Photographs of Martha & The Vandellas at the Paisley Town Hall October 20th 2018 The Spree.
All photographs courtesy of David Cameron, you can visit his Flickr Page for lots more Paisley photographs here.
Photographs of Martha & The Vandellas at the Paisley Town Hall October 20th 2018 The Spree.
All photographs courtesy of David Cameron, you can visit his Flickr Page for lots more Paisley photographs here.
Switching on the Christmas lights is a dream come true, and this year it will be a reality for three lucky school pupils!
Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, is once again inviting children of primary school age to design a Christmas card for 2018. Three winners will be selected with each winner having the chance to push the button to light up either Paisley, Johnstone or Renfrew.
The winning designs will also be printed as Provost Cameron’s official Christmas cards and sent out all over the world.
Provost Cameron said: “Thousands of people come to watch the Christmas lights being switched on and I need someone to help me with this really important job. I loved seeing your designs last year and I can’t wait to see what Renfrewshire can create this year.”
Entries must be received by Monday 29 October and can be handed into primary schools or posted to Christmas Card Competition, Member Services, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1WD.
Paisley’s flagship annual cultural extravaganza The Spree gets under way today….helped by National Theatre of Scotland offering a truckload of chances to see the area as never before.
The seventh year of the Spree (12 to 21 Oct) sees 87 shows in 17 venues in five towns around Renfrewshire over ten days – with music, comedy, theatre and much more.
Big-name headliners include Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in conversation about his legendary career (Fri 12 Oct) and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the London African Gospel Choir performing Graceland (Sat 20 Oct), both at Paisley Town Hall.
The iconic Spiegeltent in County Square will host musical acts The Orb (Mon 15th), Traceyanne and Danny and The Pastels (Sat 13th), ex-Kraftwerk man Wolfgang Flur (Sat 13th), The Wandering Hearts (Sun 14th), Vieux Farke Toure (Tues 16th), The Leisure Society and Duke Special (Weds 17th), Big Minds (Thurs 18th), and Gang of Four (Fri 19th).
The festival also includes Rimini Protokoll and National Theatre of Scotland’s Do’s and Don’ts (12-14 and 16-21 Oct) – offering a unique experience touring the area in a mobile auditorium inside a remodelled truck, backed by the soundtrack of a local choir.
The show is presented by award-winning German documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll and is part of NTS’s Futureproof festival, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, and some of the young cast were on hand to help launch the festival yesterday outside Paisley Town Hall.
Other Spree highlights over the next 10 days include a sold-out comedy show with Des Clarke and Janey Godley (Spiegeltent Fri 12th), Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (Paisley Arts Centre, Sat 20th), the ModStuff festival-within-a-festival (Spiegeltent, Sat 20th) plus a visit from The National Whiskey Festival (Paisley Town Hall, Sat 13th).
Do’s and Don’ts is part of The Wee Spree programme over the October school holiday – with a list of (mostly free) shows for kids offering everything from comedy to ceilidhs, plus video game design, circus skills workshops and a dancealong to The Greatest Showman.
There’s also the Spree for All fringe festival, which includes the daily Danny Kyle Stage for unsigned acts in the Old Swan Inn, and taking top local musical talent to venues in Johnstone, Renfrew, Linwood and Lochwinnoch, as well as the pubs and clubs of Paisley town centre.
The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council as part of a major events programme also including Paisley Halloween Festival (Sat 27 Oct) – listed as one of the top Halloween events in the UK.
The council’s head of communications, marketing and events Louisa Mahon said: “This year’s Spree will be the biggest and best yet as our events continue to grow and attract more visitors to the area.
“The bill has something for everyone – from world-renowned musical talent to a diverse programme for kids of all ages, to some of the best local acts at a venue near you.
“We are also delighted to building partnerships with organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and bringing some of the country’s finest performers to the town is helping cement Paisley’s place as one of Scotland’s go-to cultural destinations.”
Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said: “DO’S & DON’TS has been co-created by the young people of Paisley as part of our Futureproof festival, marking the Year of Young People 2018, and I am delighted that it is part of the Spree programme.
“It was important to the National Theatre of Scotland that, as part of Futureproof, we had the opportunity to work with the Paisley 2021 Legacy team, and we are incredibly grateful to our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure for making this uniquely special co-production possible.”
Charity RAMH teamed up with Renfrewshire Council employees to stock up their Re-use Superstore.
Located in Johnstone town centre and run by RAMH’s Lifeskills service, the store offers low-cost household items for sale as well as work experience and training for those wanting to boost their skills.
Stephen McLellan, RAMH Chief Executive, was at the store to receive the collection from Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.
Stephen said: “We believe firmly in supporting people recovering from mental ill health. That’s why we started the Re-use Superstore to give people the practical things they need at a low cost.
“Having the store as a place people can gain confidence as well as skills and experience to support them recover and help them to feel capable of finding suitable employment is also a big part of what we do each day.
“The collection received from Council staff will help use stock up our store ahead of the winter season.”
Provost Cameron said: “People always need low cost household items, whether it’s a new cutlery set, winter clothes or some toys for the kids.
“Giving away furniture, soft furnishings and electrical goods that you no longer need is a great way to help support others to keep their homes cosy and warm at a low cost.”
The collection was held during Challenge Poverty Week, which aims to highlight the reality of poverty and demonstrate what needs to be done across Scotland to address poverty.
Residents can support the store by bringing in working, clean and complete household items to RAMH Re-use Superstore at Houstoun Court Shopping Arcade (across from the town hall) Church Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DT.
The musicians include talented young players from the extraordinary pool of talent that marks today’s British jazz scene. The UK musicians are all young British players from the Tomorrow’s Warriors stable – Ife Ogunjobi (trumpet); Joe Bristow (trombone); Hanna Mubya (bass trombone, tuba); Mebrakh Johnson, Kaidi Akinnibi, Alam Nathan (reeds) plus the long-established tuba player Andy Grappy; and the rhythm team that has been at the heart of Jason Moran’s music for many years, Tarus Mateen (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums).
It is one of the most infamous witch trials in history which saw Paisley the last town in western Europe to conduct a mass execution in 1697.
Four women and three men were sentenced to death after series of events which started when the 11-year-old daughter of a local laird mysteriously fell ill.
Christian Shaw suffered fits, similar to demonic possession, and accused several people of bewitching her. Witchcraft was against the law in Scotland and seven people were tried as witches and executed at Gallow Green.
But as Paisley gears up to stage its annual Halloween Festival inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark witch history, retired academic Hugh McLachlan says history has treated Christian Shaw unfairly.
Hugh, who researched the 1697 trials extensively and is editor of ‘The Kirk, Satan and Salem: A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire’, says that far from being a malicious accuser, she was unfairly maligned.
Hugh, who first became aware of the case as a young research assistant at Glasgow University, said: “Christian Shaw has had a very bad press with the notion that she was a particularly bad, evil child who was able to fool the courts and local dignitaries for malicious purposes.
“This seemed to me be not very plausible and grossly unfair so my interest was aroused at the potential injustice.
“The alternative view point that she was suffering from a hysterical malady or mental illness seemed to me to be even less likely, so I researched the case.”
Hugh says the case was different from other witchcraft trials in that a child was the main accuser.
He also believes the story was influenced by what happened in Salem in Massachusetts just a few years later.
He added: “The actual evidence didn’t suggest that Christian Shaw was either mentally ill or malicious, but rather she was actually peripheral to the case.
“If you look at the accusations against the people who were charged with witchcraft, if you removed what they were said to have done to Christian Shaw, they would still have been executed.
“It wasn’t crucial to the case and it’s not clear if she even gave evidence at the trial.”
He says that he believes the story was influenced by a book later written on the case by local minsters.
He said: “When people consider her role in all of this, they weren’t considering her evidence at the trial but this book.
“It was written be local ministers who were very well aware of Salem witch trial and wanted to make a theological point. Witches renounced Christ and the fear of witchcraft centred on that and the Devil.
“But if the Devil existed, so did God, and they were trying to encourage atheists to repent.
“It was 1697 and they were looking to the turn of the century and it was a period of great turmoil.
“The local ministers thought the world was coming to an end.”
After the trial Christian Shaw’s story took another sensational twist when she became a prominent businesswoman who founded the Bargarran Thread Company along with her mother.
It transformed into the cotton company on which Paisley’s fame and wealth was founded.
Hugh added: “I think even today her role in the witchcraft trials is misinterpreted. I don’t think Christian Shaw was a malicious child and that she should instead be celebrated as a successful entrepreneur.
“Women often get a rough deal in history and are written out. This is only one interpretation, but the one that I believe. But I think the other stories should still be told, they live in contradiction and conflict with each other.”
Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ returns on Saturday 27 October, with a Friday Fright Night on 26 October, and features an animated parade, sound and light installations and performances.
The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has been developed with the help of young people. It is celebrating their talents both as performers, as well as contributors to the management of the event behind the scenes.
Part of this is a new production starring a 50-strong cast of young people who will take part in a breathtaking aerial show.
For more information please go to www.paisley.is
We thought we would post these four together on the website so you can see the difference side by side, we will also post to Facebook later on so people can always find them.
Paisley Cross before the Cenotaph was built and now from a similar viewpoint (not exact but close enough). Please click on the image for the larger version.
Old Photographs are taken from the book Recollections of Paisley by Donald Malcolm, you can find the book on the following link.
Anchor Mills when it was a working mill till today when it has been renovated and is part flats and part offices with a beautiful atrium at the centre of the main mill, next to the Hammills waterfall (not taken from the exact same place which would be the main bridge in today’s terms) Please click on the image for the larger version.
Young people in Renfrewshire have come up with a list of ten recommendations to improve youth mental health services.
More training on youth mental health in schools and young people being given the tools to help peers who may experience issues, are among ten proposals put forward by Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission.
The recommendations came after a survey of young people aged 11 – 22 across Renfrewshire, which revealed that 45 per cent believe there should be quicker access to mental health services.
Other findings revealed that half of young people speak to a parent or carer first if they are experiencing poor mental health and more than half – 57 per cent – believe the best place to get information is online,
Almost half – 49 per cent – of young people believe there should be a drop-in at school for young people experiencing poor mental health.
The proposals, which also included using Apps to bring resources into the 21st Century, were put to the Youth Generations Assembly in Paisley Town Hall. Pupils from every secondary school in Renfrewshire were asked for their feedback.
The final recommendations will be presented to professionals working locally with young people experiencing poor mental health. They will be asked to adopt these within their organisational practice.
Jade Lochhead, 23, from the Youth Commission on Mental Health, said: “Most of the members of the Youth Commission are still in school, so the recommendations very much reflect their experiences.
“Mental health a big issue for young people and it’s amazing that we get to have our say. I think the more young people who are consulted, the better. We will be the next generation to take things forward and opportunities like today mean we have a real voice.”
Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “Young people have shown they are able to make decisions on issues which matter to them and want to play a key part in designing effective strategies to tackle these.
“We are committed to giving young people a voice and to understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Generations Assembly is a great forum for them to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what can be done to ensure all young people have positive mental health.”
Ambitious plans to realise the vision behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 have been backed by senior figures from Scotland’s cultural scene – in the week the ongoing legacy work takes several big steps forward.
Today is the last chance to see inside Paisley Museum ahead of a four-year £42m transformation into an international-class destination telling the story of the town’s pattern, heritage and people.
And yesterday saw councillors approve a number of measures to bring new life to Paisley town centre and harness the power of culture to change lives for the better, including:
– formal approval for a new cultural organisational development fund of £360,000 over the next three years to support the area’s creative sector to grow their operations and reach;
– transforming key outdoor town centre sites in Abbey Close and County Square by expanding capacity for major events and creating spaces which encourage residents, visitors and students to spend time;
– improvements to major road junctions to improve road safety, allow traffic to flow better, and open up key gateways to the town centre;
And the new measures have been backed by senior figures within Scotland’s cultural scene.
Gary Cameron, Head of Place, Partnerships and Communities, Creative Scotland commented: “We are delighted Renfrewshire Council have established the Cultural Organisations Development Fund.
“Local authority support is essential for developing arts and culture across Scotland, and we believe this fund will build on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and bring a range of cultural, social and economic benefits to the region.”
Support has also arrived from Dundee – a city which has already shown the power of culture to transform fortunes, culminating in the opening of the V&A museum last week.
Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “The recent opening of V&A Dundee is the latest achievement in the long-term regeneration of the city where culture plays an integral part in this transformation.
“Our status as a UNESCO City of Design has been awarded because of the growth of the sector in the Dundee and the contribution this is making to our economy. Creativity is helping to create jobs and to attract tourists in ever great numbers.
“I am pleased to see how the legacy of the Paisley bid campaign is being used to focus on the future and tap into the power of the arts to bring about change for the good.”
The council’s leadership board also agreed to consider a report at their next meeting which would look at how the cultural legacy will reach towns and villages throughout Renfrewshire.
The investment in outdoor spaces and roads forms £10m of a £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years – to create homes for the increased events, festivals and cultural activity the area is already attracting.
That includes the Paisley Museum redevelopment, expected to quadruple current visitor numbers when it reopens in 2022, plus £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town’s Hall’s place at the heart of life in the area and turn it into a landmark performance venue.
The various partners behind the UK City of Culture bid this year agreed to commit resource set aside to host had Paisley won to projects designed to deliver on the bid’s aims – and the report to councillors told how investment in culture is already delivering results for Renfrewshire including:
– a £1.25m economic boost and 70,000 attendees at major events so far this year alone, including the Paisley Food Festival, British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot Day/Weave;
– work to sell the area as a visitor destination through the paisley.is brand and website, pioneering work by the NHS to use cultural activity to tackle mental health issues, and a growth in creative business development across Renfrewshire;
Today will see bid partners taking to social media to celebrate the work achieved so far, using the hashtag #WhatPaisleyDidNext, and a number have already had their say.
Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire said: “We know Renfrewshire’s cultural activity programme is already providing fantastic opportunities for developing local aspirations, reducing isolation and re-connecting people with Paisley.
“The plans for refreshed, re-imagined outdoor areas in the centre of the town will positively benefit all our social aims by providing a fantastic backdrop for an even wider range of cultural activities – attracting more visitors and local people for many decades to come.”
Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce added: “We welcome this investment in the next stage of the journey to deliver the vision of the 2021 bid.
“Enhancing our key cultural assets and public realm will we believe drive visitor numbers and increase economic spend, presenting opportunity for businesses to capitalise on our growing profile on the national and international stage.
“Cultural development and the legacy fund will encourage creative organisations to upskill, build their operations and shine a spotlight on the reinvigorated vision for Paisley and Renfrewshire. “
Alan Clark, of the Creative Renfrewshire group – a network which shines the spotlight on creative and cultural activities across Renfrewshire, added: “I think the Creative Renfrewshire members would see real value in this investment in the local creative scene over the long-term.
“The new organisational development fund will allow organisations to build partnerships and create growth across the whole sector – we are all part of this together. It feels like this is the beginning of a long-term growth.”
Paisley is set for a ‘festival of family fun’ when The Wee Spree comes to town this October.
The popular programme of activities for kids will take place from 12-21 October with thousands set to be entertained during the school holiday period.
The festival coincides with The Spree festival of music and comedy set to take over the town centre and will be bigger and better than ever, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
The internationally celebrated Scottish Chamber Orchestra will bring their free Fun Day to the festival (18 October) and promise some ‘bewitching musical fun’ inspired by Julia Donaldson’s much-loved children’s story, Room on the Broom. Orchestra members will perform for a family audience before kids get the chance to try music and craft workshops and join a special multi-coloured orchestra themselves.
Chamber musician Colin Hyson visited Paisley this week to speak to P5 pupils Gordon McCallum, Callum Gemmell, Holly Beggs and Imogen Hunter from Williamsburgh Primary School.
Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, SCO Connect Director, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Wee Spree in Paisley, bringing Julia Donaldson’s much-loved book Room on the Broom to life through musical storytelling.
“Scottish Chamber Orchestra violinist Aisling O’Dea will lead an interactive musical workshop before performing Room on the Broom with three other SCO musicians. Afterwards, children can take part in themed craft workshops and try out our colourful musical instruments. This Family Day is the SCO’s first event in Paisley since 2015 and our first visit to the Wee Spree.”
National Theatre of Scotland will bring the fascinating DO’S AND DON’TS to Paisley (12-14 & 16-21 October) as part of Futureproof – a radical new festival of ten productions across the country marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. Developed in partnership with award-winning documentary theatre makers Rimini Protokoll (Germany) and local young people, this event will see the audience led on an exciting and unusual tour around Paisley on a mobile auditorium, with an accompanying soundscape provided by local choirs.
Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said: “DO’S & DON’TS has been co-created by the young people of Paisley and German theatre-makers Rimini Protokoll and it is great that it is a part of the Paisley Spree Festival.
“It is a very exciting project which is also part of our bigger Scotland wide Futureproof festival celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. We are delighted to be part of the Paisley Spree and the Year of Young People 2018 and working alongside our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure.”
Paisley’s strong tradition of commitment to Gaelic music and culture will be celebrated during the festival when the popular local Fèis Phàislig bring their ‘ceilidh trail’ and music workshops (13 October), while Paisley Arts Centre hosts a free Gaelic singing and music workshop with Gillebrìde MacMillan (18 October) ahead of his ‘Paisley Connection’ evening performance celebrating the Paisley Bard, Donald MacIntyre.
Family celebrations of music are at the heart of the programme’s opening weekend with the Sprog Rock (13 October) andMini Manoeuvres (13 October) shows letting families have ‘a gig experience’ together.
Cosmopot (13-21 October) is a new multi-sensory show for pre-schoolers from Paisley Arts Centre’s Artist-in-Residence, Claire McGarry, and the free and popular Bookbug (15 & 16 October) from the Renfrewshire Libraries team lets toddlers enjoy songs, rhymes, music and stories.
Youngsters can try out a variety of Circus Skills (16 October) from hula hooping and juggling to tightwire with the team from Glasgow’s Aerial Edge and families can get active together with two sessions of Family Yoga (19 October) led by Renfrewshire Leisure.
The free Comedy Club 4 Kids (19 October) puts some of the best stand-ups and sketch artists on the circuit in front of an audience of kids. Entertainment of another kind comes from the Computer Xplorers (20 October) who will teach kids how to create their own games using coding skills and augmented reality.
The Wee Spree and The Spree festivals are organised by Renfrewshire Council.
Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Wee Spree is always a huge hit with families and this year’s October week looks amazing. We have had great fun designing the programme with all of our venues and artists and we are delighted to see places booking up fast. We have music, comedy, storytelling, acrobatics and song, all taking place in the heart of the town centre – 10 minutes from Glasgow City Centre by train. So, for anyone looking for ways to fill the October holidays – we can guarantee a great day out at this year’s Spree festival.”
The Spree festival is now in its seventh year. Acts appearing this year include Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, London African Gospel Choir, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, The Orb, Gang of Four, Wolfgang Flür (ex Kraftwerk), Big Minds, The Wandering Hearts, Tracyanne & Danny, The Pastels, Vieux Farka Touré, The Leisure Society, Duke Special, Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert, Gillebrìde MacMillan, Des Clarke, Janey Godley and Stuart Mitchell.
A Spree for All fringe programme will celebrate live music from local acts in Paisley and across the wider Renfrewshire area.
Details of full programmes and ticket information for The Spree, The Wee Spree and the Spree for All are available online at www.thespree.co.uk or from the festival box office at 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley PA1 1DG.