Paisley and renfrewshire Events

kirsty logan
In 1880, Benjamin Disraeli famously said “Keep your eye on Paisley!” Paisley has a long history of radicalism, of finding strength in facing up to and overcoming adversity in whatever shape or form it might take.
The theme for the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, Radical New Futures, emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic and the resilience and fortitude that people and communities have shown. It has also been motivated by the importance that green spaces have played as solace and recuperation over the last year.
kirsty logan
Books and reading have been a great source of comfort for so many people during lockdown, evidenced by increased borrowing figures at Renfrewshire Libraries.
The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley, a programme of economic, social, and physical regeneration continuing the excitement and momentum experienced during the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 Bid. It is delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure and funded by Renfrewshire Council.
The 2021 Festival will be a digital forum with contributors coming from across the globe into your own home. It is delighted to welcome the 2020 Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart, who will be joined by Scottish literary giant, Andrew O’Hagan and debut writer, Graeme Armstrong. Other headline events will include Janey Godley, Melanie Reid, Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, writer for Small Axe series Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Jenny Kleeman, Kirstin Innes, and Kate Charlesworth in conversation with Val McDermid. Events for children will include Ross Mackenzie, Vivian French, Patience Agbabi, Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper.
Setting the tone for the Festival on its opening night – Radical New Futures – will be poet, playwright and performer Hannah Lavery (The Drift and Lament for Sheku Boyah), writer Laura Waddell (Exit) and Renfrewshire local Alan Bissett with his new novella Lazy Suzan. The opening night will also include Newtopia: Women with Fierce Words, a multimedia performance of writing emerging from women’s disrupted lives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, presented by Women With Fierce Words and joined from India by the award-winning poet, Saima Afreen.
Paisley Book Festival welcomes novelist, poet, performer, Kirsty Logan and author and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack as guest curators. Kirsty has curated a strand Understories: Reclaiming the stories we think we know with authors Intan ParamadithaSarah Maria GriffinKiran Millwood HargraveRebecca TamasMichael Lee Richardson and Tasha Suri. Malachy welcomes authors Alastair McIntoshKapka KassabovaPatrick LaurieCal Flyn and Lisa Wollett to the festival as part of an event strand called A Place for Hope: land, loss and the politics of care.
Writer in Residence Imogen Stirling presents... c. Sarah Grant
Full programme can be viewed on: paisleybookfestival.com – listings document attached. 
Victoria HollowsChief ExecutiveRenfrewshire Leisure said: 
“I am delighted we are able to launch the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, albeit in a different format from last year but with the same energy and inspirational programming that made our first festival such a success. This year’s theme of Radical New Futures embodies the feeling of strength and innovation that has been evident in communities throughout the pandemic and I am delighted to see this is reflected in the excellent line-up of writers involved in the festival, from headliners such as Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart to local writers, poets and children’s authors. I am sure that this festival will be a huge success and will put the Paisley Book Festival on the map for years to come.”
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Jess Orr said: “Whilst current restrictions mean that this year’s festival will be very different to its inaugural iteration back in February 2020, we are thrilled to be bringing the energy and spirit of Paisley and its people, their resilience and determination to look forward to a new and different future, to digital audiences this year. Whether you live in Paisley or not, we hope you’ll join us from wherever you are to celebrate the radical spirit that is well and truly alive in the world of books, and in the acts of reading and writing.”
book festival
The Festival also welcomes Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator, Imogen Stirling, as its first Writer-in-Residence. This residency will see her hosting online workshops with Renfrewshire community groups in January and February 2021, and writing her own response to this year’s festival theme, Radical New Futures. Imogen will curate and host three festival events which include Imogen’s Big Night In with Dean AttaIona Lee and Emme Woods and Radicalism in Stillness with her  in conversation with Sarah Grant
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Keira Brown said: “Through support from Creative Scotland, we were delighted to appoint Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator Imogen Stirling as our first Writer-in-Residence. Imogen has this week kicked off her online workshops with community groups across Renfrewshire enabling us to engage more local people as well as curating three of our wider book festival events. This new post has been such a significant addition to the Festival, and one which we hope will continue with future festivals.”
In addition, the Festival will host a schools and learning programme (branded #YoungFutures) by releasing a series of original videos, created by some of the UK’s most talented children and young adult authors. It will encourage schools across Paisley and Renfrewshire to watch these videos either at home or in their classrooms and engage with the authors’ ideas about what a radical future looks like to them.
The 2021 Paisley Book Festival programme has something for everyone and it looks forward to welcoming you to its digital stage.
Information | interviews | photographs contact: Wendy Niblock PR | wendyjniblock@btinternet.com | 07961 814834
Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)

Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)On 29 December 1745, exactly 275 years ago to the day, the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie issued a summons to the then Paisley Town Council to meet and account for raising a local militia against them.

This summons, along with a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary for a £500 fine paid just five days later by the people of Paisley, will go on display when Paisley Museum reopens following its £42m redevelopment.

Jacobite Propaganda Medal commissioned by Charles Edward Stuart

Unlike other towns, that were also fined by the Jacobites but later reimbursed, Paisley’s money has never been returned. Glasgow received £10,000 for its loss in 1749, and in 1750 Dumfries was indemnified with £2,800, however every application Paisley made was refused.

Archie Henderson, Social History Research Assistant for Paisley Museum said: “The history of the Jacobites is full of fascinating tales and having the opportunity to reinterpret the museum’s collection, tell new stories and retell old stories in a more engaging way is all part of the museum’s redevelopment. On 30th December this year Bonnie Prince Charlie will celebrate his 300th birthday, so what better time for us to remind people of this part of our town’s history.” 

Originally, Bonnie Prince Charlie fined Paisley £1,000 and took Bailie Matthew Kyle and former Bailie William Park hostage to ensure the fine was paid. However, this fine was later reduced to £500 providing it was paid in full by the following evening. When the time came, the town only managed to pay £300, and the payment window was extended by 12 hours. At the final hour the remaining payment was made to the Jacobites and a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary John Murray of Broughton was issued.

Henderson goes on to explain: “After the Jacobites were defeated at Culloden, and money started to be repaid to other towns, Paisley Council was advised that they should take John Murray to court, which they did in 1753 and the case dragged on for seven years without success. In 1760 an appeal was launched but again there is no record of any response or positive outcome, so the debt has remained outstanding.”

It is believed that £500 in today’s money would be worth more than £100,000.

The redevelopment of the museum will enable the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%. Significant items from the Jacobite collection that will go on display alongside the summons (dated 29 Dec 1745) and the receipt (dated 3 Jan 1746) include a Culloden sword passed down from the Carlile family; a Jacobite silver medal commissioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie; a painting by David Wilkie (1819) of The Veteran Highlander; and a headstone originally from the grounds of Paisley Abbey commemorating John Orr, one of eight Paisley volunteers killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746.

Paisley Museum is part of the town’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus is led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam. When it reopens it is expected to attract over 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79 million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley’s collections are culturally significant and the museum’s refurbishment is a wonderful opportunity for the town to reinterpret our objects for public display in a way that is engaging and meaningful to visitors.

“It is also a real tribute to our curatorial teams past and present, that our objects are still in such good condition, and are able to illustrate the area’s rich culture and the people’s story.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

But vibrant programme of digital content and services will be in place to support residents’ health and wellbeing during restrictions

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will temporarily close in line with the Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions from Boxing Day.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

The Level 4 measures coming into place across mainland Scotland on December 26th will be in place for at least three weeks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

 

These restrictions mean that all leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by Renfrewshire Leisure must close to the public during that period.

 

While in-venue facilities will be closed, a vibrant and varied package of content – covering everything from fitness and wellbeing to storytelling and nostalgia – will be available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the online REN TV channel.

 

A vast selection of library books are also available for download via the array of services offered online by Renfrewshire Libraries.

 

Outdoor non-contact sports will also continue, whilst they remain in line with Government guidance and that of individual sport governing bodies.

 

Direct Debit payments will not be taken in January in light of this latest announcement.

 

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We hope that people understand why we have to suspend in-venue services to help protect our communities. We all hope that this latest period of increased restrictions will have the desired effect in reducing rates of transmission and that we can reopen later in January.

 

“Even though our venues will be closed, we remain here for our communities and our team will be working hard to continue to create and deliver content for our members and the wider community online and via social media and also through outdoor activity.

 

“While we cannot offer services in-venue, we hope that our work online and outdoor will help the wellbeing of the region’s residents and keep people safe and well at what is a challenging time for us all, perhaps even more so at this time of year.”

 

Plans had already been in place for a revised festive programme – as is normal – from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive).

 

Details on service updates will be shared as soon as they are available online and via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels.

Sma Shot after 2

A £4.5m project to restore some of Paisley town centre’s historic architecture to its former glory has now completed work at several prominent sites on and around the town’s High Street.

The Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2) has been delivering a programme of building and outdoor streetscape improvements since 2017, and will run until 2022.

Sma Shot after 2

The project – funded and delivered by Renfrewshire Council with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland – covers a defined area within Paisley town centre around the High Street, New Street and Shuttle Street.

It includes grants for building owners to part-fund the costs of restoring and improving the town’s unique architecture. And the results of the team’s work throughout 2020 can now be seen at:

41 HS Upper - 3 after works

– a building repair project on the upper floors of the C-listed 41 High Street (above Right Way Credit Union), with major stone repair. A separate project will start in the new year and will improve the ground-floor shopfront;

– extensive improvements to the town’s much-loved Sma’ Shot Cottages – the volunteer-run museum and visitor attraction in Shuttle Street – recently repainted with conservation-grade paint along with repointing works, stone repairs, new doors and repairs to the windows, gutters and roof;

41 HS Upper - 2

– a transformation of the outside of the Print and Copy It shop at 61c High Street, which replaced the previous shopfront with a new and much improved traditional-style one;

This is the fifth historic shopfront to be restored, with work already complete at 30 A and B High St (White Cart Co and Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience), 36 High St (the Shelter shop), and 44 High St (Uptown Barbers).

61C HS SF After Image_Day

Work is also due to be completed before Christmas to preserve and improve the historic streetscape in George Place – restoring the cobbled street by reusing original granite setts and kerbs and adding quality Caithness paving.

61C Before Image

Further improvements to other historic buildings and shopfronts are planned for next year.

Running alongside the building-improvement work is a programme of cultural and educational activity aimed at raising awareness of the town’s heritage, including a schools weaving project, a documentary on Paisley’s Mill Girls, and a drama project on Paisley’s role in the 1820 Radical War.

Sma Shot Cottages during

The current TH.CARS work follows a similar scheme which saw major improvements to buildings and streetscape in the Causeyside Street area between 2009 and 2016.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley town centre’s architectural legacy is one of the finest to be found anywhere in the country, with Scotland’s second-highest concentration of listed buildings.

“The TH.CARS2 scheme has been doing great work to preserve that by helping owners bring historic buildings which have fallen into disrepair back into use, while improving the look of others by restoring original architectural features.

“That investment has two more years to run and will help make the town centre a more attractive place to live, work and invest during what we know has been a challenging time for traders.

“It is great to see a number of projects have been completed in recent months and I look forward to seeing more go on site over the next year.”

For more information on the project, see www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2

fionn gavin

A secondary school pupil from Paisley will help influence the future of sporting activity in Scotland.

Fionn Gavin, aged 17 and a sixth-year student at St Andrew’s Academy, has been selected to sit on the sportscotland Young People’s Sports Panel for the next two years.

He will join other young people from all over Scotland to influence the future and raise the profile of sport in the country.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team had supported four local pupils in their application to sit on the panel with two getting to the final stages of selection.

Fionn’s has been asked to join the panel out of more than 150 young people who applied.

Fionn said: “When I got the phone call saying I had been selected for the panel I was overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t believe it.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know my fellow peers on the panel and I can’t wait to get started to work as a team to make a difference to sport in Scotland.

“I am very grateful to my Active Schools Coordinators, David Rose and Erin Campbell along with the teachers in my PE Department, at St Andrew’s for helping me to become involved and pushing me to succeed in something I love.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Young People’s Sport Panel provides a national platform to represent the voice of young people across Scotland.

“The programme’s principle is that young people’s views are heard and valued and they have the opportunity to influence decision-making and drive change.

“Fionn has been involved with the Active Schools programme from a young age and has shown great commitment to sport. He has all the credentials to become a valued member of the panel and we are delighted he has been selected.

“He will also continue to work with groups in Renfrewshire to raise awareness and promote sporting activity.”fionn gavin

rainbow nursery

The show must go on as they say and Rainbow Nursery took those words to heart and made a fantastic movie, we were sent this in last night and its fun just pure fun, well worth a watch for any age… Here is the message I received and video from last night.

rainbow nursery

Louise Borris: Hi there I work in a little nursery on Paisley called Rainbow. Due to Covid restrictions, our annual Christmas Show was cancelled, and as we could not get out into the community to spread festive cheer, the 3-5 room decided to go digital and put a 2020 twist on this years show. Turns out our show is very popular and has succeeded in getting some Christmas cheer out into the wider community. We thought you might like a look at our superstars and hoped that you could also share our show out there to help us bring a smile to as many people as possible, everyone could do with a smile this year.

Gallowhill 1

SCHOOL pupils have transformed the streets of Gallowhill into a colourful celebration of Christmas.

Almost 300 drawings and paintings by children from St Catherine’s and Gallowhill Primary schools have been displayed on lamp posts around the Paisley neighbourhood from Friday, December 18 to Friday, January 8.

Gallowhill 1

Newly-formed community group, Feel Good Gallowhill – who came up with the idea for a Children’s Festive Arts Trail to bring some festive cheer to the area – was supported by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team in turning the concept into reality.

Now residents can enjoy seeing the drawings and paintings of Christmas scenes everywhere they go along the Active Communities 5k Walking Route through Gallowhill.

Chairperson of the Feel Good Gallowhill group, Tracey Kerr said: “We’d like to thank the pupils from Gallowhill and St Catherine primaries for all their amazing artwork. Without that the art trail wouldn’t be happening and we hope it brightens up the community this Christmas.

“We’re a newly-formed group of volunteers who want to make Gallowhill better for the kids and give them something to do while trying to regain a sense of community spirit.

“Our group wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Families First and Active Communities and it’s a huge thank you to Kate Drummond from Renfrewshire Leisure for all her hard work.”

Head teacher at St Catherine’s Primary, Emma Henry said: “When we were asked to participate in the Festive Art Trail we jumped at the chance.

“Not only did this allow our pupils the opportunity to showcase their fantastic art talents, but it gave us the opportunity to spread a little festive cheer throughout Gallowhill.

“Our place within our community is very important to us, so being involved in local initiatives such as this throughout the year is something we relish.

“This experience has provided us with a further opportunity to teach our pupils about the importance of being good citizens.”

Sheila Hood, head teacher at Gallowhill Primary said: “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed creating their pieces of artwork and were so excited to see them appearing on lamp posts.

“It is really important for us as a school to contribute to our local community and if our Christmas pictures put a smile on the face of even just one person then our efforts have been worthwhile.”

Kate Drummond, Visual Arts Project Producer at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “These bright and joyous drawings and paintings will certainly brighten up the streets of Gallowhill.

“We also hope that the Festive Trail will encourage people to get out and about during the holidays with family and friends to enjoy a socially-distanced walk around the walking trail.

“And if you are a Gallowhill resident interested in making good things happen in your community, we’d encourage you to join the Feel Good Gallowhill group.

“The project forms part of our Future Paisley neighbourhood work in Gallowhill, West End, Glenburn and Foxbar.”

Future Paisley is a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally-significant culture and heritage story to change its fortunes.

Go to https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/childrens-festive-art-trail for more information about the project.

provost community awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is searching for community heroes across Renfrewshire as nominations for the Provost’s Community Awards open for 2021. 

provost community awards

This year there are seven categories to nominate in, including a new category to recognise businesses who have adapted to ensure their survival during the Covid19 pandemic. You can nominate anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire for the following categories:

  • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
  • Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction)
  • Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
  • Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
  • Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
  • Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
  • Ingenuity in Business (sponsored by Provost Lorraine Cameron)

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This year has been unlike any other and it’s important that we pay tribute to the local unsung heroes who keep our communities going.

“We have recently heard of the sad death of former Provost Nancy Allison, who established the very first awards in 1997, and I know, for certain, that Nancy would have been very happy that I have decided to go ahead this year, despite the pandemic.  She knew how important it was to recognise the big hearted people who support their communities and that is why we continue with these awards year after year.

“Earlier this year I awarded certificates to those who I know have gone the extra mile throughout the pandemic, but these awards are different – they come from the community themselves. Now it is your chance to tell me about the hard work that these groups and individuals do.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have an event this year to celebrate these achievements, but we will make sure the winners are announced online and through other media channels. I know there are some fantastic people out there who really deserve to be recognised and I can’t wait to read your nominations.”

The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday 29 January 2021.

For more information, and to submit your nomination, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards2021, or email provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Social Customer Service

Day 9 – Social Customer Service (NSDesign)

Social Customer Service
Dec 11, 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm

A fun, and engaging workshop discussing what ‘great social service’ looks like in today’s connected world. We’ll look at examples from a variety of companies and ask if we really deliver quality customer service, or do we focus on the numbers. Do we look for opportunities to wow customers across our social channels or do we just react to complaints.

Linkedin

Day 8 – Making LinkedIn work for your business (With Gordon White from fatBuzz)

Linkedin
Dec 10, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join Gordon from fatBuzz looking at what you need to do to optimise your Business Page and how to tap into the power of LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Advertising.