Photo 1. Glen Cinema commemoration 7.12.19

The people of Paisley paid tribute to one of its most tragic events on Saturday as hundreds of people attended a special commemoration event to mark the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster.

Photo 2. Glen Cinema commemoration 7.12.19

 

More than 150 people took part in a lantern procession through the town, made up of young people, community groups and schools, before attending a special service at Paisley Abbey where 500 invited guests paid tribute to the victims, survivors and their families.

Survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown were in attendance along with their families.

There were many poignant moments during the service including a solo cello performance of ‘Vocalise’ by Rachmaninoff which played as 70 children walked up the aisle and each laid a white rose for the children who lost their lives. Survivors Robert and Emily also laid a white rose; guests spent a minute of silence in contemplation of the tragic events; and the Starlight Chamber Choir closed the evening with a moving rendition of ‘Coming to the Glen’.

Singer-songwriter Carol Laula performed ‘Hush Now, Happy New Year’ – a song, written with actor and musician Tom Urie, specially commissioned for the 90th commemoration.

Carol said: “It was an honour to be part of such a special event – this is a really difficult part of Paisley’s rich history, but a part that must be commemorated nonetheless. The courage and sense of community that endured after this awful tragedy is one that we must continue to build and to celebrate. I believe the most conducive way to grow is to seek out the strength in our past and this tradition is one I find very nourishing.”

Liam Kay, 14, of Linwood High School, has been a member of Starlight Youth Theatre for three years and performed a monologue, ‘Getting Ready for the New Year’.

Liam said: “It was a beautiful event. It’s such a tragic thing that happened, but it is important to remember those who died and also those who survived, and it was done in a beautiful way.”

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. As a result of the crush that followed 70 children died and more than 30 children were injured.

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 ensure safety of children.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The commemoration event allowed the people of Paisley to pay tribute and remember all the victims and survivors of the tragedy.

“In this, the 90th anniversary – it’s even more important to take stock of the tragic events which took place and consider the local and global impacts of the disaster.”

During the day on Saturday people were also able to view a specially commissioned commemorative film ‘The Glen Cinema Disaster’ directed by Paul Mothersole at POP Community & Arts Space in the Piazza. A small exhibition of printed letters held in the Secret Collection were also on display in the space during the day for the public to see – the exhibition will remain in the venue until the 20 December.

The annual memorial service and wreath laying will take place at Paisley Cenotaph on the morning of 31 December. This is run by community members and supported by Renfrewshire Council.

The Glen Cinema 90th anniversary commemoration event was funded through Renfrewshire Council’s Future Paisley programme.

cenotaph

The Paisley Development Trust would like you to participate in our annual remembrance of the victims of the Glen Cinema Disaster in 1929.

cenotaph

We meet at the Cenotaph at 10.30am on the 31st December and support the few survivors that are left and their families during the short ceremony and afterwards join them in a cup of tea in Burger and Keg in Gilmour street.

We would be delighted if you were able to attend.

Paisley Abbey

To mark the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster a commemoration event is to take place in Paisley town centre on Saturday 7 December.

The event will begin with a lantern procession involving more than 150 young people from community groups and schools at 5.15pm, starting at Dunn Square, and journeying up St Mirren Brae, towards Abbey Close. Following the procession, a service at Paisley Abbey will see a number of local performers, and community groups pay tribute to the victims, survivors and their families.

Paisley Abbey

A number of invited guests will attend the service including survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown along with their families.

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. As a result of the crush that followed more than 30 children were injured and 70 children died.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were also global – 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 a sufficient number of adult attendants to ensure safety of children.

In addition to the procession and service a commemorative film ‘The Glen Cinema Disaster’ directed by Paul Mothersole has been commissioned with ticketed, free screenings taking place on Saturday 7 December between 1pm and 4.15pm at POP Community & Arts Space in The Piazza Shopping Centre. A small exhibition of printed letters held in the Secret Collection will also be on display in POP from 7 – 20 December.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Glen Cinema disaster is a real tragic point in Paisley’s history with deeply traumatic consequences for so many families.

“The 90th anniversary gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the disaster and reflect on what took place by paying tribute to and remembering the victims, survivors and their families.”

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are encouraged to attend the lantern procession as there are only a limited number of tickets available for the Paisley Abbey service on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, 9B Gilmour Street. Those who would like to participate in the procession can sign up to attend a Lantern Making workshop taking place on Saturday 30 November in POP, Piazza from 10am – 4pm – please be aware there are limited spaces available for this workshop.

Also, as part of the 90th anniversary commemorations an artist will be commissioned to create a public piece of art, in collaboration with the local community to commemorate and raise awareness of the disaster.

The event taking place on 7 December is in addition to the annual memorial service and wreath laying which takes place at Paisley Cenotaph on the morning of 31 December, which is run by community members and supported by Renfrewshire Council.

The Glen Cinema 90th anniversary commemoration event is funded by Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Council through Renfrewshire Council’s Future Paisley programme.

To book a place at the lantern making workshop please visit: https://glencinemalanternworkshop.eventbrite.co.uk

To secure a ticket for The Glen Cinema Disaster film screening please visit: https://glencinemadisasterfilm.eventbrite.co.uk

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public for the commemorative service at Paisley Abbey on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, Paisley Office, 9B Gilmour St, Paisley PA1 1DG from Friday 22 November. The shop is open from 11am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Hundreds are expected to turn out to pay their respects to the fallen as parades are carried out in towns and villages across Renfrewshire, with services taking place to mark Remembrance Day.

A weekend of remembrance will begin on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service takes place at Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley at 10.30am.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Veterans from the Royal British Legion will visit the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Remembrance Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in Armed Forces.

Veterans marching in Paisley

On 10 November, parades will then take place from 10am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Start                Finish (Approx)

Houston                       10.00am          10.30am

Kilbarchan                   10.00am          10.30am

Renfrew                      10.45am          11.15am

Paisley                        10.45am          11.30am

Lochwinnoch               10.45am          11.15am

Howwood                    12.15pm          12.45pm

Johnstone                   12.30pm          1.00pm

Elderslie                      2.30pm            3.00pm

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm            3.30pm

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and I would encourage all who are able to attend to come to one of the services taking place across Renfrewshire.

“It’s so important that we pay our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.

“Through our Children’s Remembrance Service, we will work closely with our veterans to educate our young people and show exactly why we mark Remembrance Sunday each and every year.”

For more information, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RemembranceServices2019.

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