Entrance to Glen Cinema

“I remember I didn’t want to go that day,” said Emily Brown (95) – one of hundreds of children who attended Paisley’s Glen Cinema 90 years ago today for a packed matinee performance that ended in tragedy – forever remembered by survivors as Paisley’s ‘Black Hogmanay’.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

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. The main exit doors had a metal gate that had been pulled shut stopping it from opening leading to a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 children were injured.

Survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown at 90th anniversary service 7 Dec

Robert Pope (97), had got up that morning and asked his mother for some jars to exchange for money so he could go to the pictures with seven of his friends.

Like so many children at the time, Robert and Emily were sent out the house to the cinema on Hogmanay to allow their parents to get the house cleaned and ready for the new year. They took their seats in the crowded theatre, sang their song and settled down to watch the new cowboy movie Dude Desperado.

During the picture a film cannister was placed on a heated surface and started to smoke up – leading to the panic and stampede which followed.

Boys Brigade march past picture house at funeral

“I was there with my older sister Jean (10) and younger sister May (3) – we heard someone shout ‘fire’ and started to head for the exit. There was screaming and shouting, and people were pushing and trampling you and you were trampling on others trying to get out.”

“I remember some people jumped over the balcony or onto the stage to try to get out. I was separated from my sisters in the panic – I remember someone smashed a window and a fireman helped get me out.”

Emily’s aunt later found her wandering down Glasgow Road and took her home to her mother in Hunter Street. Her sisters Jean and May were already there and had managed to stay together during the chaos.

“I think my mother gave us all an extra cuddle that night,” said Emily.

“I don’t remember much about it,” said Robert. “I think my guardian angel watched out for me that day.

“When the panic started, I just remember something came over me and I stayed in my seat and didn’t move. I don’t remember much else until later when a fireman was clearing the hall, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for the picture to come back on and he told me to head home to my mother and that the film wouldn’t be coming back on.

“My friends saw that I never came out and had told my mother I was still there, and she was getting ready to go up to the hospital to try and find me. As she opened the door, I was walking up the stairs and I remember the look of relief on her face. I think that saved her from the traumatic experience of seeing the children who had been killed and injured in the cinema at the hospital.”

Robert’s friend, William Spiers, who had sat beside him and fled during the panic did not survive the crush that day.

When news of the disaster spread through the town the entire community went to the Glen Cinema to try and help get the children out. Emily’s mother was one of those who pulled children from the cinema and loaded the injured onto trams for the hospital – not knowing if her children were safe or injured or worse. Emily’s mother was the only resident from Hunter Street who didn’t lose someone that day.

The funerals of all 71 children took place in early January of 1930. The town came to a standstill to pay their respects to those who died – everyone turned out including the hospital staff who treated victims and survivors and the Boys Brigade – who walked in the funeral procession. The children were laid to rest in Hawkhead Cemetery where a memorial still stands to remember all the victims of the Glen Cinema disaster.

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 be present to ensure the safety of children.

The Glen Cinema survivors and their families continue to commemorate the disaster every Hogmanay alongside members of the local community. They gather at 11am at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre where they lay a wreath for those who lost their lives that day.

The Glen Cinema disaster of 1929 is considered one of Scotland’s worst human tragedies.

Reclaim the Night march1

Renfrewshire Council has become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to formally introduce a domestic abuse policy for staff.

Reclaim the Night march1

The policy demonstrates the Council’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse – psychological and physical – and shows its support for all employees impacted by domestic abuse, past or present.

Employees who are victims of domestic abuse are now able to request special paid leave to receive necessary support and attend any relevant appointments.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the UK in any one year, more than 20 per cent of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse and two per cent lose their jobs as a direct result.

Commission figures also reveal that 75 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced, to physical assaults.

The Renfrewshire Council policy provides guidance for any employees who are living with domestic abuse and employees who suspect that work colleagues may be suffering. It also outlines the steps supervisors and managers should take to support colleagues who choose to speak out about their abuse and who are seeking help.

Domestic abuse policy champions are being introduced at a senior level across the organisation.

Councillor John Shaw said: “As a local authority, it’s vital that we recognise the devastating impact domestic abuse has on individuals and families.

“As one of the first local authorities in Scotland to adopt this approach, we want to send a clear message that we will support anyone affected by domestic abuse.

“We are working towards creating a safe and supportive environment which encourages employees to report all forms of harm.

“By putting a policy in place, we are ensuring the correct support is available to staff who may be directly affected and creating a clear reporting route for anyone who may have concerns about the wellbeing of one of their colleagues.

“We hope that the introduction of this policy raises awareness that there are formal procedures in place and helps colleagues to feel that they can approach domestic abuse policy champions for support and advice.”

Renfrewshire Council has also been working closely with UK domestic abuse charity SafeLives to support the implementation of the new policy.

Liz Thompson, director of external relations at SafeLives, said: “Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and this includes employers. We know that more than two million adults experience domestic abuse each year. It is something that will impact upon almost every workplace.

“Employers are well placed to spot the signs in colleagues but without the right training, leadership and guidance, it can be hard to know what to do.

“We’re so pleased to see Renfrewshire Council committing to this policy, breaking the silence on domestic abuse and supporting all staff and colleagues to get the help and support they need.”

The policy has been agreed and developed in partnership with trade unions and complies with relevant legislation,  including the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and Equally Safe – Scotland’s Strategy for Preventing and Eradicating Violence Against Women and Girls provided by the Scottish Government and its partners.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 covers not only spouses, civil partners and cohabitants but also people in intimate personal relationships who do not live together, and as well as physical abuse, it covers other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.

Glasgow Airport exterior

 

  • More than 260,000 passengers expected to travel through the airport during the festive period 

 

 

Glasgow Airport is preparing for a busy festive period as hundreds of thousands of travellers take to the skies over the Christmas holidays.

Glasgow Airport exterior

More than 260,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the next two weeks (Friday, December 20 – Friday, January 3) with many heading for some winter sun to destinations including the Canary Islands, Dubai, Malaga and Alicante, or city and ski breaks to Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Grenoble.

 

Many passengers who live and work elsewhere in the UK or overseas will also make their way home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and relatives.

 

Today is expected to be the busiest with more than 20,000 passengers travelling through the airport. On Christmas Day almost 2500 passengers will travel on 14 flights between Glasgow and Amsterdam, London and Dubai. 

 

In the run up to the busy festive getaway, Glasgow Airport would like to reminding travellers to pack their Christmas gifts carefully, and to place them in their hold luggage rather than carry them as hand luggage where possible. Passengers should also check with their airlines if they are permitted to take Christmas crackers, which if being carried as hand luggage must remain in their original packing.

 

Mark Johnston, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, said: “Christmas and New Year is always special and there’s certainly a feel-good atmosphere in the terminal as thousands of passengers travel through the airport to be with their loved ones. 


“It’s also a particularly busy time in the terminal for our staff, airlines partners, caterers, retailers and baggage handlers, who are all gearing up to welcome thousands of passengers keen to get home for the holidays.   

 

“Our advice to everyone – whether they are travelling home or jetting off for a winter break – is to double check that all liquids carried in hand luggage are within the 100ml limit. This includes presents such as toiletries and alcohol.

“To be on the safe side, and to help reduce waiting times at security, we recommend that all of our passengers pack their gifts in their hold luggage where possible. If carrying gifts in hand luggage, we would ask passengers not to wrap them until they have reached their destination as our security procedures may require that they be searched. 

 

“On behalf of everyone at Glasgow Airport, I would like to wish our passengers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year when it comes.”

Catherine McAtier, Josef McFadden, Carolyn Edmondson, Emma Owen, Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Dominic Snyder, Jane Dixon, Gillian Steel and Chloe Wright (1)

A new creative hub on Paisley High Street is encouraging everyone to make-do-and-mend.

But far from being the frugal war-time message, fashion and textile experts at ReMode are inspiring people to tailor their favourite clothes to meet the latest trends and protect the environment.

Catherine McAtier, Josef McFadden, Carolyn Edmondson, Emma Owen, Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Dominic Snyder, Jane Dixon, Gillian Steel and Chloe Wright (1)

ReMode recently opened its town centre premise thanks to support from Renfrewshire Council’s creative hub development fund, which enables creative companies to co-locate and collaborate.

The social enterprise, founded in 2017 – receives funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund – and now has premises in Paisley and Lochwinnoch, each selling second-hand and upcycled clothing.

And the dedicated staff team also run sewing workshops and a school education programme highlighting the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industry.

Project Manager Jane Dixon, a Fine Art graduate with 25 years in arts administration, says: “Our whole ethos is can we make clothes last longer as they are an amazing, valuable resource – you can buy second-hand, you can swap, you can alter or mend the clothes you have. Whatever you want to do, we’re here to help you.

“It’s really exciting being here on the high street as people are popping in and we’re able to have conversations about why we’re here and what issues we’re highlighting. We’re not just a shop; we’re here to talk about the positive things people can do to reduce the impact our fashion choices have on the environment.”

The Paisley premise is also home to clothing and accessory print designer Josef McFadden, who converts his hand-drawn illustrations onto ties, bow ties, hats and scarves; Paisley-born embroiderer Catherine McAtier and local textile designer Chloe Wright, owner of Loopy Lally Designs. They have all benefited from the Council’s InCube Creative programme, which helps people turn their talent into a sustainable business.

Jane added: “There’s no way we would have had the confidence to take on a high street premise, let alone welcome other businesses into the fold, if we hadn’t had the support of Renfrewshire Council. It feels like we’ve made a really big leap and someone is here holding our hand. There’s now lots of different opportunities for us to explore and we are in a strong position to grow.

“I’m relatively new to working in Paisley, but what has struck me is how strongly the people in Paisley feel about Paisley. There’s a strong sense of community pride. The maker community is also really strong and there’s a bit of a vibe going on, which is very exciting to be a part of.”

Emma Owen, 27, has just joined ReMode as its Programme Assistant, and having re-located to Paisley from Inverness, is excited about being a part of the local creative network.

She said: “In the short time I’ve worked here I feel part of a community, it’s nice to meet people and see how excited they are that there’s something like this in Paisley.

“Make-do-and-mend is back and what’s great is being able to share skills with people and learn from others who come in to see us too as we all need to go back to a place where we share our skills with one another. Paisley is up-and-coming and things are happening on the High Street which will make people proud to live here.”

ReMode is the second business to benefit from the Council fund, following furniture upcycling business UpHub opening its Paisley high street hub earlier this year. Plans are in place to establish up to 12 hubs by 2021, each with a different creative focus.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s great to see ReMode open its new Paisley premises and I look forward to seeing them and all the creative companies based here go from strength-to-strength over the coming years. The work the ReMode team do is really important, giving people important life skills like sewing and helping us as consumers to make small changes which make a big difference.

“We have so many creative and innovative people in Renfrewshire making unique products and our creative hub development fund is there to help them achieve their goal of turning their talent into a viable business, giving them the platform to sell their products on our local high streets.

“Our business development team have the knowledge and expertise to support creative companies to achieve sustainable growth and in the last four years alone have helped more than 100 creative start-ups. I’d encourage creative entrepreneurs to get in touch and see how we can help them achieve their ambitions and make Renfrewshire the place of choice for creative businesses.”

For more information about our creative hubs, call InCube on 0300 300 1180.

Case study – Made in Renfrewshire

Josef McFadden may hail from Northern Ireland, but his creative business is made in Renfrewshire.

The 27-year-old moved to Paisley in 2017, via a pit-stop in the Scottish Borders, to complete the Council’s InCube Creative programme – helping people turn their talent into a sustainable business.

Josef, a clothing and accessory print designer, converts his hand-drawn illustrations into menswear products, including ties, bow ties, hats and scarves.

“My business is much bigger since I moved to Paisley,” says Josef. “The InCube programme was fantastic and through that I got a lot of support from Business Gateway and mentoring help. I learned lots, how to run a business for yourself and to think much more commercially. That’s been the biggest change in my business thanks to the programme.”

Originally aiming to be a portrait painter before discovering textiles, Josef has now moved into studio space at ReMode on Paisley High Street, the latest creative hub to open in Renfrewshire.

Fashion-focused ReMode sell second-hand and upcycled clothing and run sewing workshops together with an engagement programme to highlight the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industry.

It’s a cause Josef is excited to be a part of. He said: “All of my products are sourced in the UK, handmade to the highest standards and all without oil or gas in the print production process. I work with an ethical, sustainable designer in North Berwick who takes my off-cuts and I’m keen to do more to support sustainability and contribute to the work ReMode are doing.

“It’s a lonely life when you’re self-employed, so it’s nice to be in a shared studio setting where you can come in, see other faces and throw ideas off one another. And it’s really beneficial to have 24-hour access, as well as space to work and to store my collections.”

ceilidh 1

MORE than 200 Scottish traditional music fans and people who like a dance will be waltzing into Johnstone Town Hall after every ticket for two events at the popular venue was snapped up.

Both the Festive Tea Dance being held on the afternoon of Saturday, December 28 and a Family Ceilidh later in the evening have sold out.

ceilidh 1

The popular Tea Dance gives people a chance to meet up with friends, have a chat and enjoy a two-step or more around the dance floor. The music is being provided by John Findlay, on the keyboard.

There will be a variety of dancing from ballroom to country and western line dancing.

The Festive Family Ceilidh features an evening of toe-tapping traditional Scottish music and the usual round of ceilidh dances.

Chairperson at Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Very soon after we began promoting the ceilidh and tea dance all the tickets were snapped up.

“There will be around 100 lucky ticket holders at each event and we had lots of people wanting to come along even after all the tickets had been sold.

“I’m sure everyone will have a great time and it’s a fun way to round off the old year of 2019.”

BEAR Scotland visting the SBMC factory
  • Over 1,340 road signs have been produced since January by Armed Forces veterans for trunk road network in north of Scotland
  • Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SMBC) employs veterans from the Armed Forces and others with disabilities in Scotland who may need support adjusting to life after service
  • Trunk road operator BEAR Scotland was one of the first commercial companies to purchase the road signs one year ago

BEAR Scotland visting the SBMC factory

A team from BEAR Scotland visited a veterans’ manufacturing company in Erskine on Friday to mark a year of trading between the two organisations and to meet the ex-forces team members manufacturing the road signs installed by BEAR across the north of Scotland.

Based in Erskine, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SMBC) employs veterans from the Armed Forces and others with disabilities in Scotland who may need support adjusting to life after service. SMBC manufactures commercial signage and printing services, including high-quality road signs.

BEAR Scotland was one of the first commercial companies to purchase road signs from Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, now just over a year old. Since January, SMBC has produced over 1,340 signs for BEAR Scotland – more than a quarter of all the signs the initiative has produced in the past year – which have since been erected across the trunk road network throughout the north of Scotland.

These signs have included directional signage on the A9, M90 & A82 as well as warning signs, tourist signs and larger bespoke signage for road safety projects.

On Friday’s visit, BEAR Scotland saw first-hand the dedication, quality and precision behind the work SMBC does in producing road signs for the trunk road network.

Iain Murray, Managing Director for BEAR Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to visit the dedicated team at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company and meet those involved in producing such a high-quality product for us since January this year.

“BEAR Scotland has long supported employment opportunities for ex-forces members and it is so inspiring to come to the depot and meet those producing the signs we use across our network in the north of Scotland and hear their stories.

“We’re so pleased with the quality, skill and dedication behind this initiative and we’re delighted that working with Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company not only supplies us with a high-quality product but also provides essential employment opportunities for our brave veterans.  We look forward to developing further opportunities and ways to work together to support this great initiative in 2020.”

Michelle Ferguson, Director of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, said: “Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company was established for one simple reason: to offer greater opportunities to those veterans and others with disabilities.

“The vast majority of veterans have an easy transition and are able to move into the civilian workforce relatively smoothly. However, for too many, they face great challenges – and that’s who we’re here for.

“The business that BEAR has placed with us in the last year has helped our organisation grow immensely, allowing us to employ more military spouses, veterans and others with disabilities giving them valuable transferable skills. Gary Jamieson, one of our veteran’s, sums it up perfectly – ‘when BEAR places an order with us they aren’t just buying a sign, they are changing the lives of veterans’.

“We are incredibly thankful to BEAR Scotland for the trust they have put in our team and for their continued backing. We are looking forward to further collaboration in the coming years and to seeing the signs we make across the Scottish road network.”

paisley pirates

Pirates coasted to a comfortable win against their near neighbours in their final match of 2019, but only after they got over a sluggish start.

paisley pirates

Courtesy Al Goold

They were ahead after only three minutes as Thorp fired past Anderson in the visitors’ goal, but had to wait until the 17th minute to get their second through Conor Duncan after a period of misplaced passes and inspired goal tending by the Thunder stopper.

In the middle session, Pirates finally began to show some rhythm and scored five times in 9 minutes as Spiers in particular was finding plenty of room down the left flank and assisted on no fewer of three of the goals, Duncan completing his het trick while Thorp and Kenneth also got in the act, taking the score to 7-0 by the second break, and putting a more realistic look onto the board.

David Paul took over from Anderson between the pipes for the visitors at the start of the third session, but with Donaghy a virtual spectator in the other goal, the traffic continued to flow towards the Killie end. Spiers scored the eighth with a thunderbolt from the blue line after 45 minutes, and further goals from Andreucci, Duncan with his fourth of the night, and finally skipper Chris Turley took the final tally to eleven. A shots on goal total of 73-8 tells the story of the night.

After the game, player/coach Adam Walker said, “We started a bit slowly but I thought that overall the performance was better and we could maybe have scored a few more.”

Pirates next home game is on Saturday 4 January when they are first footed by Dundee Comets (face off 6.30pm)

big wheel

Paisley is the place to be this Christmas with WinterFest just one of the highlights to help get you in the mood for the festive season!

winterfest

Running until 30th December, our outdoor ice rink is back, and our big wheel is lighting up the Paisley skyline yet again!

Don’t forget there’s a 20% discount on ice skating for those who can show proof of a PA postcode at the ticket office, or who have a valid Young Scot card.

Family favourites such as the Rudolph coaster, carousel and the Wave Swinger have also returned as well as the Fire Pit and ever-popular Nutella House.

Visitors to Paisley town centre can also see a very special Santa and his reindeers…taking three months to build, and using 700,000 LEGO® Bricks, you can even sit next to Santa on his sleigh for a Christmas selfie!

Our free festive trail is the Christmas Bricklive spectacular, the Paisley Penguin Parade Trail – follow the trail of penguins around the town centre, naming all our penguins as you go,  find our Christmas Emperor Penguin to claim your festive treat and enter our prize draw!

Trail maps and entry forms are available in the Piazza and Paisley Shopping Centres along with our Paisley Guide to Christmas, giving you the lowdown on the best places to shop, socialise and get ready for Christmas!

Remember, around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local community and its businesses.

And follow Paisley First on social media @PaisleyFirst to take part in our 12 Days of Christmas Competition with fantastic prizes from local businesses up for grabs every day in the run up to Christmas, starting tomorrow!

Love Christmas? Love Paisley!

nyt opening night

NYT Club on Shuttle Street (the former Fury’s) is the newest club in town.
Open every Friday and Saturday, with Thursday opening coming in the new year.

nyt opening night
Expect chart and remix vibes on a Friday NYT, with Dance and Club Classics on Saturday NYT.

Doors are at 10pm, and you can prebook your both via the NYT Facebook page.
Get liking on Facebook, NYT Paisley, and following on Insta, NYTclubPaisley, for offers and first to hear about upcoming events

Photo 3 - Intergenerational quiz

Renfrewshire pupils and older adults teamed up for the seventh annual staging of IQ, Renfrewshire’s Intergenerational Quiz.

More than 300 people took part in IQ2019, which saw primary school pupils team up with older people from the local community.

Photo 3 - Intergenerational quiz

Ten teams of primary six and seven pupils each joined forces with older adults from local day centres, sheltered housing, seniors’ forums, extra care housing and members of the community.

Together, they were tested on a range of topics including natural history, general knowledge and flags and capital cities alongside practical tests and an opportunity to sing together.

The annual event at the Lagoon Leisure Centre is the culmination of each team meeting regularly in recent months to gen up on their knowledge and build long-lasting relationships.

Todholm Terrors - Winners

In a close-run contest, Todholm Terrors were crowned 2019 champions, winning by one point from the Thorn Squad, with Mighty Mossys in third.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was on hand to award the prizes.

Provost with Ralston Rockstars

She said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to hand out the prizes at the Intergenerational Quiz for the last few years and the event continues to grow from strength-to-strength. I really love the energy and excitement in the room, congratulations to everyone who took part, it looked like everyone had great fun and more importantly built really strong bonds, friendship and respect with one another. Roll on IQ2020!”

Participating teams were:

  • Fordbank Primary and Johnstone Seniors Forum
  • Mossvale Primary and Springbank Sheltered Housing
  • Newmains Primary with Renfrew Day centre
  • Ralston Primary with Ralston Day Centre
  • St John Ogilvie Primary with Hanover court tenants
  • Todholm Primary and Renfrewshire Council Springbank Sheltered Housing
  • Thorn Primary and Linstone Housing Farriers Court
  • Thorn Primary 7 with Johnstone Day centre and Altpatrick Gardens
  • West Primary with Linstone Housing Newton St tenants
  • Woodlands Primary with Arnott Gardens extra care tenants

The annual event is organised by Sally Logan, Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Renfrewshire Council, Jane McTaggart, Activity Officer and Carolyn Russell, Community Link Worker with Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.