A FILM about the legendary Communist MP from Paisley, Willie Gallacher is being premiered on an online TV channel.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s internet channel, Ren TV will show the 50-minute film, called A Lion Rose in Paisley, on Wednesday, August 12, at 7pm – 55 years to the day Gallacher died.

The docudrama by local filmmaker, Alex Cathcart stars TV and film actor, Steven Duffy as the left-wing firebrand Gallacher.

Alex Cathcart: Film maker Alex Cathcart made the film, A Lion Rose in Paisley

The film also features Renfrewshire Council’s Labour leader, Eddie Devine who ironically plays the famous Tory Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. And fellow-councillor, Bill Brown plays an MP asking a question in the Houses of Parliament.

Paisley Abbey was used as the film location for Parliament, as was the Beechwood Community Centre, in the town’s Shortroods area, when scenes were shot of a stormy public meeting involving Gallacher and the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George.

Gallacher was one of the famous Red Clydesiders at the beginning of the 20th century and campaigned against the First World War. He was twice jailed for his political activities, but remained steadfast in his socialist principles and continued campaigning on behalf of the working class.

In 1920, Gallacher travelled to Moscow and met the Bolshevik leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, who encouraged the Paisley Buddie to form a communist party in the UK. On his return, Gallacher was one of the founding members of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Gallacher, who was born into poverty in Paisley’s Back Sneddon, on Christmas Day 1881, became the Communist Party MP for West Fife in 1935 and served his constituency until 1950. But he remained active in politics all his life and was known by political leaders throughout the world.

When he died on August 12, 1965, it was estimated that 30,000 people lined the streets of Paisley for his funeral procession.

A street in Foxbar – Gallacher Avenue – was named in his honour in the mid-1980s along with Gallacher Court, a sheltered housing complex in Paisley’s West End. A cairn in Paisley’s High Street to commemorate Gallacher was also erected in 2016.

Filmmaker Alex Cathcart said: “I only knew the barest of facts about Willie Gallacher, but after the cairn was erected I was curious and wanted to find out more.

“I soon realised that his life was incredible, he was globally feted, but remained one of Paisley’s own – a true Buddie we can be proud of.”

Labour Councillor Eddie Devine revealed he had taken a lot of ribbing about playing the part of a Tory Prime Minister after the filming had been completed. “And I’ve no doubt there will be some more Mickey-taking when the film is shown on Ren TV,” he said. “But I want to assure everybody that I’m definitely not a Tory!”

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is a great film, and I’m sure local people will enjoy learning more about Willie Gallacher and his principles, particularly his lifelong commitment to improving workers’ rights.”

“It’s a good way of paying tribute to one of Paisley’s most famous sons and even just as a piece of drama, the film is well worth watching.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund supported the making of A Lion Rose in Paisley. The film can be seen by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/rentv at 7pm on August 12.

Renfrewshire Council has joined forces with Zero Waste Scotland to promote their anti-littering campaign, Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way.

Highlighting the beauty of Scotland’s lochs and mountains, city parks and country woodlands, the campaign is backed by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful and aims to inspire people to enjoy the great outdoors, but without leaving litter behind.

In Renfrewshire, local people will be reminded that Renfrewshire is Remarkable and Paisley is Picturesque, as part of a drive to encourage local people to take pride in where they live.

The campaign aligns closely with Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign which has seen thousands of local people tidying their communities and has created a dedicated community of like-minded volunteers.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to continue our work with Zero Waste Scotland by promoting this campaign as we want to ensure that Renfrewshire remains a beautiful place to live, work and visit.

“Our own Team Up to Clean Up campaign has the same values and we’ve been delighted to see its success as local people come together to make a real difference to our communities.

“Renfrewshire really is remarkable so please, let’s work together to eradicate littering and take pride in where we live.”

As well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence. Discarded waste can also be a danger to young children and animals, and it is estimated that 80% of marine litter washing up on our beaches started out on land.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “People are understandably keen to enjoy everything Scotland has to offer this summer, and onwards. If you are camping, exercising, having a barbecue or just enjoying the scenery, have fun, but remember to bin what you don’t need or take it with you.

“I’m delighted Renfrewshire Council is getting involved in our campaign. Go home with happy memories and leave Renfrewshire litter-free so others can do the same. We know Scotland is stunning, let’s keep it that way!”

The campaign can be followed on social media using the hashtag #BinYourLitter and volunteers are encouraged to post their pictures of beautiful scenery in their area, as well as their efforts to keep it tidy.

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “We welcome this new campaign highlighting the beauty of Scotland and all it has to offer. Litter levels across Scotland are unacceptable, and in many places are getting much worse. Alongside this campaign we will continue to offer support to all those who have already stepped up to tackle this problem in their own communities with litter clean ups and projects to improve and protect the places they care about.”

For community groups and other local organisations keen to spread the message, a free downloadable campaign toolkit is available online at www.managingourwaste.scot/litter and for more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/TeamUptoCleanUp.

Many of the restaurants, bars and cafes at the shopping destination and Soar at intu Braehead are taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Visitors will receive a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, when dining-in at participating eateries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from August 3 to August 31. Diners can take advantage of the money-off meal deals as many times as they want.

The discount is available for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but does not include takeaway purchases. Visitors will not need a voucher, as participating establishments will simply discount their bill.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Many of our cafes, bars and restaurants are now open and have signed up to the Eat Out Help Out scheme.

“This is a fantastic incentive for people to treat themselves with a meal out after months of lockdown. A family of four that would normally pay, say £80 for their meal will only be charged £40 thanks to the initiative and the eateries at intu Braehead taking part.

“We’re seeing more and more visitors returning every day, so we’re confident that plenty of people will be taking advantage of the fantastic Eat Out to Help Out scheme and will enjoy a delicious meal together.

“Of course, we’ll be continuing to do everything we can to make sure intu Braehead is a safe place to visit and work.”

The cafes, bars and restaurants participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be regularly updated at intu.co.uk/braehead, but they currently include:

Five Guys; Lord of the Isles; McDonalds; Nando’s; Pizza Express; Pizza Hut; Prezzo; TGI Fridays; Yo! Sushi; Frankie & Benny’s – open August 10 and Harvester, which is opening soon.

braehead drive in movie

It was a full house when drive-in movies came to the boardwalk at intu Braehead for the first time last night. (Wednesday, July 29)

Grease was the first film shown and it was the one that everyone seemed to want as 150 cars packed with movie fans turned up to watch the iconic film featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

braehead drive in movie

And as a thank you for their work on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, anyone who works for the NHS was given free entry to the first screening.

Later during the second show, which was family favourite, Back to the Future a similar amount of cars were parked up in the boardwalk in front of a giant screen.

The Arena at intu Braehead has teamed up with the Catherine McEwan Foundation charity to help raise much-needed funds to help people living with Crohn’s and Colitis get better care, treatment and quality of life.

There will be two films shown on a giant screen every night and four movies this weekend, with the audio broadcast via a frequency that car radios can be tuned to.

Tickets are still on sale for the drive movie screenings that go on until Sunday, August 2 and the movies being shown are Grease, Jurassic Park, Mama Mia, Goonies, Finding Nemo, Lion King, The Lost Boys, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing.

Refreshments are provided on site by the UK’s top street food operator, The Big Feed.

Derek McEwan, who launched the Catherine McEwan Foundation after his mother, Catherine passed away after years of suffering from Crohn’s Disease said: “It’s great to be at the iconic Braehead Boardwalk raising funds to help children and adults battling Crohn’s and Colitis.

“Our first night has been great and the fact that we could give a little back to our NHS superheroes tonight made it a bit special.”

Scott Martin, intu Braehead Leisure general manager added: “People seemed to move like greased lightning to snap up the tickets when they went on sale.

“It’s a novel way to have a good night out with the family and there are still a few tickets left for some of the drive-in movie showings during the rest of the week.”

Tickets costing £35 per car plus booking fee are on sale from www.lockdowndrivein.com.

Renfrewshire-Leisure

Safety the priority as Renfrewshire Leisure has to wait for “green light” on leisure service, including gyms and pools.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Thursday, 30th July) confirmed a further delay before gyms and swimming pools can reopen, with opening now identified as likely to be allowed on 14th September. That timeline is dependent on maintaining low levels of virus in the community as well as ensuring that all social distancing and hygiene protocols are followed, although the First Minister held out the prospect of particularly favourable conditions perhaps permitting an opening date at the end of August.

Renfrewshire-Leisure

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “We really do value the support of our members and the wider public and know how much people in Renfrewshire have missed these services. These centres are important parts of our communities, playing important roles in helping our health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to welcoming people back and working with them to ensure their return is both safe and enjoyable.” 

 

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how eagerly the community is waiting for news on a date for reopening our leisure facilities, not least of all because of the vital part they play in ensuring we can get everyone active again after a long period of closure during lockdown. 

 

“With reopening now no earlier than the end of August, and perhaps not until mid September, we will continue to use the time before then to refine our procedures – continuing to reflect that our first priority for opening will be the safety of our customers and staff.”

 

Renfrewshire Leisure will also be working with Renfrewshire Council’s education department towards the recommencement of its Active Schools programmes from the start of the new school term, as well as working with local sports clubs and teams to make earliest possible use of courts and pitches after confirmation that these can commence from specified dates in August.

Paisley-Town-Hall-Scene-9075

Work to transform the future of Paisley’s much-loved town hall is due to restart – with construction workers due on site at the start of August.

The project will create 21st-century facilities inside the striking Victorian landmark while delivering improvements essential to keep the town hall at the heart of life in the town – and is taking place as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s historic venues by Renfrewshire Council.

Paisley-Town-Hall-Scene-9075

No work has taken place on the town hall in recent months due to the coronavirus lockdown – however with restrictions on construction sites being relaxed, workers can now safely go on site in line with national guidance.

The contract for the advance construction works on the town has been awarded to Morrison Construction and is expected to run until December.

The main construction works are expected to start next year, and while the exact impact of lockdown on the original timescale is still unclear, the project is expected to be complete before the end of 2022.

Other planned investments still being delivered in the town centre by the council include the work to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the area’s unique and globally-significant story and collections, on which construction is due to start in the new year.

PaisleyTHNetworkBar

And construction work is due to resume soon on the site of the new Learning and Cultural Hub on Paisley High Street, which will be the town’s new home of library services.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which operates the town hall, said: “We are pleased work is able to resume on Paisley Town Hall, which is another positive sign as the area’s economy starts to re-emerge from lockdown.

“Although the council faces a very challenging financial outlook, the town hall, museum and learning and cultural hub projects are all well under way – with years of work having already taken place on each – and we intend to see those projects through.

“In the town hall’s case, the work being planned includes investment in 21st-century facilities which will help drive new footfall to the area in the years ahead, as well as essential replacement of outdated infrastructure without which the building would not have a long-term future.

“The completed buildings will be crucial to Renfrewshire’s long-term economic prospects – our vision for Paisley town centre remains one in which we promote its unique cultural and heritage offer to bring people here.

“And while coronavirus has disrupted that work we hope our continued investment in the town hall and other venues will help the area’s economic recovery from lockdown and give confidence to our local businesses.”

The investment in the town hall is aimed at bringing new activity and vibrancy to the town while ensuring the building has a long-term future. It is planned to include:

– a complete and essential replacement of the old and outdated electrical and mechanical systems;

– the preservation of the unique architectural features within this A-listed Victorian gem;

– an expanded capacity in the main hall allowing bigger and better events and driving more footfall to the town centre, boosting the local economy;

– unused spaces brought back into use and entirely new rooms and facilities created including a new café-bar with views over the river, increasing the range of events the building can host;

– a much-improved audience experience including improved staging, lighting and seating with better views, and improved access making it easier for everyone to move around the building.

paisley-abbey-logos

monster hero

Paisley First is offering a fun, family “Safari” to help give families a safe town centre story-trail this summer, whilst supporting the NHS.

Will you accept the challenge to search the streets for 10 cute and colourful MonsterHeroes?

Using only smartphones, the Safari allows you to learn each of the MonsterHero’s name, story, and superpowers.

Once all 10 MonsterHeroes are found, a free e-book that tells the story of their first team-up will be unlocked.

The Safari works by utilising contactless NFC technology and QR codes, without the need for players to download or sign up to anything.

To play, simply tap or scan the Let’s Go posters or MonsterHero Safari window decals dotted around the town centre, and make a donation of £2, or more if you wish, to the charity NHS Together.

As we all adjust to the new normal, it’s hoped this outdoor trail will bring some family fun to Paisley town centre, where visitors can enjoy fresh air and wide-open spaces, and hopefully bring a smile to visiting children.

MonsterHero Safari is an outdoor only trail and a great way to help people get some fresh air whilst having fun and raising money for such a worthwhile cause too.

As more and more of our local businesses are reopening, families can be assured that we are all working together to implement COVID-19 safety measures to Keep Paisley Safe.

More than 100 areas across the UK are taking part in this summer’s MonsterHero Safari project with the aim of raising over £100k for NHS Charities Together.

Paisley town centre’s trail has been sponsored by Love Local, Love Paisley ❤

To learn more about the story-trail please visit our website.

Lily the frog with joke book

It’s time for youngsters to join the Silly Squad this summer.

All kinds of daftness is the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and children between the ages of four and 11 are being encouraged to sign up for a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter.

Lily the frog with joke book

The Silly Squad is a team of animal friends who love to go on adventures and read all kinds of humorous books. This year’s Reading Challenge also features characters designed by the award-winning author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson who created books like Amelia Fang and Evil Emperor Penguin.

The challenge runs from now until August 15 and to join all you have to do is visit www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk where you’ll find the link to the Silly Squad website. Parents or carers will need to give consent for children to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Once registered, youngsters can set their own personal reading challenge and the website helps keep track of their books, reviews and the rewards for reading books during the summer.

Lily the frog with joke book

The website is also packed with suggestions of brilliant books to read and tips on how to keep reading over the summer. There will also be heaps of super silly activities, quizzes, videos and games to keep children entertained.

Youngsters can also tune into the #ScottishSillySquad on YouTube where every week three authors and storytellers will broadcast their tips on how best to enjoy and complete the Summer Reading Challenge.

A wide variety of children’s books and e-books can be borrowed for free with library membership. To do that, or to join a library, just go to the Renfrewshire Libraries website.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Reading should be fun for children and that’s exactly what this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is.

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“Last year more than 2000 young people took part in our reading challenge and even though we have been in lockdown in recent months, we’re making sure children don’t miss out on the joy of books this year.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is being organised by Renfrewshire Libraries and the Reading Agency with the aim of getting youngsters to read books during the summer break.

Renfrewshire Libraries have now re-opened for click and collect and returning books only. For more information go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

paisley arts institute

25 July – 6 September 2020

Launch Event SAT 25 July 4pm on www.paisleyartinstitute.org (All welcome)

This year, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the much-anticipated Paisley Art Institute Open Annual Exhibition, the 132nd edition no less, will take the form of an online presentation for the first time in our history.  The 132nd PAI Annual Online goes live on www.paisleyartinstitute.org on Saturday 25 July and continues online until Saturday 6 September 2020.

paisley arts institute

These unparalleled circumstances offer Paisley Art Institute a pivotal opportunity to embrace something of the scale and excitement of presenting one of Scotland’s longest running annual exhibitions in a gallery setting whilst reimagining what artists and visitors might experience of the PAI Annual in an online environment.

We had an overwhelming response to our open call for submissions. From an open call, we received 628 entries. Just over 60% of artworks submitted were from Open Entrants. Undeterred by showing work in a virtual rather than physical setting, exhibiting artists invite us to consider themes that have been felt universally in 2020: human connection, a love of nature, the turbulent times we live in to name but a few.  Artists showing work come from across Scotland and further afield. The Annual Online will display work by artists at all stages of their careers including submissions from highly regarded artists who are Paisley Art Institute Diplomates including, Charles JamiesonJames CosgroveRobert Murray and Gail Murray, who have embraced the opportunity to show work on this virtual platform.  

With its rich tradition and history as one of Scotland’s longest running exhibitions, ‘porting’ the PAI Annual online has been a fascinating challenge which presented us too with a unique opportunity to reflect on the cultural heritage of Paisley.  In the 1820s the Jacquard loom was being used to propel Paisley as a leading light in Scotland’s textiles industry.  The intricate punch card input method used laid the foundations of computer technology and ‘coding’ in particular – the building blocks of creating our online presentation.

We are delighted to have worked with Berlin-based Paisley Buddie Andrew Hopkins as our Digital Collaborator who has designed a bespoke series of virtual viewing rooms.  It has been important for Andrew to amplify the creative energy of his hometown, especially during lockdown when he is physically cut off from Scotland.  

A specially convened Selection Committee of PAI Artists Members chose work specifically with the online context in their sights.  Eòghann MacColla, Convenor of the Paisley Art Institute Exhibitions Hanging Committee said “It was a real pleasure for the selection team to review the works we received via the artists call out.  The quality of submissions has been so impressive and encompasses a wide range of techniques.  The process of selecting works for an online exhibition has been a fascinating challenge and a unique one. We are sure the range of work on display will bring some much-needed vibrancy, colour, and joy in 2020.  We hope the 132nd Paisley Art Institute Annual Online will also offer an opportunity to reflect on our collective experience of this pandemic through several pieces which deal very directly with the lockdown theme.  It has been humbling to see how a number of artists exhibiting in the 132nd PAI Annual Online have directly taken their experience of lockdown and used this time to make a personal creative response, exploring themes of personal wellbeing and our universal need for connection.

As you would expect a range of Paisley based artists are included in the 132nd PAI Annual Online, including:

  • Alexander Ramsay with his piece ‘Lockdown Fever’ – Alex was recognised with an award for his work during the 2019 PAI Open Annual exhibition
  • Caroline Gormley, PAI Vice President is exhibiting this year as is artist Sandy Guy who, with Caroline, is co-founder of the ‘Made in Paisley’ Studio and Gallery.
  • We are delighted to include examples of work by an up and coming generation of Paisley based artists such as Angela Pieraccini, who has lovely circular geometric works included. 
  • Paisley based painter and PAI Artist Committee Member, Moe Rocksmoore, presents her signature atmospheric skyscapes in this year’s Annual Online. 

Our universal experience of living through the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has unsurprisingly generated some highly creative responses.  Themes of self-care, wellbeing, isolation and connection and the familiar symbols of face coverings and rainbows all appear in the exhibition.  Participating artist, Wendy Greig, is a fulltime anaesthetic nurse in the NHS who paints and draws in her evenings and weekends. Describing her art practice as ‘a lifeline during the current crisis’. Her works are in soft pastel, portraits. 

 

Other examples of ‘crisis responsive’ artworks in the Annual Online include:

 

  • Ilona Dynowski Red run an almost apocalyptic street scene. 
  • Lynn Howarth’s portrait of a frontline worker wearing a mask
  • Boo Paterson ‘COVID Old Glory’ our poster image for the PAI exhibition in 2020. 
  • Former PAI Vice President Al Strachan and his colourful collages relating to being housebound and Zoom
  • John Andrew’s Lockdown work, ‘Joan in a mask’. John discovered his passion for visual art ‘later in life’.  He has natural talent and flair for painting and drawing and is returning to exhibit with PAI after first doing so in 2019.

 

This year for the first time ever, the Paisley Art Institute website will host an online shop, where much of the artwork on display will be available to purchase during the duration of the exhibition.

virtual 5k

Fans of the Paisley 10k can still take part in a road race this year as a new competition gets up and running.

The annual Paisley 10k and Fun Run may have had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the team at Renfrewshire Leisure have organised a series of virtual races to take its place.

virtual 5k

Runners can take part by signing up for the Renfrewshire Leisure Virtual 5k Summer Series for free and after registering, they are asked to submit their best times for running a distance of 5k.

They can start submitting their times once every week for three weeks starting on July 27 and runners can complete the distance either on an outdoor run, or on a treadmill.

Week One is July 27 to August 2; Week Two, August 3 to August 9 and Week 3, August 10 to August 16.

Registration via www.renfrewshireleisure.com/5ksummerseries will be open throughout each week and once signed up, runners will be sent an email with a weblink to a Google Form where they can submit their times.

Runners can choose to register and submit their time for Week 1, Week 2, or all three weeks. At the end of each week, results will be collated and a leader board will be posted on the Renfrewshire Leisure website and social media.

The Virtual 5k Summer Series is being organised in conjunction with Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club and the event’s charity partner is Erskine – Scotland’s foremost provider of care for military veterans and their spouses.

Although entry to the event is free, runners are being encouraged to make a donation to Erskine at www.erskine.org.uk/support-our-work/donate/ .

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “It’s a shame the Paisley 10k and Fun Run has had to be cancelled this year, but we’re making sure all the training that runners have been doing throughout the year will be put to good use.

“Our team has been very creative in coming up with the idea for a Virtual 5k Summer Series and I hope lots of runners sign up and log their best times for running the 5k race distance.

“I’m sure those taking part will join in the fun and competitive spirit of the event and if they aren’t top of the leader board after the first week, they have another two opportunities to post even faster times.”