traction

Many of the Gildeas team is attending a fundraising concert for a Scottish charity focused on cancers of the head and neck.

Helen Johnston, our head of finance, is a supporter of TRACTion Cancer Support, which aims to raise awareness of cancers of the head and neck which include cancers affecting the pharynx, larynx, thyroid and oesophagus.

traction

Helen had a laryngectomy in 2016 and is all too aware of the challenges faced by individuals who fall victim to these cancers, particularly young people who may feel isolated as a result, and those close to them.

In addition to raising awareness of the symptoms of these cancers and the challenges faced by sufferers, TRACTion also aims to improve the standard of care available and establish a support network.

The charity has been active since 2017 but will officially launch on Saturday March 2 at Paisley Abbey when it hosts the Outspoken Jazz Event with a performance of the Peter Edwards Trio and the Laryngectomy Choir.

Tickets for the event cost £5 and you can purchase them from https://helmtickets.com/events/3300/outspoken-jazz-event-laryngectomy-choir or by contacting Liz Grant on 07711 001502 or liz.grant6111@gmail.com or call 07711 001 502. All proceeds will go to TRACTion Cancer Support.

You can find out more about Traction Cancer Support at their website – http://www.tractioncancersupport.org/

paisley-abbey-town-hall

Businesses, private car park operators and shopping centres will join council officers and elected members as part of a new working group to review town centre parking in Paisley.

paisley-abbey-town-hall

Following a report to the most recent full Council Board, the new group has been set up to consider the current parking provision and identify any possible improvements.

The group will work with all partners to enhance parking in the town centre for the benefit of local businesses, while taking into consideration the financial and legal implications of a change to parking restrictions.

Paisley town centre has over 2100 car parking spaces, of which the council controls 1240, and the working group will strive to identify ways to make it easier for people to visit and park in the town centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We want to encourage more people to visit Paisley to increase footfall for our local businesses and ensuring that parking is available is one way to make this happen.

“The new working group will bring together all the key partners to ensure we gain a breadth of views and all possible ideas are brought to the table, while most importantly making the right decisions for the benefit of the area.

“Through these discussions, we aim to find ways to encourage more people to visit the town centre and we will look at all possible improvements to entice people to visit Paisley.

“We are always happy to engage with local partners, and especially with our local businesses, to make positive changes and the working group will allow the best provision for the town centre to be identified and implemented.”

Plans have also been agreed to introduce 26 electric charging points in four public car parks in the town centre, following a successful submission for funding to the Scottish Government, with the car parks at the Lagoon Leisure Centre, Bridge Street, New Sneddon Street and Hunter Street set to benefit.

New disabled parking spaces will be also be introduced to car parks within the town centre to ensure adequate provision continues to be provided, while prospective works to improve car parking signage throughout Renfrewshire will take place as part of the investment in public realm and transportation improvements.

The aims and objectives of the working group will be progressed and a report on its progress will be reported to a future meeting of the Leadership Board.

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

There’s now much more to see in Paisley’s fascinating museum store, The Secret Collection.

With the temporary closure of Paisley Museum for a multi-million pound re-development, the entire collection of artefacts has been moved to The Secret Collection store, 9 High Street.

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

The public can book weekly free guided tours of the museum store, which last 45 minutes to an hour. The Secret Collection is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Christine McLean, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Heritage Manager said: “The Secret Collection is Renfrewshire’s own unique town centre Museum store.

“During the past six months all the objects have been moved out of Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and the Coats Observatory to their new home

 “I’d encourage everyone to come and have a guided tour which will give a peek at Renfrewshire’s fantastic heritage.

“If you’ve been to our Museum before, you might just spot some old favourites.”

The free weekly public Tours of The Secret Collection, at 9 High Street are available to book online by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection or by email tours@renfrewshireleisure.com or telephone 0141 618 5129.

Tom Johnston

The intriguing story about one of Scotland’s unsung heroes is being told in a new play being staged at Paisley Arts Centre.

The one-act play by award-winning Robert Dawson Scott, called The Electrifying Mr Johnston is about prominent Scottish journalist turned socialist politician, Tom Johnston.

Tom Johnston

The play is a Mull Theatre production and is being staged on Friday, March 8, at 7.30pm.

Tom Johnston was a radical thinker, land reformer, and scourge of the establishment, who began his political career as a town councillor in his hometown of Kirkintilloch.

He was elected to Parliament as part of the Red Clydeside surge of MPs in 1922, alongside giants of socialism including James Maxton. John Wheatley, and Davey Kirkwood.

Appointed Secretary of State for Scotland during the Second World War and frustrated by the migration of Scottish workers to the Midlands and South East of England, Johnston launched numerous initiatives for Scotland.

As late as the 1950s most rural communities in the Highlands were still lit by paraffin lamps. But the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, a product of Johnston’s vision and a triumph of engineering, brought electricity to the rural communities of Scotland and changed the Highlands forever.

The play contrasts Johnston’s early radical writings and beliefs with later compromises, as he vies with Highland landowners for access to land for the benefit of the people and the country as a whole.

Following the performance of the Electrifying Mr Johnston there will be Bite-Size, which is a programme of rehearsed readings of new plays and works-in-progress, hosted by director Alasdair McCrone and playwright Peter Arnott with a cast of professional actors.

The readings, followed by feedback and questions and answers offers the audience a chance to be part of and enjoy the fun of the creative process.

To book tickets log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on or call 0300 300 1210.

paisley-pirates

ABERDEEN LYNX 2 PAISLEY PIRATES 5

Pirates travelled north to the Lynx Arena and recorded a notable win as they put the home side to the sword, securing an excellent victory in front of a capacity crowd.

paisley-pirates

The visitors were obliged to play off early penalties but in fact it was during one of those periods of play, with Thorp sitting out a Holding call, that they broke with Abercrombie assisting Walker to score the opening goal while they were at a numerical disadvantage. While that goal proved to be the only one of the period, Pirates did in fact keep Lynx netminder Chalmers busy throughout the session, while Russell in the visiting net had little to do by comparison, and thus the visitors headed to the changing rooms holding a narrow 1-0 advantage at the break.

Aberdeen were penalised within a minute of the restart and found themselves two behind as Pirates made full use of the powerplay to double their lead, Walker netting his second of the game. The hosts saw a little more of the puck than they had done in the first session and pulled a goal back in the 29th minute through Durkacz, but Walker restored his side’s two goal lead with 5 minutes of the session remaining with an unassisted goal, making it a straight hat trick for the Pirates’ player/coach. With no further scoring, the buzzer sounded for the end of the session with the visitors holding a handy 3-1 advantage.

Pirates continued to have the bulk of play in the final session but they were shocked when Lynx reduced the deficit to one through Thomson in the 46th minute. The home side’s joy was short lived, however, as within two minutes they were penalised and Pirates scored immediately through Henderson to lead 4-2. Any remaining doubts about the destiny of the two league points were doused in the final five minutes, with the visitors on the powerplay again, as Walker netted his own fourth, and his team’s fifth, to silence the home fans and send the visiting supporters homeward with smiles on their faces.

Pirates Player/Coach, Adam Walker, commented after the game, “I thought we played a really solid road game last night. It’s always difficult to get the two points in Aberdeen but to heavily outshoot them and keep them to the outside for most of the game is a credit to our team. Everyone played their part and kept disciplined and that made. the difference.”

Pirates return to home ice this Saturday after a 3 week absence to face Solway Stingrays (face off 6.30pm)


 

PAISLEY PIRATES-PREVIEW

 

Paisley Pirates are back in action at Braehead Arena this Saturday as they welcome the Solway Stingrays to the venue for what will be their first home fixture in the Scottish National League for a few weeks. The club has recorded two excellent wins on the road over the last fortnight and will be looking to keep that good form going on home ice, particularly after beating Aberdeen 5-2 at a venue which has been somewhat problematic in recent years.

Head Coach Ian Turley commented, “It was very good collective performance from everyone. The team’s attitude and approach to the game was excellent and all the boys contributed to the win whether they played a lot of minutes or not.”

Pirates hope to continue their run in front of a big crowd on Saturday, as they look to cement a place in the top four ahead of playoff season, which commences in a few weeks’ time, and which would see them gain one of the seeded places, while looking to see the return of a few players who have been missing for various reasons in recent weeks as they head into the latter stages of the season.

Face off against the Stingrays is at 6.30pm.

Voice and Verse

PAISLEY Arts Centre will be hosting three dementia friendly concerts this spring, presented by Live Music Now.

Voice and Verse

This begins with Aidan Moodie and Graham Rorie, on Wednesday, February 20, featuring an eclectic mix of traditional and self-penned tunes and songs from across Scotland and beyond.

The other LMN performances are MK Duo, who are Roberto Kuhn and Callum Morton-Teng on Wednesday March 13 and Voice and Verse, who are Laura McFall and Kristine Donnan on Wednesday June 12.

MK Duo

A spokesperson for Live Music Now said:

“Live Music Now Scotland’s dementia friendly concerts are relaxed and informal, and the audience is invited to sing and dance along if they like.

“We have consulted with experts in dementia to find a format that is likely to be both enjoyable and beneficial to the audience’s health and wellbeing.

Graham Rorie and Aidan Moodie

“The musicians tailor the performance so that some tunes may already be familiar, and therefore good for singing along to, which means the concert becomes interactive with everyone feeling welcome to join in.

“For those who prefer just to listen, they can enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit while being entertained by outstanding performers.

“It has been shown that participating in arts activities is extremely beneficial for older people with dementia, improving such things as communication, memory, enjoyment of life and creative thinking.”

For more information, or to book one of these performances call Renfrewshire Leisure box office on 0300 300 1210 or go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on.

Tickets for these performances are £5, and include tea and coffee. Carers go free.

library

A new chapter in the story of Paisley’s library services has begun.

The temporary home for Paisley Central Library opened this week in a new building next to The Lagoon Leisure Centre.

library

The move has been made to allow the refurbishment and creation of a learning and cultural hub at Central Library, on Paisley’s High Street, when it re-opens in 2021.

library

The work is part of an investment in Paisley town centre venues by Renfrewshire Council to support a wider push to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage assets to transform the area’s future and bring new footfall to the town centre.

In the meantime, the usual services of book lending, free computer and internet access, Bookbug sessions and children’s activities are available at the library facility at The Lagoon.

Opening hours are 9am to 5pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 9am to 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “There are exciting times ahead for Renfrewshire cultural scene in general and Paisley library service in particular.

“Once work has been completed at Central Library, the people of Renfrewshire will have a fantastic literary, cultural and social facility we can be proud of.

“And while that work is on-going we’ll have the same library services available at the Central Library’s temporary home, so no one misses out.”

mirren business centres
Gleniffer High

Young people and staff from Gleniffer High School got the chance to meet the Scottish Government’s Minister for Mental Health as she paid a visit to the school as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Gleniffer High

Pupils and staff spoke with Clare Haughey about the different ways the school are supporting pupils and highlighting the importance of mental health across the whole school community.

Improving the health and wellbeing of pupils is a significant part of Renfrewshire’s Attainment Challenge Strategy, and Gleniffer High School are adopting a school-wide nurture approach, focusing on whole school activities and a programme of both staff and peer-led wellbeing support.

Head-teacher at Gleniffer, Lisa Chalmers has used Pupil Equity Funding, part of the £750 million Attainment Scotland Fund, to create posts within the school targeted at closing the poverty related attainment group through support and nurture.

Gleniffer High

She said:

“We have a number of staff who have volunteered to take on extra responsibility, working with our S1 pupils and interviewing them using health and wellbeing indicators. They are on hand to offer advice when needed and can report back to our Pastoral Support team if there are any issues.

“We were also able to use the Pupil Equity Fund to bring in a second Transition Teacher, working with target pupils in S1 who may be struggling and supporting them in core subjects such as maths and literacy.”

Gleniffer High

The success of the peer-led Hearty Lives group has also helped raise awareness of mental health in a positive and engaging manner within the school, and the group run a lunchtime hub promoted as a safe place where all pupils are welcome.

Gleniffer High

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said:

“Gleniffer is a great example of the how we can support the wellbeing of our children and young people by bringing together their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

“It’s crucial that children and young people are supported at important junctures such as their transition in and beyond schools.

“This is also the approach we are putting in place through our Programme for Government, which has committed £250 million to build a world-class mental health system that works for everyone.”

Children’s Mental Health Week takes place this year from Monday 4 February to Sunday 10 February and this year is focused on taking steps to be healthy both inside and out.

Renfrewshire Council’s Young People’s Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, was at Gleniffer High School to meet the Minister for Mental Health and to hear from the young people about the activities taking place in the school to promote a positive mental health.

Councillor Campbell said:

“Having worked in the mental health field I firmly believe that having a good mental health as a young person is key to their development and their success in later life. I’m delighted that the young people at Gleniffer are so involved in promoting positive health and wellbeing in the school community.

“The school have implemented some excellent initiatives using Attainment Scotland funding, complementing the existing work going on in schools Renfrewshire-wide to develop and support the mental, social and emotional health of our children and young people.”

paisley town hall

The people of Paisley are getting their first glimpse at what to expect from their transformed town hall – including entirely new rooms inside the existing building, and an increased capacity allowing bigger-name performers to bring new life to the town.

paisley town hall

The magnificent Victorian-era town hall is currently undergoing major internal refurbishment into what will be one of the West of Scotland’s landmark entertainment venues when it reopens in 2021.

Renfrewshire Council is leading the work to turn the much-loved 19th-century architectural gem into a 21st-century facility which will drive new footfall to the area, while delivering upgrades essential to keep it at the heart of local life for generations to come.

paisley town hall

Some initial artist images have been released, with more to follow in the coming weeks, and features people can look forward to in the revamped building include:

– the capacity of the main hall increased to 1,200 for a standing gig, allowing the venue to attract bigger and better shows than ever before, boosting the local night-time economy;

paisley town hall

– entirely new rooms created inside the current building – including a new café-bar and dance studio built in currently-unused space. There will also be a smaller venue-within-a-venue – meaning more use, more footfall, and a better range of community events;

– transformed audience experience including lowered stage, new seating, better sightlines and acoustics, new reception area, and much improved access to and around the building;

– an entire replacement of the building’s decades-old electrical and mechanical equipment, and improved backroom facilities allowing more weddings and conferences;

The council is taking forward the £22m work as part of a much-bigger investment in the town centre designed to change the area’s future using its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

That includes a transformation of Paisley Museum which will almost quadruple current visitor numbers, a new modern home for library services on the High Street, and major investment in key outdoor spaces such as Abbey Close and County Square to create places which will keep residents, students and visitors in the town for longer.

The building’s operators Renfrewshire Leisure have already been speaking to some of Scotland’s top music promoters about using the venue when it reopens.

Mark Mackie, of Regular Music – who has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names as the man behind massive gigs including the Castle Concerts at Edinburgh Castle and Summer Nights at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Bandstand, said: “As a Paisley buddy myself, I’m really excited about the transformation of Paisley Town Hall.

“This investment is great news for gig-goers in the west of Scotland and it’s definitely a venue Regular Music would look to bring bands to. The new facilities, refurbished auditorium and café-bar will make it a must-visit venue for bands and audiences.”

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley Town Hall is a much-loved building which has been at the heart of life in the town for generations – but to keep it there the interior of this beautiful building needs the revamp now being delivered.

“The council is making a substantial investment – not just to do the necessary maintenance to keep the building viable, but to take what it can do to a totally new level.

“As a result, the revamp is predicted to double the number of people who use it each year – bringing new life to the town centre and helping anchor our ongoing wider work to use our outstanding cultural and heritage story to bring new visitors to the area.

“It also means creating a facility in which people will be able to experience world-class culture on their own doorstep, with all the opportunities that means to make people’s lives better.

“And while the renovation is happening we will be making sure everybody knows Paisley continues to remain open for business.”

The building is being redesigned by award-winning architects Holmes Miller, whose previous projects include the redevelopment of Old Trafford and reshaping Hampden for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The town hall revamp is being run by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – a Scottish-Government-backed firm who help public-sector bodies get value for money when investing in large infrastructure projects.

The council worked with Homes Miller and Hub West Scotland on the new Johnstone Town Hall –which has won a string of industry awards since it opened in 2015.

Initial work to clear out the building is already under way, with stonework and roof repairs taking place over the summer, ahead of main construction work starting towards the end of the year. The building is due to reopen in late 2021.