phil and aly

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain in concert with Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Photographs.

Photographs from the Spiegeltent in County Square, part of The Spree Festival in Paisley.

In 1988, two  members from two of Scotland’s leading bands, “The Boys of The Lough” and “Silly Wizard”, came together to work on a television series. You could say ‘the rest is history’.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham enjoyed performing together so much that they decided to have a small tour that year. That was beginning of a remarkable working relationship and friendship that has endured and continued to thrive taking them all over the world.

Ross & Jarlath fortuitously formed at Celtic Connections 2012, following a double bill of the two frontline pipers’ trio line-ups, the pair have fast become one of the most enigmatic duo’s to emerge from Scotland, these young musicians are not only vastly talented but have created a sound that is bursting with energy.

A fusion of pipes and flutes the duo push the boundaries of what the instruments can achieve in a performance which is a vibrant mix of new and original compositions along with traditional tunes. [text courtesy of The Spree]

All photographs by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with

Scooter Rally Video and Photographs Paisley.

Scooter Rally Video Paisley.

Video of the Scooter Rally through Paisley as part of the #Modstuff Festival organised by LNP Promotions. This would be a fantastic event to have each year in town, well done to the organisers.

Photographs of Scooter Rally Paisley.

Photographs and Video courtesy of

MOD Scooter Ride-out Paisley.

Up to 85 Scooters had a ride-out in Paisley today as part of the LNP Promotions Festival called MODSTUFF which was launched last night in the Bungalow Bar, Paisley. The Festival is billed as an alternative fringe event to the Royal National Mod which is also happening in Paisley right now.

Paisley has been quite literally buzzing this week to the sound of music from all corners of the town and many local businesses are putting on their own small events in celebration.. Paisley is the place to be right now…

All Photographs above were taken by Ian McDonald on behalf of

Royal National Mòd torchlight parade

Royal National Mòd Torchlight Parade Photographs.

What a fantastic response from the people of Paisley who turned out in their hundreds if not thousands to see the Royal National Mòd Torchlight Parade go from Paisley Museum and march to Paisley Abbey.

It was a magnificent display by everyone involved and could not have gone better, such a positive night for the town of Paisley

Photographs courtesy of Digitalpict Photography in partnership with

The Spree Launch

Mod Paisley and The Spree

Paisley set for unique festival double

Paisley is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors as the town gets set for a unique festival fortnight double.

The Royal National Mòd is coming to Paisley for the first time in its one hundred years-plus history.

Paisley will host the world-famous celebration of Gaelic language and culture from 11-19 October.

Running alongside the Mòd, from 10-20 October, The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival, returns to venues across Paisley.

(All photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography)

This year’s event includes a unique collaboration between Admiral Fallow, The Twilight Sad and the RSNO, plus live music from Edwyn Collins, Capercaille, and Donnie Munro, and comedy from Fred MacAulay and Craig Hill.

With more than 70 Spree and Mòd fringe events taking place over ten days, in addition to the Mòd itself, the town will have a festival feel, with a full kids’ programme, as well as workshops in everything from drama to Gaelic language and fiddle playing.

Council chiefs in Renfrewshire believe the combination of both events will deliver a significant boost to the ongoing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:  “It is an honour for Paisley to welcome the Mòd and the thousands of visitors and competitors who make it such a special event for the host town.

“I am sure that the welcome from the people of Paisley, and the town’s rich cultural, historical and architectural traditions will provide an appropriate setting.

“There’s something extra special this year for our visitors and our own community with the Mòd running in parallel with The Spree.   That combination offers a unique chance for people to try different performances and activities that they might not have done before. There’s something for everyone to appreciate, enjoy or take part in personally.

“The unique combination of Scotland’s oldest and newest cultural festivals will also support the continuing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

“As part of the council’s regeneration programme for Paisley town centre, we have significantly expanded our events programme.  Paisley’s Fireworks Display, and Christmas Lights Switch-On attract crowds approaching 40,000 people into the town centre.

“We’re seeing people coming back to live in the centre of Paisley.  There are recently-agreed proposals for retail and residential development to revive the iconic former Arnotts store.

“There’s a lot going on to boost Paisley and we have the perfect opportunity to showcase that to residents and visitors alike.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, Convener of   Mòd Phàislig said:  “We are very excited about the arrival of the Royal National Mòd in Paisley.

“There’s a special celebration to start the proceedings with a torchlight parade through the centre of Paisley starting at 7pm on Friday (October 11) from the top of the High Street and culminating at Paisley Town hall where the Mòd flag will be unfurled.

“Organisations, businesses and members of the public in Paisley have showed tremendous support to the local organising committee as we have been preparing to host The Mòd.

“Now it’s time for the town to see at first-hand this world-class cultural festival.”

John MacLeod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “The opening of The Royal National Mòd, Gaeldom’s biggest national festival celebrating Gaelic language and culture is almost here, and we are delighted that the town of Paisley is hosting this special event.

“This has been an important year for Gaelic in educational and social terms and we can now confidently face the future in the knowledge that our language and culture will continue to prosper in the care of the new generation of Gaelic speakers.”

Information and booking details on all the events is available at and

Photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with Paisley on the web.

Photographs of, Ealasaid MacDonald,   Convener of   Mòd Phàislig   Emma Creighton, 11, Councillor Jim Harte, Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Spokesperson, Sarah England, 10, and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan are pictured outside the Spiegeltent in the  centre of Paisley as the town prepares for a unique festivals fortnight  with The Royal National  Mòd and The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival.

Emma and Sarah will be performing at the  Mòd as part of RJ’s, the Renfrewshire Junior Gaelic Choral Association

Food Train Renfrewshire seek volunteers

Food Train is a vital grocery shopping and delivery service for the elderly, who through age related ill health, frailty or disability, are unable to manage their grocery shopping. This vital service is led by volunteers, who assist in collecting shopping orders, making up the orders and delivering them to customers in the Food Train van. As such we aim to provide a range of supported volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

Food Train is a multi award winning Scottish Charity with bases across Scotland, and we’ve just launched the new branch in Renfrewshire. If you are interested in volunteering, or know of anyone who would benefit from the service, please contact Regional Manager Marri Welsh on 0141 887 2557 or email


Food Train is a grocery shopping and delivery service for the over 65 population of Renfrewshire, funded by the Renfrewshire Change Fund Partnership.

The service developed from the findings of a community survey of older people in Dumfries, which identified that help with the weekly grocery shopping was a priority for the majority of local older people. A small group of older people formed a partnership of local shops and volunteers and the Food Train launched their service in 1995. From launch to 2013, the service has expanded successfully. The vision of the Food Train’s elderly founders was to enable older people to remain independently at home by ensuring they got supplies of fresh groceries delivered weekly while also bringing welcome social contact and friendship. Food Train has always generated income from services charges without disadvantaging the poorest older people.

Food Train is now a thriving, multi award winning charity with bases across Dumfries & Galloway, West Lothian, Stirling, Dundee and Glasgow.

Our aim is to help older people who, through age related ill health, frailty or disability, are unable to manage their grocery shopping, by providing a shopping delivery service. We also aim to provide a range of supported volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.


How the service works

  • The volunteers visit the customer at home to collect shopping lists on a Monday
  • Shopping is carried out either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and the order is packed into a box.
  • The shopping is then delivered to the customer’s home, where it is unpacked and checked off with the customer.  Volunteers will help to put shopping away (in fridges, freezers, cupboards etc.) if necessary.
  • On receipt of the shopping the customer pays for the cost of the shopping plus a small delivery charge of £3.00.
  • Shopping can be paid for by cash or cheque.
  • Customers can use Food Train on a weekly, fortnightly or 4 weekly basis (or less if that is preferred).


For many Food Train customers the two visits per week from our volunteers can be the only social contact they have all week.  This contact not only helps to improve their mental health and wellbeing, but can be a means of monitoring the most vulnerable older people in our society and signposting on to other services.  Our volunteers are offered on going support and training in a range of areas and are able to identify any changes in an older person’s health or behaviour and raise this with Food Train staff who can take appropriate action.

It is not only Food Train customers that benefit from the increased social contact the service provides.  Many volunteers enjoy the social interaction and physical exercise that comes with the role; helping to keep them fit, active and mentally well.  Food Train volunteers are all subject to a Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme record check.

Food Train Renfrewshire is working closely with other agencies eg Senior Forums, Lunch Clubs, Day Centres, and other local providers to ensure community ownership of Food Train while providing an excellent cross referral system to the benefit of our members.

Food Train services were designed by older people for older people who face difficulties through age related ill health, frailty or disability. Food Train is provided on the basis of minimum criteria and service users do not undergo means or health assessment. We support and enable older people to live at home in the security and comfort of their own community for as long as they are able through the provision of a grocery delivery service.

If someone does need the service, referrals are very simple and can be made by contacting Marri Welsh, Regional Manager on 0141 887 2557.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should ring the same number and speak to Marri for further information.

Weaving Musical Threads in association with RMHAFF and the Royal National Mod presents

Angus Weaver of Grass 

An inspiring story portrayed through drama, film and literature about Angus MacPhee who was raised in the crofting community of South Uist. Traumatised by his experience of WWII, he barely spoke again. This is a tale of lost traditions, mental illness and magical hats of grass. An award-winning creative documentary film followed by an exquisite, moving performance incorporating drama, masks and puppetry with Gaelic narrative and song. Poignant and inspiring… Having toured Scotland in 2012 to sell-out audiences and rave reviews, this is a performance not to be missed.

“Physical, emotional and aural beauty…their collective artistry is awesome” (The Stage)

Angus Weaver of Grass - pics (2)


In addition to the film and performance, there will be:

The Silent Weaver: Booksigning and talk with author Roger Hutchinson

Reading and book signing with author Roger Hutchinson. Also featuring live music and an exhibition of woven art.

Thurs 10th Oct 12:30-1:30 pm, The Spiegletent, County Square, Paisley, Free entry

Weaving the Landscape

A drop-in workshop by Joanne B Kaar, fibre artist from Caithness,

Wed. 9th & Thurs. 10th October 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, 34 Old Sneddon Street, Paisley. Free. Contact or call Elise 0141 882 4520


Puppetry Workshop   

World class puppeteer, Mark Whitaker from Horse & Bamoo Theatre company teaches you how to articulate puppets. Fun for all ages. Limited spaces, please book.

Fri 18th & Sat 19th October, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, 34 Old Sneddon Street, Paisley. Free.

Contact or call Elise 0141 882 4520


Double bill  with “Hidden Gifts” , award winning film directed by Nick Higgins, and  followed by the outstanding performance “Angus, Weaver of Grass” by Horse & Bamboo Theatre Company. (For ages 12yrs+)

Thursday 17th October, 7:30 pm

Friday 18th October, 7:30 pm

Saturday 19th October, 2:00 pm

Paisley Arts Centre,15 New St, Paisley PA1 1EZ,  Booking office: 0300 300 1210, Tickets £5.00

Tinchy Stryder

Tinchy Stryder and The View to play Paisley Xmas lights switch-on

Lights set to twinkle alongside A-list stars

This year’s Paisley Christmas Lights switch-on promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with not one, but two headline acts performing on Saturday 16 November.

UK hip-hop star Tinchy Stryder and Dundee rockers The View will be on hand to kick off the celebrations alongside boyband Mr Meanor, female pop sensation Alexa, the Clyde 1 Roadshow DJs, and Santa Claus with his reindeer.

Tinchy Stryder will take to the stage performing his biggest hits, including new single Help Me. With two top 10 albums, seven top 10 singles, Tinchy will get the party started in style.

Tinchy Stryder

With two number one singles under his belt and collaborations with acts such as Taio Cruz, Wiley, Pixie Lott and Calvin Harris, Tinchy will bring a show never been seen before in Paisley.

The View formed in 2005 when four schoolmates got together and started writing music.

Two years later, they emerged with the Mercury-nominated, chart-topping debut album Hats Off To The Buskers and embarked on huge tours, tearing up stages across the globe.

Three albums later, including two in the top ten, countless Best Album awards and numerous top ten singles the band are now older, wiser and ready.

Before the big finale there is a terrific line-up throughout the day. Starting with the traditional reindeer parade at noon from Gilmour Street, which this year will be led by Santa Claus himself!

Completing the musical line-up is Mr Meanor, a four-piece pop/R&B boyband with members from the US and UK and YouTube sensation Alexa.

On the main stage in Gauze Street the Clyde 1 Roadshow team with DJs Gina McKie, Romeo and Gavin Pearson will be ready to kick-off the live entertainment from 1pm.

They’ll introduce all the top performers, as well as playing music and offering some great giveaways and prizes throughout the afternoon.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall will hit the Big Red Christmas Lights Switch-On button at 6pm.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Paisley’s Christmas lights switch-on ceremony has established itself as being the best way to start the Christmas season.

“This year’s line-up will again draw a huge crowd to Paisley town centre for the performances and the programme of activities and entertainments going on throughout the day.

“Renfrewshire Council has invested in our events programme to support businesses and boost the regeneration of Paisley town centre. The Christmas Lights switch-on is a highlight of that approach.

“We are continuing to work with the local business community on their continuing involvement in and support of the town centre events programme.

“Last year almost 40,000 people came in to Paisley town centre for this exciting annual event. We’re all looking forward to another fantastic day in Paisley.”

Renfrewshire Council wins national excellence award for school meals service

Renfrewshire Council’s catering team has scooped ‘Best Service Team’ of the year at a top national awards ceremony.

The catering team won the award after judges praised the successful transformation of its school meal service, which has attracted pupils back with new menus and innovative dining options.

The catering team provides healthy, nutritious meals across the council’s 65 pre-five centres, primary, secondary and additional support need schools. Over the past two years it has trialled new ways of delivering its school meals service introducing a more flexible approach with its ‘grab & go’ menus in primary schools, ‘dine in days’ and cafe style eateries in secondary schools.

APSE award

The new formats have proved popular with pupils and where implemented have lead to an increase in the numbers of young people opting for school meals.

The accolade of ‘Best Service Team – Catering’ was awarded by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), which promotes the local authorities from across the UK that have continued to improve services for residents or raise standards through innovation.

Renfrewshire Council topped the list of finalists beating other catering teams from the likes of North Lanarkshire, North Tyneside and Wrexham councils to the title.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s thanks to the input from our catering staff that we’ve been able to improve and update our school catering service. Moving away from the traditional format of a sit-down meal served in the dinner hall to a more informal, self-serve approach has been highly effective. It is a lot more appealing for pupils and gives our young people access to a greater range of healthy, nutritious and affordable food options.

“The catering team, which employs around 300 part-time employees, should be proud of what it has achieved. This APSE award is thoroughly deserved and I hope it inspires them to continue seeing the benefits of the changes taking place in Renfrewshire’s school canteens and dining halls. ”

Renfrewshire Council was listed as a finalist in three other APSE award categories:

* ‘Best Partnership Working Initiative’ for its Community Safety Hub;

* ‘Best Service Team – Construction & Building’ for building services, which recently achieved the Investors in People gold standard for business improvement; and

* ‘Overall Service Team of the Year’ for improved service delivery across all council services.

Information and photograph courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.


Paisley Fireworks Event 2013

The town centre of Paisley will be alive to the sound of Fireworks this year when the annual pyrotechnics display comes to town on the 2nd November 2013. This event is extremely popular with families and if last years Halloween theme event was anything to go by then they just get bigger and better…

Time: Entertainment from noon, fireworks at 6pm

Venue: Paisley Town Centre


Don’t miss Paisley’s fabulous Fireworks Spectacular! We have entertainment through the day in Paisley town centre before the fireworks finale.

The day kicks off at noon, with street entertainment including stilt walkers, balloon modellers and face painters, plus puppet shows in Paisley Town Hall.

The Clyde 1 roadshow will provide entertainment all afternoon on the stage in Gauze Street, with live performances from boyband Rewind and kids’ favourites the Singing Kettle.

Running order is as follows: Noon – Clyde 1, 1.30pm – Sweet Injection, 2pm – Clyde 1, 3pm – Singing Kettle, 3.30pm – Clyde 1, 4pm- Nycki Symz, 4.30pm – Clyde 1, 5.30pm – Rewind, 6pm – Fireworks display

The big event will take place at 6pm, when the skies above Paisley will explode with colour during the fireworks display.

In celebration of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this year’s display will be focused around great sporting music, from the movies to the big sporting events themselves – everything from Chariots of Fire to Rocky!

The event has been increasingly popular in previous years so we advise visitors to get here early, enjoy the sideshows, and get the best view of the fireworks.

Remember, parking is free in all council-metered bays every weekend. There will also be additional free parking at West College Scotland, Paisley Grammar School, Wallneuk Road and Castlehead High School.

Please note there will be extensive road closures in the area around Gauze Street in the town centre, starting from Saturday morning.

Below is a small video from last years event, in the foreground is Paisley Abbey, video was taken by Ian McDonald for

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks

Photographs are taken by various photographers for including, Alex Kyle, Anchor Mill Studios, Ian McDonald, Tracey Clements and Brian McGuire.