Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Venues all over Renfrewshire are preparing to throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days – Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new – takes place this weekend, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

More than 50 buildings across Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to what’s going on behind the scenes – will welcome people of all ages, and share interesting stories on Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Activities will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan.

New venues introduced across Renfrewshire this year include – Brediland Allotments, Grow in Glenburn, Fountain Gardens, PACE, Paisley Florist Society Gardening Club, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience, Wellmeadow Bowling Club, Renfrew Association of Growers & Gardeners, Renfrew Police office, Renfrew North Parish Church and Johnstone Credit Union.

A group of intrepid individuals will also be going underground on a tour of Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. Places on this year’s tour were decided by a ballot.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will be visiting a few of the venues on Saturday.

Provost Cameron said: “Doors Open Days is a weekend full of learning and fun and it’s always great to see people of all ages taking part.

“To have more than 50 venues signed up to take part this year is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to hearing interesting stories about our history and heritage that will inform our future.

“Major events like this are great for the local economy as they get people out and about and spending money locally. I hope that people of all ages take time out this weekend to get involved.”

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Visitors are being encouraged to share their Doors Open Days photos on social media using  #DODSCOT

A full list of venues can be viewed online at https://paisley.is/featured_event/renfrewshire-doors-open-days/

For a look forward to what’s coming up across Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or www.paisley.is

paisley museum

The first images showing how Paisley Museum will become a world-class destination telling the town’s globally-significant stories and bringing huge volumes of new footfall to the town centre are today revealed.

The museum is undergoing a £42m transformation into a leading European museum telling the stories of Paisley’s people and Pattern, and home to its internationally-significant collections.

paisley museum

When it reopens in 2022, the reimagined museum is expected to draw audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad – almost quadrupling visitor numbers to 125,000 a year.

And today sees the first reveal of images, showing how international architects AL_A – led by Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete – plan to restore and reinvigorate the museum, including:

– fully accessible entrance courtyard and a dramatic red glazed entrance hall, creating a dynamic and inviting presence on the High Street and a contemporary face for the museum;

– a new wing to the west of the existing building providing step-free access through the museum up to the Coats Observatory (the oldest public observatory in Scotland), containing learning spaces and with views onto the new museum garden;

– an attractive outdoor garden, creating a new public space for the town, and opening up previously-hidden views of the observatory while reconnecting it and the museum to the town’s High Street;

– internal renovations will improve accessibility and circulation, deliver international environmental standards for gallery spaces, and allow the museum to more than double the number of objects on display to 1,200;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive the town’s traditional textile skills;

paisley museum

The renovated museum and library buildings will be in conversation with the new. Together they create a cohesive museum campus and a visitor experience of international quality.

The project is expected to create a £79m boost for the local economy over 30 years, with 138 jobs supported during construction, and 48.5 jobs per year through revenue and visitor spending.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The transformation of Paisley Museum will create a world-class destination right here in the heart of the town, delivering huge volumes of new footfall to our High Street, and boosting local traders.

paisley museum

“The work is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues to transform the town centre, and take the work already making us a key destination within Scotland for culture and events to a new level.

“Paisley is a town whose people and pattern influenced the world – the revamped museum will use our unique – and in some cases untold – stories to put Paisley back on the map.

“The project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture their stories. And we will be working closely with neighbours and surrounding businesses to make sure they are involved throughout construction and ready to benefit from the massive boost this will bring.”

paisley museum

Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, said: “The brief for Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I’ve encountered. Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking. We have embedded this into our design to create an extraordinary place for the community of Paisley.”

Professor John Hume OBE, former Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland, said: “I am thoroughly impressed by the thoughtful and sensitive approach of the architects to a remarkable group of buildings in a critical location for this unique place.

“At a time when there is a real risk of erosion of cultural experience, such interventions are of the utmost importance, and it is fitting Paisley should be at the forefront of what will be not just regeneration but also in the best sense, renaissance.”

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project includes Round One funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Paisley Museum was opened in 1871, designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John Honeyman. The building was gifted to the town by Sir Peter Coats of the Coats family, whose Paisley-based thread-making empire stretched around the world.

Renfrewshire’s collections are among the best in Scotland and include the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books, artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys, one of Scotland’s best collections of studio ceramics, and a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation.

The project is being co-designed in partnership with the community – the project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture and help tell their stories.

The museum transformation is the flagship project within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to transform the area’s future.

The programme includes turning Paisley Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue to preserve its place at the heart of life in the town, and finding new cultural uses for former retail units – including a new learning and cultural hub offering library services at the heart of the town’s High St.

Paisley’s collections remain available to the public while the work is happening – at Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

Respectful Funeral

Communities in Renfrewshire will be supported with the cost of a loved one’s funeral thanks to a new service offered by Renfrewshire Council.

The council is working closely with local funeral directors to provide a ‘Respectful Funeral Service’, which enables families to access a tailored funeral package that is dignified, professional and affordable.

Respectful Funeral

Designed to remove any unnecessary pressures after the loss of a loved one, the package will offer savings of up to 63% on the Scottish average cost of a funeral.

The Respectful Funeral Service package would include:

  • collection of the deceased from within Renfrewshire or any NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde property
  • care and preparation of the deceased
  • a choice of coffin ranging from light or dark wood effect, or environmental.
  • a place of rest and viewing facilities
  • a hearse and one family car
  • arrangements on the day of the funeral

Additional services can also be provided and can be discussed with the funeral director directly.

Respectful Funeral

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult time and we want to remove the pressures for people, such as cost, as best we possibly can.

“This new service provides comfort for people as they have the guarantee of a dignified and professional funeral, but one which also remains affordable for their family.

Respectful Funeral

“We want to provide our support for our communities at the most difficult of times and this new service takes away some of the burden involved and allows them to focus on celebrating the life of the loved one they have lost.”

Seven partners have agreed to be part of the new service and will offer a Respectful Funeral Service to Renfrewshire residents.

These are:

  • Silver Rose Funeral Directors
  • Kenneth Keegan Independent Funeral Directors
  • John Roach Funeral Directors
  • D Moodie & Co Funeral Directors
  • Beaton Brothers Independent Funeral Directors
  • Co-op Funeralcare
  • Fosters Funeral Directors

Prices for each funeral director will vary, but all will be below the Scottish average cost for a funeral.

Councillor Marie McGurk added: “I’m delighted that this service is now in place for our residents as it will allow friends and families to focus on celebrating the life of their loved one, rather than the cost of their funeral.

“The service will be at an affordable cost, but with the assurance that it will be of a high standard and it’s great that we can help to provide this for our residents in Renfrewshire.”

For advice and more information, community members are encouraged to visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/respectfulfuneral or get in touch via 0300 300 0310 or registrar.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Intrepid members of the public are being given the chance to experience a piece of medieval archaeology up close in celebration of Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

To mark Doors Open Days 2019, experts from Guard Archaeology will lead guided tours of the historic Abbey Drain on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

The expedition down the drain follows on from the success of the tours as part of Doors Open Days 2018 – and as places on the tours will be in high demand, spaces will be allocated via a ballot.

The 100m long underground passageway, thought to be more than 700 years old, was unearthed in the 19th century and rediscovered in the 1990s.

This summer, an eight-week excavation – the Big Dig – unearthed a well-preserved 14th century archway marking where and how the drain met the River Cart, around three metres from the banks of the present-day river.

Archaeologists can now pinpoint the end of the drain and the boundary wall of the monastery, which informs what we already know about the infrastructure and layout of medieval Paisley.

The dig was managed by Renfrewshire Council, run by Guard Archaeology with help from Renfrewshire Local History Forum volunteers, and supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Abbey Drain tour is a very exciting opportunity for anyone interested in Paisley’s architecture, archaeology and heritage to experience a medieval structure first-hand.

“I’ve been into the inner workings of the drain myself and it was a fascinating experience.

“There will be plenty going on all over Renfrewshire as part of Doors Open Days. I would encourage people of all ages to get out and about across the weekend and support local businesses while learning more about our heritage and culture.”

To be in with a chance of going down the drain, visit https://paisley.is/listing/win-a-tour-of-the-great-medieval-drain-in-paisleys-abbey-close/ and fill out the ballot form. The ballot will close on Friday 23 August.

Tours will run between 10am and 4.30pm on both Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Participants must be aged 12 or above.

Doors Open Days 2019

From medieval underground structures and buildings steeped in history, to allotments, fire stations and music schools, there will be plenty to celebrate about Renfrewshire at Doors Open Days (link is to 2012 photos enjoy) 2019.

Doors Open Days 2019

On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September, venues all over Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to what’s going on behind the scenes – will throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

This year in Renfrewshire, more than 50 venues will welcome people of all ages across the weekend.

Many of the old Doors Open Days favourites – including Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey – are getting involved again this year, and a few new venues have stepped up to share their stories.

There will also be the opportunity to see inside Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. Look out for more detail on that in the coming weeks.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron is encouraging people of all ages to get involved across the weekend.

Doors Open Days Lamont Farm

Provost Cameron said: “We’re so lucky here in Renfrewshire to have such a fantastic array of beautiful, historic buildings, but we don’t often get the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes.

“Doors Open Days is a great opportunity for people of all ages to find out more about these buildings and to hear stories about our culture and heritage which will help inform our future.

“Venues have organised a brilliant range of activities across the weekend and learning will definitely be fun.

“Major events like this are great for the local economy as they get people out and about and spending money with local traders.

“We should be very proud of our history and heritage here in Renfrewshire and I hope that people of all ages take time out to get involved.”

Activities will be taking place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan.

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

A full list of venues can be viewed online at www.paisley.is

For a look forward to what’s coming up across Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or www.paisley.is

paisley haloween parade 2020
Renfrewshire community groups are being invited to take centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween Festival…by joining the spooktacular parade.

paisley haloween parade 2020

The award-winning festival – the biggest of its kind in Scotland and one of the UK’s must-see Halloween events – will take over Paisley town centre on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

The event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is being supported by EventScotland as part of their National Programme funding, which will allow an extended programme of outdoor performances.

Last year’s festival was the biggest yet – with 34,000 visitors to Paisley and worth more than £1.9m to the local economy.

paisley haloween parade 2020

This year’s event will have a theme of ‘dark circus’ – with the parade co-ordinated by internationally-acclaimed performance specialists Cirque Bijou, who want school and community groups to work with them in the run-up to the event and take part in the parade on the day.

They are looking for people to take part in carnival workshops and street theatre, dance and musical performances. Any interested groups should contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou, said: “We are really excited to be part of this year’s celebrations. We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are proud of how our Halloween Festival has grown to become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and an event with UK-wide profile.

“But we are also proud of the way it allows the many talented community and youth groups in Renfrewshire to work with and be inspired by artists of national standing. Our local groups will love working with the talented team at Cirque Bijou and help make this year’s parade as colourful and lively a spectacle as ever.”

The full programme for this year’s festival is currently being finalised and will be announced in August – along with changes to the event site for this year.

The Halloween Festival is one of the top dates within Renfrewshire’s major events programme, which brought 160,000 attendees and a £4.7m economic impact into the area in 2018 alone.

For more information on Halloween and all local events, see www.paisley.is

sma shot day

Sma’ Shot Day 2019 was a fantastic day out for thousands of Paisley buddies as we watched the parade come down from Brodie Park at the Dooslan Stane to its new finish point right beside Sma’ Shot Cottages themselves, lots to do, great bit of sunshine went down well too as Tony Lawler who has been the Charleston Drummer now for 27 years.

Brian McGuire captured the parade from start to finish and even some bits of the main stage before the finale.

Sma Shot Day 2019

A crowd of thousands enjoyed an all-day family spectacular of parades, performances and pyrotechnics as one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals took over Paisley town centre on Saturday.

The annual Sma’ Shot Day event turned the town into a hub of activity as the sun shone, with more than 50 events taking place across 20 outdoor stages and venues.

Sma Shot Day 2019

The event – which celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers in a 19th-century industrial dispute – celebrates the town’s rich textile heritage and had the theme ‘let’s party like its 1856’.

The fun began with the colourful parade – featuring colourful characters, floats and costumes and led by the Charleston Drum – from Brodie Park to the town centre.

This year’s event was taking place in a new event site in the streets around the town’s historic Sma’ Shot Cottages.

Sma Shot Day 2019

Huge crowds gathered at Paisley Arts Centre for the spectacular pyrotechnic Burning of the Cork, featuring an effigy of one of the middlemen who demanded payment from the town’s weavers for the Sma’ Shot – the unseen thread which held together the Paisley Patterned shawls.

The outdoor stages saw performances from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Right2Dance, Starlight Music Theatre and a drumming finale from the Charleston Drummers School of Rock.

Families enjoyed kids’ activities including an outdoor beach, circus skills and carnival workshops in the streets around New Street, Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane

The pubs and clubs along Shuttle Street opened their doors for the day to join in the fun – with The Bungalow hosting a family ceilidh with local group Fèis Phàislig and kids workshops in Faction nightclub.

Local businesses across the town have been throwing open their doors for the Creative Craft Trail, with designers from Renfrewshire’s InCube creative business incubator showing off their skills at various venues around the town today and tomorrow.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who joined the parade on the day, said: “Once again, there was a wonderful family atmosphere along the parade route and at the event itself as we celebrated this important part of Paisley’s heritage.

“The new event site worked really well and helped spread the activity and benefits throughout the town centre.

“We were delighted this year to work with many of the pubs, shops and cafes to make them venues for event activity and drive footfall directly through their doors.”

Sma’ Shot Day is part of Renfrewshire Council’s major events programme which last year brought around 160,000 attendees and an economic boost of around £4.7m to Renfrewshire.

sma shot day 2019

The Sma’ Shot celebration always takes place on the first Saturday in July – to mark the time of year when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

This year will be no different – everyone is invited to join the annual party this Saturday 6 July from 12 noon to 5pm. And with almost 50 events taking place across 20 different venues, this year’s celebration promises to be the best yet!

sma shot day 2019

Festivities will get underway at noon as the colourful parade leaves Brodie Park, heading for Paisley Arts Centre led by the tuck of the Charleston Drum. The parade this year will feature local groups, performers, spectacular floats and giant puppets, all co-ordinated by parade specialists Bridgeman Arts.

2019 will also see Sma’ Shot Day return to its roots, quite literally, by moving to the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre; with Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane all set to come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family-friendly activities.

sma shot day 2019

Amongst these activities there will of course be the Burning of the Cork (1.20pm within the grounds of Paisley Arts Centre) which sees the ‘Corks’ – the middlemen between the owners and the weavers – meet their fate at the hands of the working weavers in spectacular fashion. Right2Dance will deliver a short pre-Burning of the Cork performance with live music in front of Paisley Arts Centre at 1.15pm.

sma shot day 2019

Plus, there will be lots of opportunities to learn a new craft at a series of artists workshops taking place all over Paisley. Follow the Creative Craft Trail for mural painting, jewellery making, embroidery and loads more.

The Sma’ Shot Cottages will also be open 12 noon til 5pm for your chance to see what life was really like for the weavers in the 19th century. Catch a guided tour and watch live weaving demonstrations with Paisley Museum’s textiles expert, Dan Coughlan. We also recommend a trip to Paisley Thread Mill Museum to complete your weaving experience on the industry’s most celebrated day of the year.

Download the Paisley.is handy event map and start planning your day!

 

Derek Mckay at Paisley Museum 21.6.19-0650

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the ongoing work to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination driving new visitors to the town.

The museum is currently undergoing a £42m revamp as the flagship project within wider work to transform Paisley’s future through its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

When it reopens in 2022, the museum is expected to almost quadruple previous visitor numbers to 125,000 a year, bringing new footfall into the town centre.

Derek Mckay at Paisley Museum 21.6.19-0650

And Mr Mackay and Scottish Government officials were joined by Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson and chief executive Sandra Black to see the work taking place for himself, on a tour led by members of the museum project team.

The museum transformation will create the following:

– a leading European museum telling the stories of how Paisley’s people and pattern helped change the world, drawing audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad;

– an extension plus complete internal redesign and restoration of all museum buildings – including the Coats Observatory. The design team is headed by international architects AL_A, led by Stirling-Prize-winner Amanda Levete, who have worked on landmark projects across the world;

– doubled capacity for Paisley’s internationally-significant collections to go on show – with local communities helping shape how the collections are reinterpreted and displayed;

– a community resource and major educational institution at the heart of life in Paisley;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive Paisley’s traditional textile skills, a heritage centre to study local history, and attractive outdoor museum garden;

Advance works started on the site earlier this year, including the demolition of the 1970s block to the rear of the museum, and work to prepare outdoor spaces and the interior of the existing buildings for main construction starting next year.

Other projects within the current £100m investment in Paisley town centre include a transformation of Paisley Town Hall to turn it into a landmark entertainment venue and keep it at the heart of life in the town for future generations; a new learning and cultural hub housing library services at the heart of the High Street; and a transformation of the town’s key outdoor spaces.

Paisley’s museum collections are still available to view at Paisley: The Secret Collection – the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The museum project is being led by Renfrewshire Council, and the reopened museum will be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay, said: “I enjoyed seeing the ongoing transformation of the museum and all the hard work taking place to develop it for Paisley and the wider area.

“The museum will help tell the story of Paisley and ensure its heritage is preserved.”

Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “I was delighted to welcome the cabinet secretary to the town to show him the life-changing impact this project will have for Paisley, Renfrewshire and Scotland.

“As the one-time centre of the global textile industry, the museum will help reconnect Paisley to the stories – and pattern – which once took its name around the world, and help bring visitors to Scotland from outwith these shores to hear those unique tales for themselves

“It will also be the centrepiece of a transformed town centre, building on the work already done to make the town one of Scotland’s key destinations, and create a thriving community resource for the people of Paisley, driving footfall up our High Street.”

For more information on what’s happening in Paisley, see www.paisley.is