One of Scotland’s most iconic structures could be saved from ruin – with an expert team of place makers gearing up to raise £1.5million for its preservation.
Coats Memorial, widely recognised as the exclamation mark of Paisley’s skyline, is looking for a new purpose since holding its last church ceremony in August 2018. Now with the support of a new Steering Group it is hoped it will once again become a cherished place where people will enjoy life’s biggest celebrations.
Led by philanthropist, businessman and Paisley native Ian Henderson, the revival of Coats Memorial could see the building compete with the likes of Glasgow’s Oran Mor and Edinburgh’s Mansfield Traquair as a multi-purpose venue. But charitable support from communities in Scotland and the rest of the world will be crucial to its future success.
Ian Henderson, Coats Memorial Steering Group, said: “Coats Memorial is an architectural marvel. As proud local people, the team holds a firm belief that if we do not do everything in our power to save this magnificent building then we have failed our ancestors and future generations who have and will go on to create wonderful memories here.
“If we achieve what we have set out to do in the New Year, Coats Memorial will be the exclamation mark in grand gatherings. We have a host of events planned as part of our campaign to safeguard the building, and look forward to announcing those in due course.
I would urge anyone who values their heritage and community values to please get behind this cause. We have the potential to do something really spectacular here, but we need the support of the community.”
Built in 1885 by Hippolyte Jean Blanc in the Gothic Revival period, Thomas Coats Memorial Church has a capacity of 1,000. Its features include a vaulted ceiling, mosaics, stencilled decoration, carved marble and alabaster. Above the chancel, the ceiling is adorned with paintings of angels and has an incredibly rare 3,040 pipe organ designed by William Hill & Sons. This stunning instrument has never been modified.
Sheenagh Gray, Chartered Architect of Framed Estates Limited said: “We are working closely with Historic Environment Scotland and local authorities and are overseeing the plans to ensure that we create a venue that pays homage to Coats Memorial’s heritage but also exceeds the expectation people have in iconic multi-purpose entertainment venues.”
The Coats Memorial Steering Group intends to launch its fundraising campaign, “100 days to save Coats Memorial” on 1 February.
NEW MUSICAL TOTS CLASS
️Age 1-3 years ️
Starts next Saturday 12th January in Paisley at 9.15am with our tutor Anna Burns. Enjoy an interactive music session with your child, enjoy learning about beat, rhythm and pitch and develop your child’s
social skills, language skills and confidence 🥁
Anna also runs our Music Adventurers class for children with additional support needs, as well as teaching piano, voice and violin. To find out more or to enrol send a pm or call/text 07896689816
Spaces are limited.
Paisley Pirates take a break from league action this weekend, but the task facing them could
hardly be more difficult, as they travel to Dundee this Sunday to take on the local Comets in
the first round (first leg) of the Scottish Cup, a competition which has seen the two clubs
meet in the final in the past two seasons, the Tayside club coming out as victors on both
Pirates lost narrowly by four goals to three against highly fancied Murrayfield Racers last
Sunday in Edinburgh, and will need to put in a similar level of performance if they hope to
overcome a Comets side who beat them heavily in the league at Braehead Arena earlier in
the season, their only home reverse to date.
Head Coach Ian Turley commented, “We enter different territory this weekend with Scottish
Cup action to look forward to, and with the tie being over two legs a lot can happen during
the six periods which will be played. I guess this tie is a bit special in that both teams have
met in the final in the past two seasons, but only one team can make it through this time
The tie will take place at Dundee Ice Arena, facing off at 7.30pm, whole the second leg will
go ahead at Braehead Arena the following Sunday, 20 January, with a 5.00pm start, and
Pirates will be looking to bring the tie back to Renfrewshire with everything still to play for.
MURRAYFIELD RACERS 4 PAISLEY PIRATES 3
Pirates travelled to Edinburgh missing several key players but nevertheless contributed fully
to a thriller, before eventually going down by the odd goal in seven to a Racers side laden
with players with Elite League experience..
The home side got off to the better start and were a goal ahead before the five minute mark
as Gautschi netted short handed. Pirates recovered from this setback and were level after
their next powerplay opportunity two minutes later as Abercrombie combined with Guy to
beat McGill and score against his former side. With chances coming up at both ends it was
the hosts who went ahead after thirteen minutes and it was Gautschi again, with his second
goal of the night, who beat Russell to put Racers ahead on the powerplay. With no further
scoring in the session the sides headed for the dressing rooms with Murrayfield holding a
narrow 2-1 advantage after a tight 20 minutes.
Play continued as before in the middle period and while Racers had the early pressure, it
was in fact Pirates who equalised in the 26 th minute with an unassisted goal from Mikey
Dobson. This time Racers came back strongly and took the lead for the third time four
minutes later through Boyd. Once again, both sides had opportunities to alter the scoreline,
but with the respective goals remining intact, Racers hung on to their narrow one goal
advantage to lead at 3-2.
Pirates came out for the final session looking for a third equaliser and they got it with less
than two minutes on the clock, as Abercrombie combined with Guy once more for the former
Racer to net his second of the night and tie the scores at 3-3. The game continued to ebb
and flow at both ends of the ice, but just before the halfway point in the period it was that
man Gautschi who completed his hat trick with what proved to be the game winning goal,
breaking the hearts of the visitors who had put in a sterling performance, only to come away
with nothing at the end of the day.
Pirates will be pleased with their gutsy performance, if not the final outcome, and will be
looking to carry that form into this Saturday’s Scottish Cup first round, first leg tie away to
Dundee Comets in a repeat of last year’s final. The match faces off at 7.30pm, with the
second leg taking place at Braehead Arena on Sunday, 20 January (face off 5.00pm).
LOCAL MP IN BREXIT SPEECH: SCOTLAND MUST BECOME AN INDEPENDENT NATION TO AVOID FUTURE DISASTERS
Yesterday, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, stood up for Scotland and Paisley and Renfrewshire North’s overwhelming vote to Remain in the European Union during the debate ahead of the ‘Meaningful Vote’ on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
During his speech to Parliament, Newlands stated that it would be a ‘betrayal unlike anything ever seen before’ towards young people if MPs ripped away the opportunities of EU membership after they voted to remain in the European Union.
The MP maligned the Prime Minister’s decision of delaying the vote last month in order to receive concessions from the European Union, just to return with nothing. He then criticised Jeremy Corbyn for holding his own party to ransom and refusing to get behind the option of a second EU referendum.
But the main focus of Newlands’ speech was on the benefits of Freedom of Movement, the MP argued that the chance to live, work, and build relationships freely across the continent was a privilege that older generations have taken for granted and that more people should stand up for.
Gavin commented following his speech:
“Scotland voted to Remain in the European Union, and I believe that we would surely do so again. The withdrawal date draws nearer and yet the Tory government continues to ignore our compromises.
“People from across the EU have come to Scotland to build their lives, they help keep our NHS running, they work hard building businesses and contributing to our economy, and most importantly they enrich our way of life. And Scottish people benefit just as much from the ability to freely travel across the EU.”
During his speech, Gavin mentioned his constituent Ivan’s story. Ivan was born in Spain, studied in Italy, and eventually found his way to work for Scotland’s NHS. His wife is Irish, and has worked for the United Nations in Denmark, and now lives in Scotland.
Upon hearing that Gavin brought up his story, Ivan said:
“I believe that membership of the EU is the best chance we have at guaranteeing my family and I’s civil liberties while maintaining prosperity and freedom in Europe.
“I also hope and wish for my children to have all the same opportunities that I enjoyed, not less.”
In closing the speech, Gavin said:
“The UK has lurched from crisis to crisis for years and the UK, it’s clear, is broken. No Westminster will make meaningful strides towards a brighter future. That leaves one inescapable conclusion: to ensure good governance and the chance at building an economy and a society that is open to the world, tolerant, and gives everyone the opportunity to flourish, Scotland must become and independent country.”
Glasgow Airport’s Chaplain’s Charity raised more than £7,600 to support two charities based in Glasgow and Renfrewshire in 2018.
Chaplain Keith Banks and his team were supported by staff from across the Glasgow Airport campus in raising funds for Glasgow-based Funding Neuro and the Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) throughout last year.
Keith Banks, who has been the airport’s chaplain since 2009, said: “We had asked our staff to nominate organisations for the Chaplin’s Charity programme in 2018 and received so many worthwhile suggestions.
“We really struggled to choose just one, so we decided to pick two – one from Glasgow and another from Renfrewshire, given the airport’s close links with both areas.
“It was the first time we’d split the annual charity partnership, but Funding Neuro and ROAR are two fantastic charities which provide different, yet incredibly worthwhile support in the local community.”
Introduced by Keith in 2010, the Chaplain’s Charity has raised almost £60,000 in total for a number of organisations including The Teddy Bear Foundation, CHAS, Robin House Children’s Hospice, Teenage Cancer Trust, The Salvation Army, Wish upon a Star and Make a Wish and the British Heart Foundation.
He added: “As always I’m very grateful to my colleagues across the airport – and of course our incredibly generous passengers – who help raise these vital funds each year.”
Funding Neuro was founded by Bryn Williams, who himself has Parkinson’s Disease, to help fund research and pioneering treatment for devastating neurological conditions including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and brain tumours prevalent in children.
Sharon Kane, Funding Neuro’s chief executive, said: “It has been a privilege to be one of the Chaplain’s charities. Keith and the staff at Glasgow Airport have put in a lot of effort and organised some fabulous events to raise such a fantastic amount.
“The funds raised will help us to continue our work to find the answers to some of the most devastating neurological conditions.”
The aim of ROAR is to tackle loneliness in older age by helping people get out and stay connected with their communities and peers. They operate 25 clubs, projects and services across Renfrewshire including lunch clubs, cinema and exercise classes, reaching almost 1000 older people every week.
Nicola Hanssen, ROAR’s general manager, said: “We are so grateful to have been selected for the Chaplain’s Charity in 2018. It has been a terrific year. We have gained far more than the money.
“It has been a real privilege to get involved with the staff at Glasgow Airport who have been so generous with their time, effort and support. The funds have gone towards keeping our art club operating, which is a lifeline to the members who come from all walks of life and really rely on the companionship there to keep them going.”
Glasgow Airport Chaplain’s Charity 2019 will be unveiled later this month. For more information on the airport’s chaplaincy service contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Investigations will inform future development potential for Ferguslie and South West Johnstone.
Survey work will commence next week on sites in Ferguslie and South West Johnstone.
For Ferguslie, this is the first stage of a £14million development that will create around 100 new affordable Council homes to transform the Tannahill area, while in Spateston the survey will provide the Council with information to inform future investment for new build Council housing in this community.
The site investigations on the site of the former St Fergus School and Drums Avenue, Ferguslie, as well as at Auchengreoch Road and Spateston Road in Johnstone will begin on Monday, 14 January and will include the excavation of trial pits and bore holes.
Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We want to build affordable housing that meet the needs of our tenants as well as future housing needs across Renfrewshire. The results of these surveys will provide vital information on the ground conditions for potential development in these areas.”
Anyone seeking information on the survey work or the Council’s new build housing programme should contact Renfrewshire Council Housing Service via email@example.com or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SHIP
For the month of January we are offering a 25% off discount to new members who join the Chamber.
Kick start 2019 by joining Renfrewshire’s largest business network and take advantage of the benefits of membership.
We run various events throughout the year. Our monthly networking lunches held at local hotels are attended by 50-70 delegates from businesses based in Renfrewshire and the surrounding areas. New members receive a free place at one of these lunches on joining.
Other events include: a New Members Event, Pitch and Roll Networking, HR Forum, our annual B2B Event in May and Business awards… the ROCCO’s.
Free business mentoring in an area or skill you are looking to develop for a period of one year.
Members can tap in to our marketing channels for free. Please send us any press releases or editorial to be featured on our website. Anything featured on our website will also be sent out to members in our eNews – sent every 2-3weeks. Our quarterly publication, Business Matters, is circulated to members and is distributed to business centres, coffee shops, council offices and hotels in the Renfrewshire. New members receive a free quarter page of editorial.
Free Chamber HR, Health & Safety, Legal & Tax Services
These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents. You are also protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.
Contact Jill Carrino for more information on how your business can benefit from Chamber Membership – 0141 847 5450 firstname.lastname@example.org
Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley later this month.
Support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) will host a short service open to all on Thursday 24 January at Renfrewshire House.
Anyone who has been affected by suicide is invited to meet at the Marriage Suite from 3:15pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if so desired.
At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings, followed by a procession to the memorial tree where Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will lay a wreath and light the tree.
Anyone unable to attend the service who wishes a message to be placed onto the tree can get in touch in advance or can visit the council reception at any time following the service to collect a commemorative heart.
After the service, all those in attendance are invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.
Provost Cameron, who helped establish the memorial tree in 2010, said: “This service has become extremely important to members of the local community who have been affected by the loss of a loved one to suicide and I will be honoured to lay a wreath.
“If you’ve been affected by suicide in any manner, please come along and take part in the service. The team will be available for a chat and can provide you with the support you, or a friend or family member, needs to move forward.
“If you’re unable to make it along on the day, please get in touch to talk about what you are feeling or what support you need – don’t suffer in silence.”
The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.
The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced similar situations.
If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093
For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.
1. Purple love hearts are placed on the tree to remember those lost
2. Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron with Rosemary Mullan, Choose Life, Rev. Alan Birss and Father John Eagers
3. Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron lays a wreath of remembrance