Johnstone Pipe Band

Pipers bag Glasgow Airport funding for new equipment


Pipers of all ages from across Renfrewshire are set to benefit from money for new equipment through the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.


Johnstone Pipe Band’s ‘learner’ class now has 30 members, following a successful recruitment drive. The band itself has 36 members, and 20 of these are under 18.

An award of £1,000 from the FlightPath Fund will fund the purchase of new chanters, drum skins, snares and beaters which will help to ensure that the learners are able to progress to playing bandsmen.


Johnstone Pipe Band is run by volunteers and performs at local, national and international events and competitions. The members also work with schools in the town introducing pupils to pipe music, and explaining the disciplines and life skills that can be learned, and the official qualifications that can be achieved by joining up.


Alan McGeoch, secretary of Johnstone Pipe Band, said: “This new equipment will provide a massive boost to both the learner classes and the band. I am also hopeful it will also enable us to attract new members and learners by showing that as well as providing excellent tuition, we have high standards when it comes to equipment.”


Glasgow Airport’s operations director Campbell Mackinnon added: “Johnstone Pipe Band does great work in the community by encouraging people, particularly young people, to learn and perform a style of traditional Scottish music.


“This award from the FlightPath Fund will enable the band to continue its work at a local level, while also representing Johnstone and Renfrewshire at national and international events and competitions.”

Find out more about Glasgow Airport and the Flight Path Fund here.


Paisley Events – Buddy Beat

Buddy Beat are hosting a Rod Stewart Tribute Night on Friday 17th November at the Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods.

Acts include:

  • Rod Stewart Tribute Act
  • Nicola Boyle School of Highland Dance
  • Awa Goubiaby of Glasgow African Dance
  • The Buddy Beat

buddy-beatTickets are on sale at only £7.00 or 2 for £10.00. Tickets can be bought from Lee’s Diner within the Paisley Shopping Centre or Email

Money raised goes to Buddy Beat to continue to help more people


Weaving Musical Threads at the Paisley Mill Museum

Musical Mills – a Celebration

Musical Mills, held at the Thread Mill Museum on Saturday 3 November and compered by Tracy Patrick and Dave Manderson, hosted a packed programme of poetry and words, music, art and heritage – raising awareness of the industrial heritage and the Museum that charts the thread industry. The Museum was full as all ages were entertained for the afternoon, including archive footage playing on the screen.

Premieres galore filled the day. Sandy Stoddart’s maquette of the William Gallacher Monument graced the venue, with the young, elegant Mill Girl seated by Willie Gallacher – Paisley’s man of conscience who was ‘admired for his honesty, humanity, humour and selfless devotion to principle’. Donations are welcome to make this sculpture a reality on the High Street!

The inspiration of the Mill Girl Poets had resulted in a song commission by Weaving Musical Threads (WMT) from Anna MacDonald –  the very artiste who sang over the rooftops of Paisley from the Observatory balcony during the WMT festival in March – ‘Looking back down, History’s fine thread….the Mill Girls the most radical of all’. Anna especially travelled up from London to be with us and premiere her song.

We heard words of poetry with three of the Mill Girl Poets (Tracy Patrick, Mo Blake and Kathryn Daly) appearing from all parts of the Museum reciting their work, such as ‘Half Timer’s School’, ‘Anchor Mill Strike 1907’, ‘May 1904’, ‘Open the Gates’, ‘A Streak of Gallus’ and ‘Anchor Mill’. Renowned local writers and prize winners also entertained – Dave Manderson, Graham Fulton, Ray Evans, G W Colkitto and (recently launched from the Titan Crane, from our sunny Glasgow suburb) the writer of working life, Brian Whittingham.

The WMT clay sculpture and panel was revealed for the first time – a legacy from Karen James’s clay workshop when in March the audience and participants of the WMT festival made their marks in clay.

There was a Gerry Rafferty theme, as Pauline Vallance, solo artiste who launched a beautiful new CD the night before and of Lochwinnoch Arts Festival, performed ‘Whatever’s Written In Your Heart’ on clarsach. Could this have been a world’s first?

Jim Gilbert, one half of ‘Wing and a Prayer’ and a once close friend of Danny Kyle, also paid tribute to the Paisley buddie.

We were delighted to welcome the Leader of the Council, Mark MacMillan, who pledged his support for the upcoming collaborative work with the Mill Girl Poets, Weaving Musical Threads and Renfrewshire Council, to take heritage work into the local schools.

Our hosts, the Thread Mill Museum, we gratefully thank, as well as Create for their sound and recording assistance.

The day was supported by the University of the West of Scotland, The Co-operative Membership and Weaving Musical Threads.

All Paisley Photographs taken by Tracey Clements for


Here is a video of the Paisley fireworks almost in its entirety shot from right next to the Cenotaph. The video was shot on an Iphone so apologies about the slight shakiness of it but it was fairly cold.

If you have any video or photographs you would like to see on the website or our Facebook pages please send them in to full credit will be given.


Naughty Or Nice? Piazza Shopping Centre Competition

You can be in with a chance of winning VIP family tickets to ride on Buddies open top bus during the Piazza Elf Parade on November 10th. Limited availability.

santaNaughty Or Nice – For your chance to win tickets to ride on Buddies’ open top bus during the Christmas parade on November 10th, tell us the naughtiest or nicest present you have given or received. (Keep it clean now!)

How to enter: Email your entry to OR post your entry into Buddies’ post box which can be found at the T-Junction in the Piazza OR search post on Buddies’ wall on Facebook at

the spree

Paisley Spree is a triumph
Six months of planning, 24 events and nearly 3,000 people made last weekend’s new national festival, The Spree, a triumph.

The music, arts and comedy festival launches Paisley’s Year of the Mod and showed just how well the town is suited to holding major cultural events. Next October, the Spree will wrap round the Mod; making Paisley the focal point for Scottish music, drama and comedy.

the spreePeople from Tokyo, Texas, Ireland and throughout the UK visited Paisley to see artists such as Roddy Frame, Damien Dempsey and Karen Matheson, Fidil and Chemikal Underground. They also enjoyed some rip-roaring comedy: Craig Hill’s outrageous Jock’s Trap!, lunchtime improvisation, kids’ comedy and Saturday night’s Best of Scottish Comedy in association with the Stand comedy club.

A Spiegeltent was shipped in from Holland and local people watched on in amazement as this spectacular venue was erected in Paisley’s County Square within 24 hours.

There were four partners involved in funding and delivering the project; Creative Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, EventScotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:

“The Spree was a great success. We were proud to welcome so many visitors to Paisley and, of course, Renfrewshire’s people got the chance of a great night out on their door step.

“The Spree shows us all how a real town setting like Paisley does can add to a festival’s character. The Abbey and the Spiegeltent were fantastic venues, the town’s people welcomed our visitors in the best Paisley spirit and the atmosphere around the town lively and friendly.”

the spree

The Spree organisers worked closely with local organisations such as: Reid Kerr College, who assisted with the photography and radio interviews; the University of West of Scotland, who are working on the festival evaluation; Loud ‘n’ Proud, a local youth charity who help develop young musicians in Scotland; and PACE Youth Theatre.

The festival ended yesterday with a full day of Celtic Connections that included a flavour of the Danny Kyle Stage. Previous finalists such as Breabach and Craig Jeffrey entertained a full Spiegeltent audience who were then treated to a Scottish exclusive performance by Francois and the Atlas Mountains.

Amanda Moulson, Renfrewshire Council’s Town Centres and Events Manager added:

“The Spree has had a great impact on Paisley and has placed us firmly on Scottish events map; proving that great things can happen in towns as well as cities. We’re happy to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended a Spree event and who supported the festival in its first year.

“Paisley can prepare for an even a bigger Spree next year as we welcome the National Royal Mòd.”


Voices in Paisley Lunchtime Recitals

The following poster gives the details of the lunchtime recitals beginning Monday the 29th October


Lunchtime Poster A4 PDF


Holy Trinity St. Barnabas Church will play host to a renowned London choir. On the 3rd November, The Addison Singers from Kensington, under the direction of David Wordsworth, will perform a variety of traditional and modern pieces.

addisonIt has been said that ‘the music the Addison Singers perform, other choirs perform twelve months later’ due to their programme of innovative contemporary pieces. They have been winners eight times of the prestigious PRS Music prize for new music, having had several celebrated composers write pieces for them. One such composer, Bob Chilcott, is president of the choir and they were fortunate to perform under his baton in a memorable concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Sharing the platform for the evening will be Aria, a local female vocal ensemble, directed by Paisley Voices Chairman, Jim Drennan. Having been guests of the Addison Singers in London two years ago, Aria are extremely excited to be working with such a fantastic group of singers once again.

Aria’s fresh varied programme has won them many accolades and prizes including the Orpheus Trophy at the Glasgow Music Festival and as Regional winners in the BBC Choir of the Year competition.

The joint concert promises to be an evening of choral excellence. The concert begins at 7.30pm at Holy Trinity and St. Barnabas St James’ Place, St James’ Street, Paisley and tickets priced £8 and £6 concession will be available on the door or from Print and Copy it, High Street Paisley or from Sandie McGregor 07730555009. Further information available at

Aria Addison Poster A4 PDF


Following on from the success of the SPREE festival, Voices in Paisley, offers a short programme of exciting concerts and recitals for 2012.

The Paisley Voices festival welcomes Mezzo soprano, Taylor Wilson, for a concert of songs from all over the world entitled ‘Alchemy’.

taylor-wilsonThe multi-lingual vocalist has recently returned from a tour in Hong Kong and a University series around Scotland. She is famed for her rich tone and dramatic story-telling and has been highly praised for her thrilling live performances.

Taylor will be accompanied by Karen McVicar on piano and accordion (PRS British composer award 2010) and by Rudi de Groote on cello (principal cellist Orchestra of Scottish Opera).

The concert will take place on 2nd November at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity and St. Barnabas Church, St. James’ Street, Paisley. Tickets are £8 and £6 concessions and are available from Print and Copy it, High Street, Paisley or by telephoning 0141-887-4202. Further information available at

Taylor Wilson Poster PDF

spree launch

The Spree Festival Paisley Launch

A new Scottish national music and arts festival will kick off in Paisley on 25th October, running until 28th October and includes a line up of artists such as Roddy Frame, Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Damien Dempsey and comedian Craig Hill as well as a full day of Celtic Connections on the Sunday. This photocall and interview opportunity will be held the day before for print or broadcast on Thursday, 25 October.

In the pictures below: In the specially imported and very colourful spiegeltent, called Idolize, kids from PACE Youth Theatre joined Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, and Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of the council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, to mark the occasion.

The kids from PACE were wearing Spree orange t-shirts and the councillors even got their hands on the over-sized cut out guitar, fiddle and microphone. The kids will also danced with voile ribbons in Spree colours to add a touch more colour to an already colourful picture.

Location of the Spiegeltent, County Square, Paisley, PA1

All Paisley Photographs taken by Ian McDonald for Paisley on the web.