Local people are being urged to put their best foot forward for a big hearted charity walk on Tuesday.

The Barshaw Big Heart Charity Walk will take place on Tuesday 19 June to commemorate 100 years of Barshaw Park and to celebrate Paisley being a heart town.

A two mile walk begins from Paisley Town Hall at 11am, or you can join the group at Barshaw Park gate at 11.45am for a one mile walk around the park.

The theme is ‘red’ and those taking part are being asked to bring a donation (or sponsorship) as an entry fee with all proceeds going to the British Heart Foundation.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said: “We’re very proud that Paisley is a Heart Town and the Barshaw Big Heart Charity Walk is a wonderful opportunity for local people to contribute towards the British Heart Foundation, while getting active at the same time.

“I’m delighted that this will also celebrating the fact that Barshaw Park is 100 years old and I’d urge as many local people as possible to don their walking shoes and head along to enjoy some fresh air.”

Further information is available from Senga McLeod, walking development officer at or on 0141 889 1110.

sma shot

On Sunday 23rd September, Lanarkshire Paranormal will be investigating Paisley’s Sma’ Shot Cottages in Shuttle Street.

Lanarkshire Paranormal are an experienced team of paranormal investigators, carrying out investigations in reportedly haunted locations around Scotland and are solely driven to find the truth behind the sightings and reports that have been debated for centuries.

As a non-profit organization, from time to time Lanarkshire Paranormal invite the public to join them on an over night ‘ghost hunt’, donating the proceeds to charity.

Now a donation-run museum, Sma’ Shot Cottages has had many reports of paranormal activity including an apparition seen in the garden area and many ghostly noises and sounds throughout the building. Built in the 1700s, this location is very deceptive in size.

Lanarkshire Paranormal will be setting up cameras all over the building and trying many experiments with the public to find the truth behind the strange happenings people have been reporting for many years.

With only 15 tickets available, The Sma’ Shot Cottages investigation will be an exciting night, will anything happen when the lights go out?

Tickets costing £25 each, with 80% going to Sma’ Shot, can be booked via their website Age restrictions apply; investigation starts 9 p.m. until 3 a.m.

More information on Sma’ Shot Cottages can be found on their website

Paisley heart Town

Paisley heart Town







big cycle

Buddies to Bairns Big Heart Cycle


Sunday 27th May 2012 will see the first ever inter-Heart Town event in Scotland. Together with Renfrewshire Council and Community Health Partnership, the British Heart Foundation Scotland is bringing communities like Paisley together through fundraising and volunteering while raising awareness of heart disease. Falkirk is one of the other two Heart Towns in Scotland and to promote heart health in both areas an exciting route (which includes a ferry crossing!) has been drawn up for a family-friendly cycle from the Lagoon Leisure Centre to the Falkirk Wheel.

The event gives people the opportunity to take part in an organised cycle taking in 2 historic town centres (Paisley and Renfrew), the famous Renfrew Ferry crossing and the stunning Forth and Clyde Canal route directly to the Falkirk Wheel. The distance is approximately 34 miles and if you think the return journey would be just too much we are providing transport back to Paisley for you and your bike! There will be entertainment, information and snacks at both ends of the cycle and a chance for you to have your bike checked by professionals at the starting point. Entry is open to anyone, however you will need to have some degree of fitness and cycling ability to complete the route, and any children taking part must also be able to last the distance. Some of the route will be on main roads, although most of it is on cycle track, and participants will ride in groups of around 40.

The event starts at 10am from the Lagoon Leisure Centre, with groups leaving at 20 minute intervals after that, and it is anticipated that most people will complete the route in 3½ – 5 hours. Buses will leave the Falkirk Wheel to return to Paisley at 3.30pm and 5.00pm allowing people to enjoy the facilities and spectacle of this fantastic landmark. We can’t organise the weather unfortunately, but we can guarantee an enjoyable and healthy day out!

For more information, and to register, go to or phone 0131 555 5891. The cost is £20 per adult and £5 per child under 16, however you can buy a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children for £40. This includes transport back to Paisley, the ferry crossing and a BHF t-shirt and goody bag. Sponsor forms are also available from the above sources, and we would very much appreciate it if you would consider getting sponsored to do the cycle to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation Scotland. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, and they are limited, so don’t miss out!

Cumbernauld Theatre presents Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson at Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 27 April, 7.30pm.

This fantastic new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless classic Kidnapped.  Set against the backdrop of revolution in Scotland, this epic tale brings a host of memorable characters to life onstage with all the evocative language of Robert Louis Stevenson.  A terrific and exciting story of intrigue and adventure.

Ed Robson, Artistic Director of Cumbernauld Theatre said:

“Robert Louis Stevenson was simply a genius and Kidnapped is one of the best known stories in all the world – adapting it for the stage has been a fantastic experience. It’s a true classic because it’s all about us, the Scots, our hopes and fears, the people and the country we live in.  Right now, when there’s talk of independence in the air, Kidnapped has never been a more important story to tell.”

Robert Louis Stevenson is one of Scotland most well known and well loved authors, his powerful and evocative descriptions along with ship-wrecks, murder and deadly pursuit all combine to create a production which young people and adults will thoroughly enjoy.

Tickets cost £10 (£7 conc) £6 under 18s or £16 (£13 conc) £12 under 18s as part of Paisley Arts Centre Plate and a Play option. Tickets are available by calling 0141 887 1010 or logging onto

Suitable for all ages from 8+.

For further information log onto or follow us on


The Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 (RWH1697) project started in August of last year with some initial research and has widened considerably. There will be a final large scale re-enactment drama piece playing through the town on 9th June 2012 and it is hoped this will become an annual event.

There is now a shop in the Paisley Centre where folk can pop in and take part in designing and making period costume either for the use of the actors or for their own use during the re-enactment drama. There are opportunities available to engage in activities such as costume making and design, it is totally free of charge and there are also volunteering opportunities available in the areas of acting, writing and behind the scenes activities.

Visitors will be able to find out more about the RWH1697 project and also the Paisley Development Trust’s plans for the Russell Institute building.
Buddies can expect to be better informed about the culture and heritage of our town and also participate in the plans to re-use the famous Paisley landmark at the bottom of New Street.

The RWT1697 shop is at the foot of the escalator to the left on the bottom floor (Causeyside Street), come in and see us and hear what we are all about.

Paisley Abbey

The Paisley Abbey
Today, Paisley Abbey remains the heart of the community, with different events taking place throughout the year. These events have included vocal concerts, art exhibitions and rock gigs. If you are interested in history, archaeology, heritage and architecture, the Abbey is certainly worth the visit.

Paisley AbbeyBy the middle of the 13th Century, the priory had gained enough power, wealth and influence, that it was raised to the position of monastery. The southern aisle, the western wall of the main body of the Abbey kirk and the St Mirin’s Chapel all date from the building work that was carried out at this time. Therefore, these are the oldest surviving parts of the Abbey that we see today.

But with the start of conflict between Scotland and England, in the shape of the Wars of Independence, the Abbey played its part the fighting. A skirmish between the Scots and English took place in woodland in what is now the Charleston area of the town. At this time, the Abbey was attacked by the English and partially destroyed by fire. This has usually been put down to the Abbey’s connections to the Stewarts, who at the time were supporting Robert the Bruce’s claim to the Scottish throne. Those parts of the Abbey that had been damaged were rebuilt and restored and the monastery continued to play an important part in Scottish politics, especially as the monastery continued to have strong connections to the Stewart dynasty.

This is on top of the Abbey’s connections to the Stewarts; it also has supposed connections to William Wallace. The legend goes that Wallace was at least partially educated by Paisley’s monks before being sent off to his uncles in Dundee. This connection between the Abbey and Wallace can be clearly seen today in the shape of the Wallace Window, which can be found at the end of the southern aisle.

During the 1550’s, disaster struck the Abbey. It was at this time that they Abbey’s original tower collapsed, which led to the destruction of much of the transepts, as well as the choir. As this was the time of the Reformation, it was decided not to rebuild what had been lost, and to seal off the nave and the St Mirin’s Chapel, which had been left unscathed by the collapse of the tower. The nave went on to be used as the Reformed parish church of Paisley, while the St Mirin’s Chapel was used as a private chapel by the Hamilton family.

It wasn’t until the 19th Century that is was decided to restore the Abbey to its former glory. During the original building phase, which saw the rebuilding of the transepts and the tower, the project ran out of funds, and the section that led into the area of the choir was sealed off. It wasn’t until the early 20th Century that the choir was finally finished.

In the 300 years since the collapse of the tower, the choir had been used as a parish graveyard. This led to an increase in the ground level within that area of the church. It was decided that none of these graves would be disturbed and the restored Abbey was built around those who had been interred in what had once been a graveyard. During World War I, the rebuilding of the Abbey’s choir came to a halt, with the choir finally being completed during the interwar years.

The restoration work that has been carried out on the Abbey is continuing to this day. The clearest example of this can be seen with the plans to rebuild the west range of the cloisters. The original west range of the cloisters was torn down during the first phase of restoration work on the Abbey in the 19th Century. The rebuilt range will allow for a new gift shop, visitors cafe, as well as an area for interactive displays.

Today, Paisley Abbey remains the heart of the community, with different events taking place throughout the year. These events have included vocal concerts, art exhibitions and rock gigs. If you are interested in history, archaeology, heritage and architecture, the Abbey is certainly worth the visit.

Many thanks to Claire Casey for this blog.



Vacancy for Costume Co-ordinator

Paisley Development Trust are looking for someone aged between 18 and 25 years old and who has been unemployed for six months or longer to be group liaison co-ordinator on costume for the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 project. The post is for six months.

We will require various groups and individuals throughout Renfrewshire to be costumed and co-ordinated in preparation for their participation in a one day re-enactment event in Paisley on 9 June 2012. The group liaison co-ordinator on costume will be required to run a drop-in shop where costumes can be stored and where people can make their own costumes leading up to the event.

We are looking for someone who has an interest in co-ordination and community arts work. The successful candidate would need to be self-motivated, have good organisational skills, be able to work on own initiative as well as be part of a larger team.

Please apply to:

Liz Gardiner
Executive Director
3rd Floor
7 Water Row
Glasgow G51 3UW

0141 425 2020
07702 961 301

Spirit of Christmas, Paisley Abbey

10 December 2011

7.30 – 9.30pm

£10 for adults, £5 for children, £20 for platinum ticket including drinks reception and priority seating.

Join us at the stunning Paisley Abbey to celebrate Christmas with an evening of carols and readings, hosted by BBC Scotland’s River City star Eileen McCallum.

Performances will come from St Mary’s Primary School Choir, Stagecoach East Kilbride, St Andrew’s Academy School Choir, Garnock Academy Orchestra and Choir and readings will come from our special guests Jackie Baillie MSP and Jean Johanssen of the Postcode Lottery.

Read more


Please note that due to weather warnings the Paisley Farmers’ Market tomorrow (Saturday 26 November) will run a reduced market from 8.30am to 12pm (weather permitting)


Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council

Dobbies Santa

Our campaign, along with Maura Currie, (@mauracurrie & @paisleyorguk ) has been resolved by Dobbies and Santa will now appear in the Paisley store, here is the press release from the Dobbies Facebook page. This decision was taken after intense campaigning via Twitter and Facebook with the help of the Paisley Daily Express’s Alison Rennie. We spoke to Amanda from Dobbies Garden centre’s press team who confirmed that they have now reversed their decision for Santa to not visit the store, and he will now be appearing on the dates below.

Dobbies Santa

Press Release from Dobbies:

Thanks everyone for all your comments on Santa at Paisley. We value our customers’ opinions and as a result of your feedback we are delighted to announce that Santa will be coming to the Centre on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December. This free festive family event will run across weekend, where children can meet the big man in red and receive a free gift – we hope this event will add some festive cheer for our loyal customers at Paisleyahead of the stores closure at the end of the year.