Paisley and renfrewshire Events

SOBS Memorial tree

Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley later this month.

A short service will take place on Thursday 23 January at Renfrewshire House, hosted by support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

The service is open to all and anyone who has been affected by suicide is invited to meet in the Marriage Suite from 3:10pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if 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 light the tree.

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.

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.

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

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.

Provost Cameron, who helped establish the tree, said: “Over the past ten years this service has become extremely important to members of the local community and I’m honoured to be involved.

“Suicide is still very much a taboo subject, but the Choose Life and SOBS team will be available after the service to provide any support you, or a friend or family member, may need, and I would encourage anyone who has been affected by suicide in any manner to come along.

“If you’re unable to make it along, please get in touch with the team to talk about how you are feeling or what support you need. Someone is always there to listen.”

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.

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.

Paisley Halloween Festival

Paisley’s popular Halloween and Spree 2019 festivals delivered a £1.2million economic boost to Renfrewshire.

That’s according to the findings of independent assessments into the two October events, which also showed record numbers of people attended the festivals in 2019.

Paisley Halloween Festival

One of the largest events of its kind in the UK, the Dark Circus themed Paisley Halloween Festival attracted 41,000 people across the two-days – up 17% on 2018. The event was delivered alongside internationally-acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou.

More than 350 costumed performers and community groups took part in the Mardi Gras style parade, the centrepiece of the festival, which wound its way through the town centre. The parade also featured fantastic, giant lion and elephant floats, ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, to delight the gathered crowds.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Twenty six percent of attendees to the Halloween festival were from outside Renfrewshire demonstrating the popularity and stellar programme of the free, family-friendly activities on offer.

The Paisley Halloween Festival was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for the 2019 event.

Brickz4kids

The festival delivered £824,250 to the local economy with local businesses benefiting from the high number of visitors in the town that weekend.

Paisley Halloween Festival scooped the Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals and will now go on to compete in the prestigious national final on March 5, 2020.

Glasvagas

The Spree also delivered impressive results for the area. More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out to enjoy the diverse range of acts in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

The numbers also add up, with a £411,000 total economic boost from the 10-day music, arts and cultural festival.

Paisley Halloween Festival

The Spree 2019 saw record ticket sales with music and comedy fans being treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

The festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

There was also a packed Wee Spree programme for kids during the school holidays with 2,822 people heading along to enjoy the events – the highest number of attendees on record for the event.

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to Spend Local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It was phenomenal to see such great numbers coming along to Paisley’s Halloween Festival and to Spree and now this report shows the positive impact these major events have on the local economy and local businesses.

“We’re continuing to work with partners to offer a fantastic calendar of events to attract residents and visitors from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and major events are an important part of our plans to use our culture and heritage to drive footfall and cement our status as one of Scotland’s top visitor destination.”

Entrance to Glen Cinema

“I remember I didn’t want to go that day,” said Emily Brown (95) – one of hundreds of children who attended Paisley’s Glen Cinema 90 years ago today for a packed matinee performance that ended in tragedy – forever remembered by survivors as Paisley’s ‘Black Hogmanay’.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. The main exit doors had a metal gate that had been pulled shut stopping it from opening leading to a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 children were injured.

Survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown at 90th anniversary service 7 Dec

Robert Pope (97), had got up that morning and asked his mother for some jars to exchange for money so he could go to the pictures with seven of his friends.

Like so many children at the time, Robert and Emily were sent out the house to the cinema on Hogmanay to allow their parents to get the house cleaned and ready for the new year. They took their seats in the crowded theatre, sang their song and settled down to watch the new cowboy movie Dude Desperado.

During the picture a film cannister was placed on a heated surface and started to smoke up – leading to the panic and stampede which followed.

Boys Brigade march past picture house at funeral

“I was there with my older sister Jean (10) and younger sister May (3) – we heard someone shout ‘fire’ and started to head for the exit. There was screaming and shouting, and people were pushing and trampling you and you were trampling on others trying to get out.”

“I remember some people jumped over the balcony or onto the stage to try to get out. I was separated from my sisters in the panic – I remember someone smashed a window and a fireman helped get me out.”

Emily’s aunt later found her wandering down Glasgow Road and took her home to her mother in Hunter Street. Her sisters Jean and May were already there and had managed to stay together during the chaos.

“I think my mother gave us all an extra cuddle that night,” said Emily.

“I don’t remember much about it,” said Robert. “I think my guardian angel watched out for me that day.

“When the panic started, I just remember something came over me and I stayed in my seat and didn’t move. I don’t remember much else until later when a fireman was clearing the hall, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for the picture to come back on and he told me to head home to my mother and that the film wouldn’t be coming back on.

“My friends saw that I never came out and had told my mother I was still there, and she was getting ready to go up to the hospital to try and find me. As she opened the door, I was walking up the stairs and I remember the look of relief on her face. I think that saved her from the traumatic experience of seeing the children who had been killed and injured in the cinema at the hospital.”

Robert’s friend, William Spiers, who had sat beside him and fled during the panic did not survive the crush that day.

When news of the disaster spread through the town the entire community went to the Glen Cinema to try and help get the children out. Emily’s mother was one of those who pulled children from the cinema and loaded the injured onto trams for the hospital – not knowing if her children were safe or injured or worse. Emily’s mother was the only resident from Hunter Street who didn’t lose someone that day.

The funerals of all 71 children took place in early January of 1930. The town came to a standstill to pay their respects to those who died – everyone turned out including the hospital staff who treated victims and survivors and the Boys Brigade – who walked in the funeral procession. The children were laid to rest in Hawkhead Cemetery where a memorial still stands to remember all the victims of the Glen Cinema disaster.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were global as well – as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for an appropriate number of adult attendants to be present to ensure the safety of children.

The Glen Cinema survivors and their families continue to commemorate the disaster every Hogmanay alongside members of the local community. They gather at 11am at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre where they lay a wreath for those who lost their lives that day.

The Glen Cinema disaster of 1929 is considered one of Scotland’s worst human tragedies.

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

The number of people using Renfrewshire Foodbank continues to grow – but kind donations from the people of Renfrewshire ensured people had supplies over Christmas.

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

From the start of April 2018 until the end of March 2019, the foodbank received 95 tonnes of donations and gave out 100 tonnes to a total of 10,200 people.

This Christmas, people received food parcels and butchermeat vouchers for Graeme’s in Paisley, John Marshall & Son in Johnstone, and Bannatyne in Renfrew.

Local charity the Night Before Christmas also donated boxes full of toys and gifts to the foodbank so that they could be given out to youngsters in need.

Renfrewshire Foodbank project manager Elizabeth Alexander hopes that there is no need for a foodbank in 2020 but is grateful that the people of Renfrewshire do so much to help people in need.

Elizabeth said: “The number of people we’re helping has definitely increased and our donations have increased in response to that.

“We’re extremely grateful that the Renfrewshire community is so willing to support us. It’s the people of Renfrewshire that keep us going. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

“We have a tremendous team of volunteers and work closely with charities, churches and schools to make sure no one goes without.”

On Wednesday 18 December 2019 alone, the foodbank provided parcels for 75 people in five hours.

Renfrewshire Foodbank links up with community organisations to provide the best possible service to people, and is also working with St Mirren FC on the Festive Friends initiative to provide support to people who will be spending Christmas on their own.

Renfrewshire Council employees donate to the foodbank through the Council’s Food Bank Food Rush Initiative.

Since the initiative started in 2014, more than 130,000 items have been donated. A three-week collection at Renfrewshire House in June gathered 433.95g of supplies which equates to 1,033 meals.

Renfrewshire Foodbank operates from Paisley Central Baptist Church. You can find out more via the website – renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk

Reclaim the Night march1

Renfrewshire Council has become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to formally introduce a domestic abuse policy for staff.

Reclaim the Night march1

The policy demonstrates the Council’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse – psychological and physical – and shows its support for all employees impacted by domestic abuse, past or present.

Employees who are victims of domestic abuse are now able to request special paid leave to receive necessary support and attend any relevant appointments.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the UK in any one year, more than 20 per cent of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse and two per cent lose their jobs as a direct result.

Commission figures also reveal that 75 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced, to physical assaults.

The Renfrewshire Council policy provides guidance for any employees who are living with domestic abuse and employees who suspect that work colleagues may be suffering. It also outlines the steps supervisors and managers should take to support colleagues who choose to speak out about their abuse and who are seeking help.

Domestic abuse policy champions are being introduced at a senior level across the organisation.

Councillor John Shaw said: “As a local authority, it’s vital that we recognise the devastating impact domestic abuse has on individuals and families.

“As one of the first local authorities in Scotland to adopt this approach, we want to send a clear message that we will support anyone affected by domestic abuse.

“We are working towards creating a safe and supportive environment which encourages employees to report all forms of harm.

“By putting a policy in place, we are ensuring the correct support is available to staff who may be directly affected and creating a clear reporting route for anyone who may have concerns about the wellbeing of one of their colleagues.

“We hope that the introduction of this policy raises awareness that there are formal procedures in place and helps colleagues to feel that they can approach domestic abuse policy champions for support and advice.”

Renfrewshire Council has also been working closely with UK domestic abuse charity SafeLives to support the implementation of the new policy.

Liz Thompson, director of external relations at SafeLives, said: “Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and this includes employers. We know that more than two million adults experience domestic abuse each year. It is something that will impact upon almost every workplace.

“Employers are well placed to spot the signs in colleagues but without the right training, leadership and guidance, it can be hard to know what to do.

“We’re so pleased to see Renfrewshire Council committing to this policy, breaking the silence on domestic abuse and supporting all staff and colleagues to get the help and support they need.”

The policy has been agreed and developed in partnership with trade unions and complies with relevant legislation,  including the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and Equally Safe – Scotland’s Strategy for Preventing and Eradicating Violence Against Women and Girls provided by the Scottish Government and its partners.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 covers not only spouses, civil partners and cohabitants but also people in intimate personal relationships who do not live together, and as well as physical abuse, it covers other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.

nyt club
Paisley’s newest club, has not 1, but 2 amazing night’s coming up; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
nyt club
With shots at £1, Venom and Turbo Shandy for only £5 a piny and Vodka/Mix only £1.50 you can get in to the Christmas spirit 🎄🥂 all the way through until 4am each night.
There are also Booths available, from £60, which includes entry for 6, and a bottle of Absolut Vodka or Gordon’s Pink Gin.
Glasgow Airport exterior

 

  • More than 260,000 passengers expected to travel through the airport during the festive period 

 

 

Glasgow Airport is preparing for a busy festive period as hundreds of thousands of travellers take to the skies over the Christmas holidays.

Glasgow Airport exterior

More than 260,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the next two weeks (Friday, December 20 – Friday, January 3) with many heading for some winter sun to destinations including the Canary Islands, Dubai, Malaga and Alicante, or city and ski breaks to Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Grenoble.

 

Many passengers who live and work elsewhere in the UK or overseas will also make their way home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and relatives.

 

Today is expected to be the busiest with more than 20,000 passengers travelling through the airport. On Christmas Day almost 2500 passengers will travel on 14 flights between Glasgow and Amsterdam, London and Dubai. 

 

In the run up to the busy festive getaway, Glasgow Airport would like to reminding travellers to pack their Christmas gifts carefully, and to place them in their hold luggage rather than carry them as hand luggage where possible. Passengers should also check with their airlines if they are permitted to take Christmas crackers, which if being carried as hand luggage must remain in their original packing.

 

Mark Johnston, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, said: “Christmas and New Year is always special and there’s certainly a feel-good atmosphere in the terminal as thousands of passengers travel through the airport to be with their loved ones. 


“It’s also a particularly busy time in the terminal for our staff, airlines partners, caterers, retailers and baggage handlers, who are all gearing up to welcome thousands of passengers keen to get home for the holidays.   

 

“Our advice to everyone – whether they are travelling home or jetting off for a winter break – is to double check that all liquids carried in hand luggage are within the 100ml limit. This includes presents such as toiletries and alcohol.

“To be on the safe side, and to help reduce waiting times at security, we recommend that all of our passengers pack their gifts in their hold luggage where possible. If carrying gifts in hand luggage, we would ask passengers not to wrap them until they have reached their destination as our security procedures may require that they be searched. 

 

“On behalf of everyone at Glasgow Airport, I would like to wish our passengers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year when it comes.”

Catherine McAtier, Josef McFadden, Carolyn Edmondson, Emma Owen, Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Dominic Snyder, Jane Dixon, Gillian Steel and Chloe Wright (1)

A new creative hub on Paisley High Street is encouraging everyone to make-do-and-mend.

But far from being the frugal war-time message, fashion and textile experts at ReMode are inspiring people to tailor their favourite clothes to meet the latest trends and protect the environment.

Catherine McAtier, Josef McFadden, Carolyn Edmondson, Emma Owen, Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Dominic Snyder, Jane Dixon, Gillian Steel and Chloe Wright (1)

ReMode recently opened its town centre premise thanks to support from Renfrewshire Council’s creative hub development fund, which enables creative companies to co-locate and collaborate.

The social enterprise, founded in 2017 – receives funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund – and now has premises in Paisley and Lochwinnoch, each selling second-hand and upcycled clothing.

And the dedicated staff team also run sewing workshops and a school education programme highlighting the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industry.

Project Manager Jane Dixon, a Fine Art graduate with 25 years in arts administration, says: “Our whole ethos is can we make clothes last longer as they are an amazing, valuable resource – you can buy second-hand, you can swap, you can alter or mend the clothes you have. Whatever you want to do, we’re here to help you.

“It’s really exciting being here on the high street as people are popping in and we’re able to have conversations about why we’re here and what issues we’re highlighting. We’re not just a shop; we’re here to talk about the positive things people can do to reduce the impact our fashion choices have on the environment.”

The Paisley premise is also home to clothing and accessory print designer Josef McFadden, who converts his hand-drawn illustrations onto ties, bow ties, hats and scarves; Paisley-born embroiderer Catherine McAtier and local textile designer Chloe Wright, owner of Loopy Lally Designs. They have all benefited from the Council’s InCube Creative programme, which helps people turn their talent into a sustainable business.

Jane added: “There’s no way we would have had the confidence to take on a high street premise, let alone welcome other businesses into the fold, if we hadn’t had the support of Renfrewshire Council. It feels like we’ve made a really big leap and someone is here holding our hand. There’s now lots of different opportunities for us to explore and we are in a strong position to grow.

“I’m relatively new to working in Paisley, but what has struck me is how strongly the people in Paisley feel about Paisley. There’s a strong sense of community pride. The maker community is also really strong and there’s a bit of a vibe going on, which is very exciting to be a part of.”

Emma Owen, 27, has just joined ReMode as its Programme Assistant, and having re-located to Paisley from Inverness, is excited about being a part of the local creative network.

She said: “In the short time I’ve worked here I feel part of a community, it’s nice to meet people and see how excited they are that there’s something like this in Paisley.

“Make-do-and-mend is back and what’s great is being able to share skills with people and learn from others who come in to see us too as we all need to go back to a place where we share our skills with one another. Paisley is up-and-coming and things are happening on the High Street which will make people proud to live here.”

ReMode is the second business to benefit from the Council fund, following furniture upcycling business UpHub opening its Paisley high street hub earlier this year. Plans are in place to establish up to 12 hubs by 2021, each with a different creative focus.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s great to see ReMode open its new Paisley premises and I look forward to seeing them and all the creative companies based here go from strength-to-strength over the coming years. The work the ReMode team do is really important, giving people important life skills like sewing and helping us as consumers to make small changes which make a big difference.

“We have so many creative and innovative people in Renfrewshire making unique products and our creative hub development fund is there to help them achieve their goal of turning their talent into a viable business, giving them the platform to sell their products on our local high streets.

“Our business development team have the knowledge and expertise to support creative companies to achieve sustainable growth and in the last four years alone have helped more than 100 creative start-ups. I’d encourage creative entrepreneurs to get in touch and see how we can help them achieve their ambitions and make Renfrewshire the place of choice for creative businesses.”

For more information about our creative hubs, call InCube on 0300 300 1180.

Case study – Made in Renfrewshire

Josef McFadden may hail from Northern Ireland, but his creative business is made in Renfrewshire.

The 27-year-old moved to Paisley in 2017, via a pit-stop in the Scottish Borders, to complete the Council’s InCube Creative programme – helping people turn their talent into a sustainable business.

Josef, a clothing and accessory print designer, converts his hand-drawn illustrations into menswear products, including ties, bow ties, hats and scarves.

“My business is much bigger since I moved to Paisley,” says Josef. “The InCube programme was fantastic and through that I got a lot of support from Business Gateway and mentoring help. I learned lots, how to run a business for yourself and to think much more commercially. That’s been the biggest change in my business thanks to the programme.”

Originally aiming to be a portrait painter before discovering textiles, Josef has now moved into studio space at ReMode on Paisley High Street, the latest creative hub to open in Renfrewshire.

Fashion-focused ReMode sell second-hand and upcycled clothing and run sewing workshops together with an engagement programme to highlight the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industry.

It’s a cause Josef is excited to be a part of. He said: “All of my products are sourced in the UK, handmade to the highest standards and all without oil or gas in the print production process. I work with an ethical, sustainable designer in North Berwick who takes my off-cuts and I’m keen to do more to support sustainability and contribute to the work ReMode are doing.

“It’s a lonely life when you’re self-employed, so it’s nice to be in a shared studio setting where you can come in, see other faces and throw ideas off one another. And it’s really beneficial to have 24-hour access, as well as space to work and to store my collections.”

ceilidh 1

MORE than 200 Scottish traditional music fans and people who like a dance will be waltzing into Johnstone Town Hall after every ticket for two events at the popular venue was snapped up.

Both the Festive Tea Dance being held on the afternoon of Saturday, December 28 and a Family Ceilidh later in the evening have sold out.

ceilidh 1

The popular Tea Dance gives people a chance to meet up with friends, have a chat and enjoy a two-step or more around the dance floor. The music is being provided by John Findlay, on the keyboard.

There will be a variety of dancing from ballroom to country and western line dancing.

The Festive Family Ceilidh features an evening of toe-tapping traditional Scottish music and the usual round of ceilidh dances.

Chairperson at Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Very soon after we began promoting the ceilidh and tea dance all the tickets were snapped up.

“There will be around 100 lucky ticket holders at each event and we had lots of people wanting to come along even after all the tickets had been sold.

“I’m sure everyone will have a great time and it’s a fun way to round off the old year of 2019.”

Drink driving

Road users in Renfrewshire are being warned of the dangers of driving while under the influence during the festive party season.

Drink driving

With new laws coming into force in October, motorists can now face roadside drugs tests as well as a breathalyser test for alcohol – with a zero-tolerance approach to eight drugs including cannabis, heroin and cocaine.

Anyone caught drug or drink-driving can face penalties such as the loss of their licence or jail time.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “It’s important that motorists recognise the criminal and personal consequences of being caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“It puts not only the driver, but any passengers and other road users at risk and the advice to any motorist would be not to risk it.

“You may think that you won’t be over the limit but don’t run the risk of causing a crash, losing your licence and even jail time.”

In the first four weeks of roadside drug testing being in place, 96 people provided positive tests and were arrested pending further enquiries.

This year is the first festive campaign that roadside drug testing is in place and police are carrying out dedicated patrols.

Chief Inspector Douglas Falconer, Local Area Commander for Paisley, said: “We know the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs and there really is no excuse for it. The consequences of doing so can be life-changing.

“Local officers and road policing colleagues will continue to proactively enforce the drink-drive limit and use the new drug-drive laws and roadside testing kits to help keep Renfrewshire’s roads safe.”

For more information, visit www.roadsafety.scot/topics/drink-driving.