Fund which was set up during the Paisley 2021 bid and has supported more than 100 one-off events and projects since 2016.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This new fund is key to continuing our ambitions to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector to fulfil it’s potential.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

“The Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has already succeeded in increasing the number of people getting involved in creative activity in Renfrewshire and the Cultural Organisational Development Fund will support organisations to develop their capacity and progress with longer term planning.

“The fund will support organisations within Renfrewshire to build and strengthen partnerships both locally and further afield and develop national and international profile.

“The ongoing work to expand our creative capacity goes hand in hand with our £100m investment to transform our cultural spaces, allowing Paisley to attract a wider range of cultural activity and events, and cement our place as a cultural town and as one of Scotland’s key destinations.”

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Renfrewshire Leisure Cultural Services team, who administer the fund on behalf of Renfrewshire Council, before applying.

The first application deadline is 1 March 2019 with funding decisions due to be made in May 2019. Further funding rounds will take place in October 2019 and February 2020.

Advice surgeries will be held in January 2019 to allow organisations who are considering making applications to attend and seek further information and guidance.

To find out more and to view the application guidance, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CODF or email codf-enquiries@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Thorn Primary School

Pupils and teachers from Thorn Primary School in Johnstone have taken part in a “30 Challenge” for St. Vincent’s Hospice as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations, raising an incredible £1,664.50.

Thorn Primary School

Primary 7 classes, teachers and staff each committed to walk, jog or run for 30 minutes every day for 30 days straight. Regardless of weather conditions, they faithfully brought their running kit to school every day to make sure they took part.

The primary 7 teachers, Mrs McLeod, Miss Murphy and Mrs Adams, were proud of all of the pupils for taking on this Challenge and giving it their all.

They said: “We noticed as the weeks went passed that there was an overall improvement in fitness and willingness to complete the challenge for such a worthy cause.  Our runs involved looping the entire school grounds which meant other pupils and staff could see our efforts, and often encouraged them to keep going. This definitely gave pupils the feel good factor.

“Pupils also did their own 30-minute walk, jog or run during the weekends and were supported greatly by parents in order to complete the Challenge.

“As teachers, we have felt really inspired by this 30-day Challenge and thoroughly enjoyed participating in and out of school. We are thankful to everyone who sponsored us and feel a great sense of achievement for the P7 pupils of Thorn and of course the money raised for St. Vincent’s which is such a worthy, local cause.”

If you would like to take part in your own 30 challenge, contact the Hospice directly info@svh.co.uk.

renfrewshire bin lorry

Renfrewshire’s new bin collection service is set to begin next week after every household was provided with a new green recycling bin.

renfrewshire bin lorry

Renfrewshire’s new bin collection service is set to begin next week after every household was provided with a new green recycling bin.

From Monday 3 December, residents will now separate their recycling as part of a drive to improve the quality of material collected and reduce the costs associated with disposing of general waste.

The new green bin provided is for plastics, cans and glass and the blue bin will now be for paper, card and cardboard only.

Those on a sack collection will be provided with a new green sack to separate their waste, with glass continuing to go directly to the nearest recycling centre.

renfrewshire bin

To reduce any potential space issues, some flats and tenements may have been provided with shared bins for communal use with residents sharing responsibility for presenting this for collection.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve been working hard to ensure we provide residents with all the information they need to adapt to the new service and we would encourage all residents to read their information pack closely as it outlines what the changes mean for them.

“It’s extremely important that we all consider if our waste could be recycled before throwing it into the grey bin and the new recycling bin should provide extra capacity to help people recycle.

“We’re here to support residents with the new service so if you have any questions then please get in touch with us at the council.”

Due to the overlap of the new service from the current provision, some residents will receive an additional collection to ensure they do not wait longer than they should for a grey bin collection. Letters will be delivered to the affected households outlining the exact date.

Information packs specific to each household in Renfrewshire have been delivered to ensure residents are fully informed of what the new service means for them and include a service guide, a full collection calendar for the next year and details on any change in collection day.

If residents haven’t yet received their information pack then they should report this via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/missinginfopack.

For more information and a full list of FAQs, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins or email mybins@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

tony and paolo

SINGING star Paolo Nutini bumped into his old football coach, Tony Fitzpatrick and asked him where he could buy a copy of the former footballer’s recently-released autobiography.

tony and paolo

The pair met up in Paisley’s Bianco E Nero coffee shop and Paolo revealed his dad, Alfredo had told him about Tony’s book, Fitzy – The Story of My Life being published.

When Paolo told Tony he was looking forward to reading his autobiography, Tony fetched a copy of the book from his car, signed it and handed a complimentary copy over to the singer.

Tony revealed that while he was an SFA community coach in Paisley during the mid-1990s, Paolo would come to his Saturday morning football sessions in the St Mirren FC leisure complex at the club’s former ground at Love Street.

The pair have kept in touch over the years and Tony has looked on with pride, as Paolo became a massive worldwide music star.

Tony says: “It was great bumping into Paolo like that and having a chat with him. I’ve known him since he was a young boy when he was about eight or nine years old.

“I remember him coming along to my coaching sessions all those years ago and like many young boys, he wanted to be a professional footballer when he grew up. As things turned out football’s loss was the music world’s gain and I’m sure his millions of fans would agree with that.

“He was a normal wee boy, very enthusiastic and loved playing football.

“I hope Paolo enjoys reading my life story and maybe one day he’ll get round to writing his autobiography and I’ll get him to sign a copy of his book for me!”

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available from www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

paisley from drone

Situated on a tributary of the River Clyde to the west of Scotland, Paisley is often overshadowed by its much larger neighbour, Glasgow. But it is still Scotland’s fifth largest town in its own right, with many opportunities for things to see and do, especially for romantically-inclined couples who’ve met through typical uk dating web services. Here are five of the most highly recommended.

Soar

Why not start your special day out in ‘Scotland’s largest town’ by spending a few adventurous hours involved in different activities? Head over to ‘Soar at Intu Braehead,’ located in the Braehead Shopping Centre, where you can make the most of this ultra-modern entertainment hub. Amongst the pastimes on offer are laser games, a bowling alley, a cinema, and a climbing wall. Take your pick of these, or why not spend some time at each?! Afterward, you can satisfy the thirst and hunger you will undoubtedly have built up by retiring to one of the many choices of dining outlets.

Gleniffer Braes Country Park

Situated on the town’s Glenfield Road, this park is the ideal venue to spend a couple of romantic hours taking in the wildlife and gorgeous scenery. There is a heavily wooded area where you can enjoy pleasant strolls, keeping an eye out for grazing cattle. Follow the many hiking trails, listening to the background chorus of birds. Scenic streams gurgle by, while there are also lookout points where you can take a break from your walking and absorb the tranquil Renfrewshire scenery. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can follow some of the walkways to wider networks outwith the park’s boundaries, such as the Brandy Burn Way and the Fereneze Braes paths. There are picnic spots, as well as the opportunity to indulge in kite flying.

Snow Factor

Also located within Intu Braehead, Snow Factor will bring out the daredevil winter sports enthusiast in you and your partner. Open all-year-round, this venue consists of skiing and snowboarding opportunities, with classes available if you expect you’d spend more time flat on your back than gracefully coasting along. There’s also an ice-climbing wall. If all that hectic activity is enough to prompt some timeout, the two of you can retire to the nearby eatery and enjoy delicious snacks, washed down with drinks from a bar.

Dams to Darnley Trail

Walk hand-in-hand by not one but five separate reservoirs, each a haven of aquatic peace and tranquility. The open waters of the dams attract birdlife, while the wetlands and burns are perfect places to explore as you search for species local to those habitats. Keep an eye out for palmate newts – at 7.5 cm these are the smallest of such native amphibians. They are a ‘priority species’ within the Glasgow Local Biodiversity Action Plan, due to their fragile ecological position. Staff are on hand to provide advice and information.

Trattoria Genova Restaurant and Takeaway

Finally, after such an energetic day, the perfect antidote to so much activity would be to book a romantic table-for-two at the Trattoria Genova. Located on Paisley’s Glasgow Road, near the town center, this restaurant is known for its excellent cuisine, cozy atmosphere and attentive staff. Modern-looking and well-lit, the menu serves a selection of delicious authentic Italian dishes which are cooked with taste being the top priority, rather than trying to impress with unusual ingredients. So expect to be served minestrone soup, followed by mouth-watering lasagne and chicken stroganoff. The prices are always reasonable, too, and what better way to seal your romantic Paisley date than cracking open a bottle of plonk?

paisley-pirates

Pirates’ netminder John Russell achieved a 21 save shut out as he helped his club to a narrow, but crucial, win at North Ayr on Saturday. While the game was short in terms of goals, it was not without incident.

paisley-pirates

In a tight opening session, the visitors had the balance of play, but were unable to find a way past Beveridge in the home goal, while Russell was unbeatable at the opposite end of the rink, and this the first 20 minutes were completed without a goal on the scoreboard.

In the middle session, the home side had more of the play, but again found the visiting defence in miserly form, giving up very little with Russell again stopping anything which did get through. Pirates looked to be in trouble when Huber took a minor penalty for charging late in the period, but in fact they broke quickly while a player down and Divok scored a peach of a goal for his shorthanded side to give them a narrow 1-0 advantage going into the final session.

With the match still finely balance, the turning point came almost halfway through the final session as Wild’s player/coach Scott Cowan was thrown out for a heavy check on his opponent. He disagreed too vehemently with the official’s decision, receiving a match penalty on top of his original penalty. On the resultant extended player advantage given to Pirates, Henderson scored the critical second goal to clinch the points for the visitors, making it a good night for them, and setting them up nicely for the second leg of their weekend double header at Dundee the following evening.

 

Dundee Tigers  1 – Paisley Pirates  9

 

After two tight periods, Pirates blitzed the hosts with a devastating goal burst in the final session to remove any chance of an upset.

Pirates were out of the blocks quickly and were ahead in the 3rd minute through Huber. They continued to push forward and in the 7th minute they doubled their advantage through Divok. While continuing to outshoot their opponents they were unable to add to their tally and Reekie brought the hosts back into the game with a strike at the halfway point to make the score 2-1 to Pirates at the end of the first session.

The visitors continued to have the better of exchanges in the second period but were unable to beat Morris in the home goal in the early stages. However, in the 36th minute Henderson did manage to find the net to give Pirates a little more breathing space after 40 minutes, with the score at 3-1.

Pirates came out for the final period determined to put the game to bed and they did so in quite ruthless fashion, scoring no fewer than FOUR times in a two minute spell from the 42nd minute, with markers from Guy, Henderson with his second, Dobson and Thorp, to take the game well away from the Tigers at 7-1. Another quickfire double from Andreucci and Dobson with his second just after halfway took the score to 9-1, and Pirates could relax with the game well and truly over.

Pirates Preview

Paisley Pirates start December with a bang this Saturday when they play host to Aberdeen Lynx at Braehead Arena (face off 6.30pm).

“It’s always one of the matches which generates plenty of atmosphere,” said Off Ice Operations Manager, Jackie Turley. “Because it’s a Saturday, I think it’s easier for the Aberdeen fans to travel, and they come in numbers, so all credit to them, they really get behind their team, it’s just a pity more teams don’t follow their lead. Our fans are always quick to pick up the challenge, so there will be a fair bit of noise in the Arena come 6.30pm on Saturday.”

“It’s our first home match in a few weeks so I’m sure our own fans who can’t follow the team on the road will be looking forward to exercising their tonsils. We’ve had a decent run of form since the Comets beat us here, with two wins and a draw on the road, while Aberdeen have found a bit of form as well. The matches between the two sides are usually entertaining with a few goals and incidents thrown in for good measure, and I don’t see Saturday’s encounter being that much different.”

“Our Supporters Club are also getting behind the local Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal and it’s asking supporters of both teams either to make a cash donation at one of the collection points this Saturday, or bring along new toys (used ones can’t be accepted for health & safety reasons), socks, pyjamas and the like, to make Christmas a little bit special for kids and families for whom it could otherwise be a little bit bleak. It’s one of the times in the year when the club can give back to the local community and we’re really pleased to be able to make our own small contribution to all the good work which goes into helping others in the local area.”

Scottish towns have a rich history when it comes to mystery, spirituality and even the occult. Paisley is not exempt from this, whether you’re looking at the way it stands today or the history of the town.

Spirituality Today

In recent years, the Johnstone Spiritualist Church has been a part of Paisley’s culture, although it is currently not operating. Its aim was to provide a bridge between two worlds, the spirit world and the living. Guests met with trained mediums and there was opportunity to receive free spiritual healing. In its absence, people of Paisley are still able to partake in spiritual practices in other ways, often more modern. For example, you can engage in tarot readings online and over the phone, which can illuminate your understanding of a particular situation you’re in by giving you guidance that’s beyond the realms of your typical world. The ancient cards are full of knowledge and wisdom, and rely on energies and even spirits to give you their outcomes.


Our Pagan Past

Although Christianity is the most prominent religion in Scotland, our past is rich and diverse, which means it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the Celts were thought to practice something called Celtic polytheism, which focuses on a belief in multiple gods or goddesses, as opposed to one singular god. Little is known about these people, but it’s thought that they probably practiced some form of paganism or druidism, which often deals with spells or rituals. This suggests spirituality was important to them.

It’s very likely that the people of Paisley would have also partaken in these traditions, but by the time Christianity came to Scotland, it took over. You’ll be familiar with the medieval Abbey here. It dates all the way back to the 12th century, and by that time most of the pagans would have been long gone.

The Paisley Witches

While the majority of those of the druid faith would indeed have long departed, that didn’t stop certain townsfolk being accused of witchcraft! Everyone has heard of the Salem Witch trials, but a lot of people don’t know that similar persecution happened right here in Renfrewshire and all over Scotland. The Paisley Witch Trials of 1697 seem unfathomable today, with seven individuals being accused of practicing magic when it was absolutely frowned upon to be anything but dutiful to the biblical God. A strange altercation with a child who then experienced fits was believed to signify it had been “cursed”, and seven individuals accused of exhibiting strange behavior in relation to this were put to death.

Today, people here in the town are far more forgiving and realise that the child’s fits were probably based on medical issues. However, the town has a memorial in remembrance of the tragedy that features a horseshoe – just in case the curse is real, and bad luck falls upon us all!

Paisley is a fascinating town for a plethora of reasons, but its spiritual, often occult nature (both past and present) makes for a more interesting story than most. 

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in the town are switched on this weekend.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

 

Saturday (1 Dec) will see Houstoun Square transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of entertainment to put everyone in the festive spirit.

From 12noon, the Pulse FM DJs will host the main stage – set in the Houstoun Square bandstand – accompanied by a host of local performers including The Logans, Todi and the RockUs Community Choir.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Santa will arrive in style by vintage fire engine, provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust, and will be taking a break from his busy schedule to hear what all the children are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto, run by St Vincent’s Hospice. Don’t forget to say hello to his reindeer friends.

The children’s entertainment doesn’t end there however with free festive face painting and Christmas crafts running all afternoon. Thrill seekers can also take a spin on the funfair rides.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joined by lucky competition winner, nine-year-old Jonathan from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone for the Christmas period.

Provost Cameron said: “The winter events have all been incredible so far and I can’t wait to bring the festivities to Johnstone.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

“The town will be buzzing all afternoon with Santa making an appearance and lots of entertainment to keep young and old entertained.

“I’m looking forward to turning on the lights with our lucky competition winner and I hope to see you all there for the big moment.”

The lights switch-on is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

donation 2

GENEROUS bosses at intu Braehead are helping a campaign to beat period poverty among women and teenage girls.

The shopping and leisure destination has donated £500 to Tracy Skelton, who is buying sanitary products to give out to those who can’t afford to buy them.

donation 2

Tracy is a support worker at Govan High School and also runs the Sass Squad Dance Group.

Along with girls from the dance group, Tracy launched the Sass Squad Sanitary Search Appeal.

She approached the shopping centre for a donation and the £500 intu Gift Card they gave her bought more than 600 sanitary products.

Working with so many teenage girls and young women, Tracy realised that period poverty was a real issue locally and initially left a box of sanitary products in the toilet at her dance school.

She explains: “It wasn’t until I explained to the pupils why the box was there that I realised just how bad our generation deals with talk of periods.

“Not one of the pupils, who are all over the age of 12, knew what Toxic Shock Syndrome was and most didn’t know of any supplies of sanitary products that were free apart from the ones I provided.

“I live in what may be described as a deprived area and I’ve seen first hand that families need as much help as possible.”

Tracy adds: “It’s said that one in five women are going without sanitary products purely down to money issues and having to provide for their families.

“The main goal of the Sass Squad Sanitary Search is to help our community, but we also want to stop the concept of periods as being hush-hush.

“We can’t thank intu Braehead enough for their donation, as it’s going to help many women and teenage girls.”

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “The issue of period poverty has only quite recently began to be spoken about more openly, even though a women’s periods are something that directly affects half the population.

“We hope we have done something to help women and teenage girls not only get free products, but that people will talk more about the issue and how it affects families.”

paisley town hall

Buddies are being invited to have one last look inside Paisley Town Hall today/tomorrow (Thursday, November 29) before it undergoes a £22 million transformation.

paisley town hall

The doors will be open for people to attend a free event which will not only celebrate the rich history of the iconic building, but will present early stage plans on how it might change.

The redevelopment plans for the Town Hall will be explained including the recovery of lost rooms and hidden gems in the building.

The night begins at 6pm with the developing plans being shared with the public. Then between 7pm and 9pm there will a Ta Ta Toon Hall celebration featuring film archive footage, music, song, artwork from local groups and the reading of a poem specially-commissioned from local poet, Jim Ferguson.

Although the event is free, anyone wishing to attend should book a ticket to attend by calling 0300 300 1210 or by calling into Paisley Town Hall or Paisley Arts Centre.

Paisley Town Hall’s £22 million transformation is part of a £100 million investment in the town’s cultural infrastructure. This includes investment to re-develop Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre and the launch of our Library in the High Street, Paisley.

The Town Hall will close its doors at the end of 2018 for work to begin and will re-open in 2021.

Fiona Naylor, acting chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Paisley Town Hall has played a part in the lives of many generations of people living in Renfrewshire.

“It has a wonderfully rich history and we want to celebrate that. We also want to show people what they can look forward to when the transformation is complete in three years time.”

gavin newlands mp

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is scheduled to go head to head with Robert Skillen, the disgraced director of the now liquidated company HELMS. Skillen and HELMS are accused of miss-selling thousands of solar panels and Energy efficiency adaptations to households across the UK.

Shockingly, HELMS operated under the backing of the UK government, through its flagship Green Deal Scheme, households have been left struggling, burdened with unaffordable debts, faulty workmanship, and at times trapped from selling their homes.

gavin newlands mp

Newlands has previously called for Skillen to see the ‘inside of a courtroom’ after discovering his constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North has been affected by Green Deal miss-selling more than any other constituency in the UK. He and other MPs are calling for accountability and redress for their constituents. Gavin, after seeing first-hand the affect this has had on households in his constituency is determined to see resolution. So much so that, Skillen has recently appeared in the media, struggling to defend his actions.

Newlands and Skillen have both been invited to participate in a discussion on STV’s flagship current affairs program, Scotland Tonight, which will be taking place this Thursday (29th) at 10:30pm. The head to head will be centred on the accusations that MPs have laid on Skillen in parliamentary debates.

In anticipation of Thursday night’s broadcast, Newlands said:

“I am looking forward to challenging Skillen face to face. He has been incognito for some time now, in hiding, cowering away from any accountability.

“His company was responsible for severe financial stress and who knows what other problems, all so he could make a quick buck. He has used classic underhanded dodgy salesman tactics to deliberately miss-sell so aggressively that he may well have to face criminal charges.

“Skillen has been a blight on the communities that I represent. But make no mistake, his actions were enabled by a careless UK Government who were more concerned with positive PR than seeing a policy implemented properly.

“It is ultimately the UK Government in Westminster that is responsible for cleaning up this mess, I urge them to act now to provide immediate financial redress to my constituents and anyone else out of pocket thanks to Green Deal miss-selling.”

Gavin on Facebook:

paisleytrust

November 27th