makar

Renfrewshire now has its own Poet Laureate who will write poems to mark important events in the local area.

Poet, playwright and creative writing lecturer, Brian Whittingham has been appointed the Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire.

makar

The move came after Renfrewshire Council agreed to a proposal by Councillors Eileen McCartin and Andy Doig at a council meeting last year to appoint a Makar.

The Makar – who has been appointed for the next three years – will also visit schools, libraries and local groups to give readings and talks aimed at encouraging an interest in poetry.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Makar will reflect the life of Renfrewshire through formal readings of poetry and will write at least five poems every year to mark moments of cultural importance or local life.”

Brian Whittingham, 68, lived in Renfrew for many years and was a plater and then draughtsman on the Clyde shipyards and it was during this period he became interested in writing poetry while attending the Paisley Writers’ Group. He has had nine collections of poetry published and spent the last 16 years lecturing in creative writing at the City of Glasgow College.

He said: “I would like to leave some kind of legacy by developing a love of poetry in the local community. I hope to get people to be more aware of poetry and appreciate that particular art form.”

winterfest paisley

Some stunning photographs of Winterfest & The Big Wheel in Paisley taken last night by Muir Media and kindly allowed on Paisley.org.uk, these were taken when things were nice and quiet and were probably the first ones on the big wheel. It looks amazing and some superb views of the town.

winterfest paisley

If you have any photographs you would like to share with the public of Paisley simply use the hashtag #PositivePaisley and we will do our best to reshare via Twitter, Instagram or for Facebook just email them over to the Paisley FB Page. Also thanks to Muir Media we have our brand new logo for the #PositvePaisley Hashtag please feel free to download and use on your images.

PositivePaisley

#PositivePaisley

More than 27,000 people flocked to Paisley town centre to enjoy this years’ Christmas Lights spectacle.

Families enjoyed a full day of free fun, with Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron carrying out the big switch on. 

She was helped by 11-year-old Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

 Earlier in the day, a glittering parade with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and Santa Claus and his reindeers wound its way through the town centre. 

Many families got an early start on Christmas shopping with the town centre shops open for business and The Urban Market at Paisley Abbey. 

The main stage featured entertainment from Capital FM DJs Des Clarke, Steven Mill and Garry Spence, with performances from family favourites Funbox, while the Princesses of Pop paid tribute to the music of Ariana Grande and Little Mix. 

X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins entertained the crowds just before the big Christmas countdown. 

Provost Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the big events in the winter calendar and this year didn’t disappoint.

“It was great to see so many families and young people coming into the town centre to mark the start of the festive season and take part in all the activities on offer. 

“I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a peaceful and Merry Christmas when it comes.” 

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December. 

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 24 November and runs daily until December 30, except for Christmas Day.

Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall lit up in red

Hundreds attended Paisley Abbey for a special service to mark the centenary of the signing of the Armistice, which signalled the end of the First World War.

Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall lit up in red

​Minister for Paisley Abbey, Reverend Alan Birss, led a short service of commemoration for those who gave all in service to their country with a poignant reading and prayer.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by a young person and an ex-serviceman to light a candle of remembrance in the Abbey for all those who never returned home.

Hundreds attended the special service to commemortate 100 years since the end of the First World War

The service was followed by a concert of music, song and poetry performed by the Starlight Youth Music Theatre, Chamber Choir and the Johnstone Brass Band, as they honoured the Armed Forces who have given so much.

The Abbey and Paisley Town Hall were also lit up in red to mark the occasion.

All proceeds from a collection on the night will be donated to Poppy Scotland and There But Not There.

Provost Cameron, who also attended the 10:45am service in Paisley, said: “This was a moving, poignant service in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to have the lives we have today.

“We cannot express enough gratitude to our Armed Forces and it’s extremely important that we continue to honour them on Remembrance Sunday, and all year round as well.

“It was fantastic to see the number of people who attended services across Renfrewshire to pay tribute to the fallen, especially this year as we marked 100 years since the end of the First World War.”

Another nine events were held across Renfrewshire on Remembrance Sunday to allow all communities the opportunity to pay their respects to the fallen.

Renfrewshire’s also hosted its annual Children’s Remembrance Service on Friday 9 November at Mossvale and St James Primary School in Paisley, where pupils performed poetry and sang as they showcased their learning about why we celebrate Remembrance Day.

Veterans from the Royal British Legion Scotland (Paisley Comrades Division) were there to give pupils the opportunity to ask questions about their experiences and the work of the Legion, before a two-minute silence was observed at 10am.

For more information on why we mark Remembrance Day every year, visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance.

SANTA PAISLEY

It’s his busiest time of year, so no wonder Santa Claus was spotted getting ship shape for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-On.

SANTA PAISLEY

The big man checked out the Abbey and Town Hall ahead of the event this Saturday, 17 November, in Paisley town centre.

Santa himself needs to look his best and so his famous white beard was given a timely trim, and he popped into Houston Kiltmakers in Paisley for a new belt.

SANTA PAISLEY

He also found time to enjoy a mince pie and catch up on local news ahead of the festive cracker, as well as indulging in a bit of his own Christmas shopping.

His reindeer weren’t forgotten as he stocked up on armfuls of carrots for his faithful friends. They will take part in a glittering parade along with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and of course, Santa Claus himself, which will wind through the town from 1.30 – 2.15pm.

SANTA PAISLEY

There will be activities galore for children and families from 12pm, including a funfair and storytelling igloo, with Santa’s Grotto, face painting and Christmas crafts in the Paisley Centre and a dedicated Kids Zone in Paisley Town Hall.

SANTA PAISLEY

For anyone with a sweet tooth who is aged five and upwards, Lime Tree Larder’s free chocolate making workshops are a must. Have a go at making your very own chocolate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen and book ahead to secure your place. A food marquee on the grass at Paisley Abbey will ensure nobody goes hungry, with sweet treats provided by Ta Ta Bella’s.

Christmas shopping is covered too, with the town centre shops open for business. The Urban Market will be at Paisley Abbey for the very first time and head there for original gifts and creative crafts from some of the best artists and makers in Scotland.

There is entertainment from Capital FM DJs Des Clarke, Steven Hill and Garry Spence, who will be on the main stage with music and chat from 1pm.

There will also be performances from family favourites Funbox, while the Princesses of Pop will pay tribute to the music of Ariana Grande and Little Mix.

X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins will play in front of a crowd of thousands before Provost Lorraine Cameron carries out the big switch on at 6pm. She will be assisted by 11-yearold Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

There is also a specially designed ‘Sensory Safe Space’ in the Town Hall for those with additional support needs and their carers, with sensory arts and crafts, musical instruments and lighting, as well as gentle music and soft seating, from 1pm. The  45 minute sessions are bookable via Eventbrite.

The Sma’ Shot cottage complex which showcases Paisley’s weaving heritage will also be open to visitors on the day from 12 till 4pm.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 24 November and runs daily until December 30 except for Christmas Day.

For full details and timings on the Christmas Light Switch-On please visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on/

To book a space in a sensory safe space session please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on-sensory-safe-space-tickets-52264005046

Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Paisley is set for a special 90s themed fireworks spectacular as the town’s annual display takes place on Saturday 3 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Thousands are expected to turn out and see the skies above Paisley Abbey light up – and this year’s dazzling fireworks display will be backed by a soundtrack of popular hits from the 1990s.

The display will burst into life from 7pm with organisers recommending Bridge Street, Dunn Square and Gauze Street (section from Smithhills Street to Silk Street) as viewing points.

The funs starts in Paisley Town Hall from 2pm, with a series of free family activities throughout the afternoon – including activity workshops, animation sessions, face painting and a floor paint zone. There’s also the chance to meet cartoon character favourites with Pikachu, Minions, Superman, Batgirl, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell mascots all in attendance.

The 90s themed fun continues with iconic arcade games on the ground floor and a ‘silent disco’ – back by popular demand – for music fans of all ages.

There will also be a host of activity in the town’s County Square with fantastic funfair rides from 2pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a two-hour live DJ set packed with 90s classics from 5pm before the stunning fireworks display lights up the sky above the Abbey.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On two weeks later, on Saturday 17 November. The festive cracker will feature entertainment from Capital FM and performances from family favourites Funbox, Princesses of Pop and X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins, as well as the famous Reindeer Parade with Santa and much more.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

paisley fireworks

Get set to relive all the classics at Paisley’s Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 3 November – this year with a 90s theme!

paisley fireworks

Remember, remember, activities will get underway from 2pm with plenty on offer for kids and families. Take a funfair ride at County Square (open 2pm – 8.15pm), play some iconic 90s arcade games, have your face painted or relearn the moves to Whigfield’s Saturday Night at Paisley Town Hall’s Silent Disco – back by popular demand!

We’ve also got workshops galore for kids, including a floor paint zone for wee ones, ‘I Love the 90’s’ lollipop making and animation sessions. All activity workshops are free, simply drop in to Paisley Town Hall to take part from 2pm – 6.15pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will then take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a 2-hour live DJ set from 5pm packed with hits before the spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky above Paisley Abbey at 7pm.

paisley halloween festival 2018

The town centre was taken over by the ghoulish extravaganza, which is one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

paisley halloween festival 2018

Around 500 young people and costumed performers took part in the parade, which wound its way through the town centre against a backdrop of historic steeples and spires and the 850-year-old Abbey.

The Photographs below were taken by Scottish Photography Productions and kindly allowed for use on paisley.org.uk

Year of Young People

A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.

A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at www.visitscotland.com/yoyp2018

Paisley Halloween Festival is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate.

EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.

Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.

Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making. More than 380 Ambassadors are championing activity.

The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.

More information can be found at yoyp2018.scot, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing yoyp2018@gov.scot

Paisley Halloween Parade

An estimated crowd of 34,000 flocked to Paisley for a Halloween spectacle this weekend with amazing floats, flying witches and a Mardi-Gras style parade.

Paisley Halloween Parade

The town centre was taken over by the ghoulish extravaganza, which is one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

Around 500 young people and costumed performers took part in the parade, which wound its way through the town centre against a backdrop of historic steeples and spires and the 850-year-old Abbey.

Four enormous floats, designed and constructed by creative company Bridgeman Arts alongside Renfrewshire’s young people, delighted the crowds. A giant animatronic ‘Witch and Cauldron’, a ‘Day of the Dead’ funeral scene, an illuminated ‘Witch and Mushroom Patch’ and interactive ‘Pumpkin Patch Man’ captured the Halloween mood.

Paisley Halloween Parade

It could only have been topped by the spectacular aerial performance with a cast of witches suspended from Paisley Town Hall, while the crowds were also entertained by top-class performers on the live stage, such as Spark LED drummers.

A funfair and cinema screening of horror films added to the packed programme, while families enjoyed workshops including pumpkin carving and costume balls for all ages.

Paisley Halloween Parade

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, was significantly enhanced for the themed year with a full town centre takeover.

Young people were at the heart of the Festival’s development, with a 20-strong Youth Panel working alongside Renfrewshire Council’s Events Team to design and deliver the programme, while more than 500 took part in a new creative learning programme. This offered the opportunity to participate in all aspects of festival delivery from performance to live event management and technical production.

Schoolgirl Emma-Lee Campbell, 12, from Paisley, took part in the spectacular aerial display and said: “It’s been great fun and as well as making new friends, I’ve had opportunities to learn new things.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley Halloween Festival has really raised the town’s profile and cemented its reputation as a place capable of staging unique, world class cultural events.

“It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves in Paisley town centre during the two days of free events, while the festival itself has created amazing opportunities for our young people.

“In the Year of Young People, hundreds of young people have been involved in what is now one of the biggest events in Scotland, whether it be actually performing, working behind the scenes or coming along to one of our masterclasses and workshops.

“They took up more than 1,200 creative learning opportunities and have been able to work alongside three of Scotland’s top creative events companies to co-create an event that puts the spotlight on Paisley. Renfrewshire’s young people are the real stars of the show.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s Head of Communications, Marketing and Events, said: “This year’s Halloween Festival was our biggest and most spectacular to date and is now viewed as one of the top events of its kind nationwide.

“To have so many of our young people at the heart of the festival’s planning and staging as co-creators made it extra special and we have been delighted to have delivered such a major event in partnership with VisitScotland.

“I’d like to thank all of the young people and everyone else involved in making this year’s event such a huge success, whether by taking part or by coming along and enjoying the festival.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to have supported Paisley Halloween Festival as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. The festival provided so many fantastic opportunities for young people to show us what they are made of and those involved should be very proud of what they have achieved. Young people were integral to every aspect of the design and delivery of the festival, highlighting the skills and talent that our young people have and further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

From soaring through the air as part of a witches aerial performance, creating spooky parade floats and working behind the scenes, more than 700 young people are at the centre of Paisley’s Halloween Festival.

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, met with some of the volunteers, mentees and Youth Panel members as the town gears up to welcome up to 30,000 visitors to the annual extravaganza this weekend, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018.

Leading creative companies aerial dance outfit All or Nothing, parade specialists Bridgeman Arts and pyro experts 21cc, have been working with local young people, while a 20-strong Youth Panel has been helping to create the event in tandem with Renfrewshire Council’s dedicated Events Team.

There have been 1,200 creative learning opportunities offered by the spectacle, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Young people have attended masterclasses and workshops and are involved in every aspect, from performance to live event management and technical production.

Around 500 young people will also take part in a Mardi-Gras style parade this Saturday, which will start winding its way through the town centre at 6pm, passing lighting installations and haunting soundscapes along the way.

There will be a series of three separate aerial performances with flying witches suspended 120 feet above the Town Hall from 7pm onwards, making sure no one misses the spectacle.

Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell said: “Young people are at the very heart of this event and it’s been great to hear about all the different opportunities and experiences they’ve been able to access through taking part.

“As co-creators of the festival, they’ve been able to have their say on every aspect of the event, from the design through to the actual technical production.

“They’ve also been able to develop and showcase their skills through performing or behind the scenes work, and it’s been great to hear how the experience is helping to set many of them on the path to pursue related careers.

“The creative learning programme will help those who would like to become involved professionally in organising large-scale future events like this weekend’s festival.

“It’s also been wonderful to hear how many of the young people are also using the opportunity to be involved towards earning volunteer awards like the Saltire Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.”

“Renfrewshire’s young people are very impressive and have blossomed being part of this event.”

Some of those taking part will also receive a special legacy ‘Spirit of Halloween’ award at Renfrewshire Council youth services’ Positive about Youth Awards in December.

Patrick Docherty, 16, is taking part in the aerial display and said: “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had the opportunity to do things I would never have thought of.

“It’s good to be challenged and learning new skills has made me feel more confident. I’ve also made lots of new friends.”

There will be a packed programme of free family fun in the lead up to the parade, including themed workshops, a live stage and a funfair.

The full programme for the Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 is available at: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-halloween-festival-2018/