Fun in the sun as Sma’ Shot Day celebrated

Renfrewshire residents had fun in the sun when the area’s big summer event calendar continued with Sma’ Shot Day.

Around 2,000 people gathered in Paisley town centre for the popular annual day out, designed to celebrate the 19th-century mill workers’ victory over their bosses in an industrial dispute.

The day kicked off at noon with the annual parade from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, headed by the familiar pounding of the Charleston Drum, carried by Freeman of Renfrewshire Tony Lawler.

The parade was joined for part of the route by St Mirren mascot Paisley Panda, who brought with him the League Cup.

At Abbey Close, speakers including Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell addressed the crowds, before DJs from Pulse FM took over the stage to provide entertainment.

Visitors were able to enjoy funfair rides, charity stalls, bouncy castle, craft market and mini-farm.

There was also a tea dance at Paisley Town Hall, and a film and display at Central Library on the life of celebrated Paisley trade unionist Willie Gallacher.

The day culminated, as always, with the spectacular Burning of the Cork – an effigy of a mill owner, which always meets a fiery ending.

Depute Provost Caldwell said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always a popular event for all the family, and I’m glad to say this year turned out no different.

“Events like this are a key part of the council’s strategy to get people into our town centres, so I was glad to see the day was so well attended.

“The event’s roots are connected to an important chapter in the history of Paisley and Renfrewshire and it is great to see people celebrating that to this day.”

Sma’ Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century.

The owners refused to pay their staff for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma’ Shot Day.

Photographs courtesy of

Sma’ Shot day Parade, Paisley 2013

Photographs of Paisley’s Sma’ Shot day parade 2013. All photographs taken by Tracey Clements for Paisley on the web. If you would like to share you photographs of the day please send them in by email to plus the info you wish to be credited to for the photos.

Area gets set for Sma’ Shot Day

The countdown is on to one of the biggest events in Renfrewshire’s summer calendar when Sma’ Shot Day takes place on Saturday 6 July.

The popular annual event – one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world – will run from noon until 5pm in its usual location at Abbey Close.

Tony Lawler with Depute Provost John Caldwell

The fun begins at noon when the parade, headed by the beat of the Charleston Drum, sets off from Brodie Park.

Attractions include funfair rides at Abbey Close and Paisley Cross, a stage hosted by Pulse FM, plus bouncy castle, craft market, a mini-farm and charity stalls.

The day will culminate with the spectacular Burning of the Cork at 5pm.

Elsewhere, older folks can step away from the crowds at a tea dance in Paisley Town Hall at 1pm, with free tickets available from the town hall.

And in keeping with the event’s roots as a celebration of the local textile workers’ victory over the 19th-century mill owners, Central Library will be hosting a display and film of the life of celebrated Paisley-born trade unionist Willie Gallacher.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell said: “Sma’ Shot Day is great tradition which celebrates an important episode in the town’s history.

“It is always a popular day for families, with plenty to entertain grown-ups and families alike, and I would encourage locals to get themselves along.”

Meanwhile, the man charged with drumming up a following for the event is hoping to stay injury-free this year.

Paisley man Tony Lawler is preparing for his 21st year beating the drum at the head of the parade.

He was at the centre of a brief drama last year when his enthusiastic drumming left him with a badly-cut hand – promptly bandaged by Provost Anne Hall, an ex-nurse.

Tony said: “I’m sure it will be great day, although I hope to avoid any injury this year!

“This will be the first Sma’ Shot Day I have done since being made a Freeman of Renfrewshire earlier this year, which means a lot to me.”

Tony Lawler with Depute Provost John Caldwell

Sma Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century.

The owners refused to pay their staff for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma Shot Day.

Residents are reminded that parking is free in all council-metered bays on Saturdays and Sundays.

Paisley Town Hall reopens after £2.4million upgrade

One of Paisley’s most iconic buildings has reopened to the public after a £2.4million upgrade.

Paisley Town Hall, opened in 1882, is looking at its best again after an extensive programme of improvements and repairs

The work included roof and stonework repairs, a completely remodelled entrance and reception area more in keeping with the buildings Victorian heritage, and much more improved access for customers with mobility issues.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell recently visited the Town Hall and met with staff and customers.

“The Town Hall holds a special place in Paisley’s history and we want to ensure that it retains that role in Paisley’s future” he said

“The investment is not only conserving part of Paisley’s architectural heritage. It is also contributing to Paisley’s economic regeneration”

“The upgraded Town Hall joins the refurbished Paisley Arts Centre, and the recently confirmed plans for housing and retail development on the former Arnotts site, as evidence that we are keeping the town’s heritage relevant through innovative approaches”

“Thousands of visitors will have the chance to experience the Town Hall for themselves in October when the venue will host performances at the Royal National Mód.”

“Visitors will shortly be able to use a new tourism information point located within the reception area”

“The whole package of improvements, such as new meeting and gathering spaces just inside the entrance, will also enhance the Town Hall’s reputation as a high quality venue for everything from wedding receptions and conferences to business conferences and community events.”

Among the most noticeable new features are stunning specially made chandeliers which have the Paisley pattern incorporated into them

Externally, the work showcases some of the buildings distinctive features such as the roof turrets and the clock tower.

Depute Provost Caldwell added: “Overall, I believe the work does credit to the imagination and vision which created Paisley Town Hall and helps preserve its appeal and relevance for future generations.”

Ian Walford, Chief Executive of Historic Scotland said: “Paisley Town Hall is an important and historic Renfrewshire building and I’m delighted that Historic Scotland has played a part in safeguarding its future. The £2.4million upgrade included £482,000 funding from Historic Scotland for repairs to the historic fabric of the building, including extensive stonework and roof repairs. After a year-long programme of works I am pleased to see this notable landmark being re-opened with great fanfare, to be enjoyed and appreciated for generations to come.”

All photographs are taken by Tracey Clements for

Sma’ Shot Day 2013

Celebrate the weavers’ victory in one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world!

Listen for the beat of the Charleston Drum as it makes its way from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, and watch the colourful procession, headed by The Cork…who always meets a spectacularly-fiery end!


With music, entertainment, stalls, mini-zoo and so much more, it’s always a great day out for all the family.

The parade is on from noon to 12.45pm, with the burning of the cork at 5pm.

Paisley Central Library will be hosting a display and film on the life of celebrated trade unionist Willie Gallacher. There will also be a tea dance at Paisley Town Hall, with free tickets available from the town hall.

Date: Saturday 6 July

Time: Noon until 5pm

Venue: Abbey Close and elsewhere, Paisley town centre

Sma’ Shot Festival

The festival came about as a result of a political battle fought between the weavers of Paisley and their employers, the manufacturers, in the 19th Century.

The Sma’ (small) Shot was a cotton thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the famous shawls.

However, the Sma’ Shot was unseen in the finished garments and so the manufacturers, known locally as ‘corks’, refused to pay for the thread.The weavers had no choice but to buy the thread themselves. Without it the shawls would fall apart and the weavers would not be paid for their work. A long dispute followed.

The Charleston drum, which was beaten through the streets of Paisley to summon the weavers in times of trouble, was beaten once again to rally the weavers in protest marches. After a long and hard struggle, the manufacturers backed down and the weavers were paid for the Sma’ Shot.

In 1856 the first Saturday in July, a traditional holiday for the weavers, was renamed Sma’ Shot Day in honour of the victory.From that day and for many years, the Charleston drum was used to rally weavers and lead them to the departure point for their annual trip, usually “doon the watter” to Ayr.
The demise of the weaving industry, the introduction of the five day working week and a change in local government brought an end to Sma’ Shot Day in 1975, but in 1986 local councillors and the people of Paisley decided to revive this great tradition.
Since then, on the first Saturday of July, once more the beating of the Charleston drum rallies the people of Paisley to a gathering outside Paisley Town Hall, and a procession is held through the streets of Paisley, led by ‘The Cork’, an effigy of one of the manufacturers defeated by the Paisley weavers.

Civic welcome for Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Battalion

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell has spoken of his ‘honour and pleasure’ in hosting a civic welcome for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders following their recent parade through Paisley.

Depute Provost Caldwell met with officers and soldiers at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley following the parade by The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 Scots).

DP with soldier families

“I know from speaking to some of the soldiers, their families and their commanders just how much it has meant for the community of Renfrewshire to honour their tradition of service and their historic links with the area.

“Everyone involved stressed that although the 5th Battalion’s role is changing, the links with the traditional recruiting areas will remain as strong as ever.

“When I was looking at the history of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in advance of meeting with the soldiers, it was amazing to see the history they have been involved in and helped to shape.

“That history includes the Boer War, the Somme, the Crimean War, the Peninsular war, the Korean War and right up to more recent conflicts.

“In 2011, Renfrewshire Council awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in recognition of that service and that proud local connection.

“I was delighted to take this opportunity to say to the battalion that the deeds and courage of current and former officers and soldiers will continue be remembered with pride in Renfrewshire.”

Depute Provost Caldwell rounded off the occasion by exchanging plaques with battalion and regimental commanders.

Paisley soldiers

Paisley soldiers at Renfrewshire Council’s civic welcome for Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Cpl Gary Adam, Cpl Arron White, Cpl William Hart, Pvt James Connelly, Cpl Sean Dick, Cpl John Fay, Cpl john Downie.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Paisley.

Photographs of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) parading in Paisley earlier. All Photographs taken for by Tracey Clements.

You can see a lot more photographs by visiting our Paisley Facebook Page.

5SCOTS the Argyll and Sutherland highlanders Parade through Paisley

Soldier Kenny Kyle posted this on our Facebook Group: 5SCOTS the Argyll and Sutherland highlanders are parading through Paisley Renfrewshire this Wednesday !


This battalion historically has loads of boys recruited from the town and that is the same to this day. Let’s see the town show their appreciation and support to the lads both young and old, past and present as this will be the last time they parade their colours. Sad day! Good luck boys, have a great day!

5Scots will form up in Gilmour Street at 10:30 then step off at 11:00 to parade through Paisley, please come out and thank our boys and reflect on the sad passing of such a historic Scottish Regiment.

Parade Route:

12 June 2013 – Paisley 11.00hrs
Parade steps off at County Place, High Street/Story Street Junction,
saluting dias at Paisley Abbey.



Photograph courtesy of

Latest welfare reform hits as DLA change gets underway

People in Renfrewshire who want to make a claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are being urged by the council to find out more about key changes the Government is making to the benefit.

From June 10 working-age adults will no longer be able to make new claims for DLA and will instead have to claim for a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The move is part of the UK Government’s current benefit change programme and will see DLA replaced by PIP for 16-64 year olds over the next few years.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Renfrewshire Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “The changes are confusing and worrying a lot of people. The UK Government wants to achieve a 20% saving in the cost of DLA – but we still don’t know how that will impact on disabled people. The Government’s own figures recognise that only 0.5% of DLA is claimed fraudulently, so when they cut the bill by 20%, many genuine cases will lose out.”

The second stage of change will happen from October 2013 when existing DLA claimants will have to apply for PIP – if they report a change in their condition, turn 16, or reach a review date.

Everyone else on DLA will be contacted to apply for PIP from 2015.

Councillor Holmes added: “When you need to apply for PIP – whether it’s just now as a new claim, in October because your DLA comes for review or its later down the line when the DWP writes to you – please don’t forget that we’ve set up a dedicated team of advisors who are here to help you through the process.”

Only those who turned 65 on or before 8 April 2013 will remain on DLA. Children will continue to receive DLA until they turn 16.

For more information on the changes visit or phone 0300 300 0288.

Renfrew Museum Opening Hours Survey  – We Want to Hear From You!

Renfrewshire Arts & Museums are currently undergoing a customer consultation about the opening hours at Renfrew Museum and want to hear from you about your opinions on what you think the opening hours should be.
(direct link to survey click here )

Renfrew Museum

The brand new Renfrew Museum opened its doors in January 2012, with specially designed exhibits and displays. The museum tells the story of Renfrew from Medieval times until the present day, using objects, pictures, film and people’s own words. The museum is based on the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

The response to the new museum has been very positive, attracting 5690 visitors in the first year of opening. However, the evening opening hours have not been popular and received, on average, less than 0.5 visits per evening opening during the first year. In contrast to this, the main town hall building is open to the public from 9am, however the museum does not open until 11.00am, which visitors are finding confusing and could mean the museums is losing out on visitors.

The current opening hours were agreed following community consultation and we would like to know your views on whether we should stick to these times or take the opportunity to amend them.

Hard copies of the survey can be found at Renfrew Town Hall, Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Museum. Alternatively you can access the online survey on the Renfrew Museum page on Renfrewshire Council’s website: or on our facebook page: Deadline for completion of surveys is Sunday 30 June.

Photograph copyright of Renfrewshire Council not to be used without permission.

Collins & Paterson Auctioneers on Antiques Road Trip

David Harper & Paul Laidlaw pictured whilst filming for BBC2’s Antiques Road Trip with Administrator Gil Young and Stephen Maxwell from Collins & Paterson Auctioneers Paisley.
(Time of airing is not confirmed).

Collins & Paterson Auctioneers hold jewellery, antique & general auctions every fortnight on a Tuesday at 10.30am, the next one is on 4th June, the viewing is Monday 9am – 4pm, the auctioneers take items in Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm & Saturday 9am – 1pm, everyone is welcome..


Auctioneers & Valuers
10 Walker Street
Telephone: 0141 889 2435

Visit the website

Like on Facebook by clicking here.

Scottish Property Valuation Rolls for 1895 Go Online

New records reveal a colourful picture of Victorian society in Scotland


The names of more than two million Scots from the late Victorian age will be published today, as records of Scottish properties and their owners and occupiers in 1895 are released on ScotlandsPeople, the government’s family history website.

Called the Valuation Rolls, the records give an insight into Scottish society during that period, and will be a major resource for genealogists.

The records comprise more than two million indexed names and over 75,000 digital images, covering every kind of building, structure or property in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value.

The 1895 Valuation Rolls – Parish of Crathie and Braemar
Reference: VR87/89/69
Crown copyright. National Records of Scotland.

The Valuation Rolls include people from right across the social spectrum, from the wealthiest proprietors to the humblest property owners and tenants of Scotland’s urban housing.

Some fascinating aspects of social history in Scotland during the late Victorian age are revealed in the Rolls, including the growth of tea rooms, the opening of Scotland’s first crematorium and the provision of housing for workers, such as shale miners and prison staff.

Researchers at the National Records of Scotland have also identified many ‘tee-names’ in the Rolls, the names used in some communities in the north-east and elsewhere to distinguish people of the same name.

Every one of the Valuation Rolls on the website is fully searchable by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – in many cases occupations are also included.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is an incredible resource that enables Scots, those of Scottish descent and anyone with an interest in Scotland to find out more about our nation’s fascinating history, heritage, people and built environment. The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1895 is a welcome development that will strengthen the rich resource available in Scotland’s national archive.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1895 will prove invaluable for family and local history research, enabling people to discover much more about who their ancestors were and how they lived. Reading an entry for a single building can provide a fascinating insight into local life at the time – adding to the information people can obtain from census records taken around that period. This forms part of the National Records of Scotland’s commitment to improving our service to the public and providing researchers with the resources that they need.”

Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that runs the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re very pleased to add a third set of Valuation Rolls indexes and images to the ScotlandsPeople website, bringing our total number of index entries to a remarkable 92 million. As part of an on-going digitisation project, the Valuation Rolls are an excellent historical resource and will help to bridge the gap between the 1891 and 1901 censuses.”

The 1895 Valuation Rolls are available on the ScotlandsPeople website (, and at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh.