Hawkhead, Paisley News

Residents are being encouraged to recycle their real Christmas trees at one of six locations in Renfrewshire.

Two recycling centres and four public parks are available to ensure that trees are recycled correctly.

Local people can recycle their real Christmas tree from 3-9 January at the following places:

  • Barshaw Park, Paisley
  • Paisley Recycling Centre, 52 Underwood Road
  • Linwood Recycling Centre, Middleton Road
  • Lochwinnoch Public Park
  • Thomas Shanks Park, Johnstone
  • Barwood Park, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s never fun having to take down the Christmas tree, but when you do please make sure it’s recycled correctly at one of the six locations in Renfrewshire that we’ve made available.

“Recycling is so important so let’s work together to ensure that all the trees are recycled correctly and make it your New Year’s resolution to recycle as much as you possibly can throughout the year – starting with your tree.”

Local people are urged to seek help if they experience domestic abuse over the festive period.

Reports of domestic abuse incidents often rise during the Christmas and New Year period, with abuse taking many forms: physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality or wealth. Women and men can be victims of abuse, and abuse can happen in all relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is urged to get help as soon as they can by calling:

-999 in an emergency, or 101 to report a crime

-0800 027 1234 for Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage 24-hour helpline.

Louise Moore, who works in the council’s women and children’s first team, said domestic abuse can happen to anyone.

“Most commonly, domestic abuse is perpetrated by men against women, but men can also be victims of domestic abuse and it can happen in same sex relationships too. There is no ‘typical’ victim of domestic abuse, it can happen at any time in a person’s life no matter what their background, beliefs or circumstances are. One in five women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of communities, housing and planning for Renfrewshire Council, said it is important people reach out during the festive period.

“We often see an increase in domestic abuse incidents taking place over the Christmas and New Year period. Abusers can use the festive period to further exert control over their partner, similar to how they may use finances, alcohol, mental ill-health or blame to control them.

“With the current coronavirus restrictions in place, we expect more people to stay at home than normal and this could exacerbate domestic abuse incidents. It also means fewer opportunities for victims to report the abuse.

“If you are a victim of domestic abuse, if you are a woman or a man suffering from violence in your home, please reach out and get support. The long-term effects of abuse can be hugely damaging to victims and survivors, so I urge you to get help and support that’s available.”

For more advice, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

paisley from drone

A memorial to the 71 children who lost their lives in one of Scotland’s worst ever human tragedies is to be unveiled in Paisley town centre next week.

Entrance-to-Glen-Cinema

The Glen Cinema Disaster of 31 December 1929 remains known as Paisley’s Black Hogmanay – yet until now the town centre did not have a permanent memorial for the victims and survivors.

Artists Kerry Stewart and Rachel Lowther were commissioned to work with the local community on a suitable memorial as part of the 90th anniversary of the tragedy.

And their now-finished statue – entitled Rattle/ Little Mother – will be sited in the town’s Dunn Square, across the road from the site of the former cinema, in Dyer’s Wynd.

The tragedy happened when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee with more than 600 children present.

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

The memorial will be unveiled at a small ceremony led by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron next Tuesday (30 November) at 1pm, joined by members of the local community.

To create the memorial, Kerry and Rachel met with community groups including the STAR Project, Paisley Community Trust, and pupils from Paisley Grammar School, with a working group formed to help drive the project.

An important part of the process was meeting with the two remaining survivors of the tragedy, and their families.

Community activist Tony Lawler – one of the organisers of the annual ceremony to mark the tragedy which takes place every Hogmanay – was a member of the working group.

He said: “It’s important the town centre has a memorial – as it’s about more than remembering the 71 who died, it’s for the survivors and their families too.

“For a long time, people didn’t really talk about the Glen Cinema – the survivors were sent away to convalesce and didn’t get the support they would have if it happened now.

“The existing memorial at Hawkhead isn’t accessible for everyone, so having one in the town centre is important as it will give people a place to go to reflect.

“Since the 80th anniversary we’ve held community-led memorial ceremonies at the Cenotaph but it has a different purpose. This memorial will provide a new focus dedicated to the Glen Cinema.”

Artists Kerry Stewart and Rachel Lowther said: “Having met with survivors Emily Brown and Robert Pope and processed, through research and community engagement, what happened on that terrible day, we wanted to produce something that spoke to and of the children.

“We have tried to create a sculpture that is playful yet serious, that hovers between a nostalgic lost object – a portal to the children of Paisley, 1929 – and a sacred or devotional object, carrying the story of the children as their own protectors.”

The memorial was funded by the Rotary Club of Paisley and through Future Paisley – the council-led programme of events and activity using the town’s unique culture and heritage to transform its future.

Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Glen Cinema remains printed in Paisley’s collective memory as perhaps the darkest day in the history of the town.

“It is important the events of that horrific day should never be forgotten and that’s why this permanent memorial means so much.

“This has been a real community effort – the artists and the groups they have worked with have done a fantastic job to create a sensitive reminder of the tragedy, and all involved deserve praise for their efforts.

“I would invite any members of the local community to join us on Tuesday to see the memorial unveiled.”

Remembrance Sunday services are set to return to Renfrewshire for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with parades and services scheduled to take place in towns and villages across the region.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

On 14 November, parades will take place from 9.45am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Elderslie                      9.45am

Houston                       10.00am

Kilbarchan                   10.45am

Renfrew                      10.45am 

Paisley                        10.45am 

Lochwinnoch               10.45am  

Howwood                    10.45am     

Johnstone                   10.45am     

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm       

For those who are unable to attend a service in person, Renfrewshire Council have commissioned an update to the film ‘Renfrewshire Reflects’ which was released in the absence of in-person Remembrance events in 2020. The video, featuring representatives from communities across Renfrewshire and focusing on the importance of Remembrance, will premiere on the council’s social media channels to tie in with the national two-minute silence on Sunday 14 November and will be available on the council website and Youtube channel immediately after.

In addition to the video, this years Remembrance Day podcast highlights the work of Poppyscotland, celebrating 100 years of the Poppy as the national symbol of Remembrance. Landmarks across Renfrewshire have also been lit in red this week to mark Poppyscotland’s Light Up Red campaign.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and this year everyone will be able to pay their respects in a way that suits them, whether in person or from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s so important that we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.”

For more information, visit: https://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/Remembrance2021 

Paisley-Halloween-2021-3

Paisley celebrated the return of its award-winning Halloween celebrations as thousands of visitors enjoyed a spectacular Out of this World experience.

Over 17,000 people flocked to the town for the free, immersive trail of intergalactic installations and light displays around some of Paisley’s most famous buildings, with the extravaganza taking place across five nights from Thursday 28 October – Monday 1 November.

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World also formed part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 celebrations, with the area beside the town’s White Cart River becoming a centrepiece attraction for locals and visitors.

An eye-catching sight on the family-friendly trail was the striking alien invasion of Paisley Town Hall, with an enormous Creature from the Cart bursting out from the front of the iconic structure.

Visitors were left dazzled by the ‘Nova’ and ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’ sculptures at the heart of the trail, with many taking the time to capture selfies and photos at the mysterious and enchanting light displays. Meanwhile, ‘Orionids’ echoed the breath-taking beauty of a meteor shower across the White Cart River, creating a stunning, luminous effect on the water.

Young people’s hopes and dreams for the future of the planet were showcased on the spectacular Earthship1 installation, with many event goers taking the time to marvel at the spacecraft’s beautiful lighting, music and special cargo of hopeful messages and artworks created by youth and community groups across Renfrewshire.

Cheryl Fraser from Linwood said: “As soon as we pulled up in the car, the kids were saying ‘wow, this is amazing’ because we could see the big tentacles at the Town Hall. We’ve really enjoyed it all, took so many pictures and the kids have had a great time.”

Jodie Murray from Edinburgh said: “It’s been really cool and something different getting to see all the light displays – it’s really lovely. My family come every year and say it’s always amazing, so I thought I’d come and have a look too.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World trail was delivered by Renfrewshire Council and curated by sustainable, not-for-profit creative contractor, Cirque Bijou.

Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many visitors to our Halloween celebrations in Paisley once again, as they were greatly missed by all last year.

“The festival is one of the highlights in our events calendar and has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination in Scotland for Halloween.

“We’re delighted to see such a positive reaction to this year’s five-day Out of this World spectacular and we’d like to thank everyone who came along and enjoyed the festival, as well as all of the talented artists involved for making it such a huge success.”

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and make it a truly ‘Out of this World’ experience for everyone to enjoy. It’s been a massive team effort between the Cirque Bijou crew, Renfrewshire Council and the many local people involved.

“We’ve loved working with young people and community groups in the area to be part of the creative process and their contributions towards the artworks and installations have made the whole event really special.”

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to have supported Paisley Halloween Festival through the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. It is great to see the event was so well received by those who got to experience the spectacular light displays and installations, with the White Cart River playing a starring role in the trail.”

Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals, organised by VisitScotland.

Waste-team-member-2

Waste collection teams in Renfrewshire will wear carbon-neutral PPE as part of Renfrewshire Council’s plan for net-zero emissions by 2030.

The carbon emissions created through the manufacture of safety equipment and clothing for bin collection staff and drivers will be offset by planting trees in the Amazon rainforest, as well as the provision of trees to be planted in Renfrewshire.

The Council will work closely with suppliers Greenham to use their carbon calculator and ensure that the purchase of the PPE is sustainable, with discussions to take place as to how future procurement could also be carbon-neutral.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’ve set an ambitious target of Renfrewshire becoming net-zero by 2030 and to reach this we will need to make major changes across the region, but within the Council we want to take every opportunity possible to make a difference.

“It’s great to see that our waste teams will be in carbon-neutral PPE and I look forward to working closely with officers to see how we can make our wider procurement process more environmentally friendly.

“It’s important that every decision we take considers climate change as a key factor and we’re committed to reducing our emissions wherever possible.”

Following the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, Renfrewshire Council created a working group with members of all political parties to make recommendations on how Renfrewshire can become net-zero by 2030, which has now been formalised as the Climate Change Sub-Committee.

The Climate Change Action Fund was created to support innovative projects and initiatives being developed by Council services in response to the climate emergency, with an initial £1million committed to a range of research, feasibility studies and immediate projects.

The Renfrewshire Climate Panel will bring a representative group of residents together to help shape the direction of the Council’s climate change planning and ensure that a collaborative approach can be established between the community and the Council.

For more information on the Council’s work to tackle climate change in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/climatechange.

1. Auchenlodment Primary School Primary 6

Beat the Street Renfrewshire has come to an incredible conclusion after the game came to an end on Wednesday evening.

1. Auchenlodment Primary School Primary 6

The game took place across the areas of Bridge of Weir, Elderslie, Houston, Howwood, Kilbarchan, Linwood, Johnstone and Lochwinnoch and invited local residents of all ages to walk, cycle and wheel as far as possible during the six-week challenge in return for prizes.

Beat the Street Renfrewshire winners 2021

More than 6,300 people signed up and collectively clocked up 53,100 active travel miles.

The winners are:

Schools – total points:

  1. Fordbank Primary School
  2. Houston Primary School
  3. Thorn Primary School
  4. Auchenlodment Primary School

Schools- average points:

  1. Thorn Primary School
  2. Fordbank Primary School
  3. Howwood Primary School
  4. Houston Primary School

Community and workplace teams – total points:

  1. Active Communities
  2. 4th Johnstone GB
  3. Southend Smoothies

Community and workplace teams – average points:

  1. Active Communities
  2. 4th Johnstone GB
  3. Southend Smoothies

Small teams – total points

  1. The Wild Girls

Individual leaderboard

  1. Oddball

Empowered:

  1. Riverbrae School

Additionally, thanks to the participation of all players, the MND Scotland charity received a donation of £500.

Feedback for the Beat the Street game has been positive with lots of participants getting in touch to say that they have enjoyed walking and cycling more. One player got in touch to say: “Thank you so much for running the game in Houston. My family and I have loved playing. It gave us a focus every day and forced us out in all weathers! We had a lot of fun, and will miss the challenge. I hope you return to Renfrewshire in the future.”

The game has inspired local people to get outside, become more active and to leave the car at home wherever possible, with the hope that this will continue outside of the game too.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Beat the Street has been fantastic for the area and we’d like to thank everyone who took part.

“We have seen such passion and commitment from players who have got in touch to tell us their stories about how much they have loved the game and that they will be sorry to see the Beat Boxes go!

“We’ve heard from people who have got fitter, spent more quality time together as a family out and about and have really got to know the local area on foot in a way that you just don’t when you’re driving. We’ve heard lovely anecdotes about people who visited every Beat Box, stories about conversations being struck up and people trying out new activities and getting into healthy habits.

“Congratulations to each and every player who got involved with Beat the Street and took the time to come and visit the Beat Boxes. We hope that people will continue to walk or cycle or school or work and will continue to enjoy being active.”

Beat the Street Renfrewshire has been commissioned by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure and is funded by The Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, administered by Paths for All. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

Find out all you need to know at www.beatthestreet.me/renfrewshire and on social media @RenfrewshireBTS

johnstone castle

A financial plan setting out how more than 1,000 new affordable homes will be built in Renfrewshire by 2027 has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Members of Renfrewshire’s Communities Housing and Planning Board this week approved the area’s latest Strategic Housing Investment Plan, which sets out where the council and its housing association partners plan to build in the next five years.

johnstone castle

Renfrewshire is expected to receive more than £90m of grant support from the Scottish Government to help build affordable housing in that time and the SHIP sets out how that money will be used.

Some of the projects to be part-funded through the programme which are set to complete in 2022 or 2023, include:

– 101 new council homes in Ferguslie Park and 39 at Auchengreoch Road in Johnstone;

RC Dargavel 2

– 131 new homes in Glenburn in Paisley by Sanctuary Scotland and Paisley Housing Association for social rent and low-cost ownership;

– 58 social rented homes within Bishopton’s Dargavel Village by Loretto Housing Association

– the final phase work to bring the former Arnotts site in Paisley back into use, with Link Group building 81 new flats to add to those already built;

– the next phase of a long-term plan to transform Paisley’s west end, with Sanctuary Scotland building 22 new homes in Sutherland Street and 13 in Underwood Lane;

– a social housing development of 42 homes at Albert Road in Renfrew by Williamsbugh Housing Association;

The plan also includes a shadow programme of other planned projects which could be funded if others do not progress as expected.

RC Dargavel 2

The new homes will build on the success of recently-completed developments such as the council’s award-winning development of 95 new homes in Johnstone Castle and the 132 new homes built by Sanctuary Scotland on the site of St Mirren’s former Love Street stadium.

All new homes will be built to high energy-efficiency standards – to help residents save money on fuel bills and contribute to the area’s targets to tackle climate change.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We want Renfrewshire to continue to thrive as an attractive place for people to live and to move to.

“Key to that is making sure there is a supply of new housing people can afford, whether buying one, or as a tenant of the council or one of our housing association partners.

“This plan sets out how we will do that, while making sure there is a range of different size and type of house in each area, and which meets the different and changing needs of local people.

“It’s a really positive plan for the future of housing in Renfrewshire and I look forward to seeing the projects it contains develop over the years ahead.”

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World poster

Paisley’s award-winning Halloween celebrations return this week – but with a twist for 2021.

This year, Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World – a free, spectacular trail featuring installations and light displays centred around Paisley Abbey, Town Hall and the White Cart River.

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World poster (1)

The town centre will be transformed into an immersive ‘otherworldly’ experience across five-days from Thursday 28 October until Monday 1 November – illuminated from 5pm-10pm for visitors to enjoy safely at a time that suits them.

Visitors will be able to marvel at a series of twelve installations and light shows, including an alien invasion, rockets and spacecrafts, creatures from the deep and a constellation of stars.

The family-friendly trail will take approximately an hour to walk around and is accessible for all abilities. Event goers can pick their own starting point, map their own journey and set their own pace round the intergalactic showcase.

Ursula Lassos the Moon EP (Topher McGrillis photo credit)Lucy McDonnell

There will be no parade at the event but this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival will be a journey that will take you out of this world!

Paisley Halloween Festival is supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.

To celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 the area around the town’s White Cart River will be transformed into the centrepiece of the Out of this World experience. Talented artists have been commissioned to develop stunning installations that will shine a spotlight on the river that runs through the heart of the town – making it a must-visit spot on the trail for locals and visitors.

Spectacular displays which will dazzle visitors include ‘Nova’ and ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’, created by Studio Vertigo. The ‘Nova’ sculpture is based on the mystical Star of the East, which astronomers now believe was actually a nova – while the mysterious and enchanting ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’ structure will be found on the White Cart River itself, showcasing the divine beauty and spiritual power of the Moon.

Nova_Enchanted Parks (Topher McGrillis photo credit)Studio Vertigo_1080x1080

Mike Jones’ ‘Orionids’ installation will echo the breath-taking beauty of a meteor shower cascading across the White Cart River, creating an enchanting web of light on the water.

Inspired by the twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts launched into space by NASA in 1977, Mick Stephenson’s ‘Earthship1’ is a strong symbol of hope for a brighter, more sustainable future. The spacecraft will contain a special cargo of hopeful messages and artworks created by young people and community groups across Renfrewshire, who have imagined a positive future for the planet. The artworks, which take the form of colourful dioramas, will be on display in the body of the spacecraft for visitors to see.

The trail is being delivered by Renfrewshire Council and curated by sustainable, not-for-profit street theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou.

Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are looking forward to hosting our Halloween celebrations again in Paisley – and this immersive trail will offer a twist to our annual Halloween Festival.

“We’re delighted to be working with Cirque Bijou and so many acclaimed artists to transform the town centre with these spectacular installations and light displays – which will really come to life when it gets dark. The festival is taking a different shape this year, but we promise there will be lots of exciting and surprising elements that will be Out of this World!

“The trail will be available for everyone to enjoy across five days, with more opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the fun in a safe way and at a time that suits them. We encourage everyone visiting to share their stunning photos with us by using #paisleyhalloween or tagging @paisleyhalloweenfestival on Instagram.”

Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK – and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals, organised by VisitScotland.

To find out more about Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World, please visit https://paisley.is/featured_event/halloween/

window wanderland

Find out how you can join in this year’s Halloween festivities by decorating and lighting up your windows 🎃👾
window wanderland
As part of Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of This World, you can get involved by registering your otherworldly decorations and creations as part of a special Window Wanderland trail.

It’s free to take part and you can create whatever you want, from lights in the window, a cutout silhouette, simple to spectacular it’s up to you!

Plus, spread the word with your friends and neighbours – we’d love to see your streets transformed into magical outdoor galleries.

Head over to our website to find out more on how you can register your window 👉 https://www.windowwanderland.com/event/renfrewshire-2021/

This is a fantastic idea by Paisley.is

21st Paisley St Mirin’s Scout Group Cubs and Beavers - Halloween workshop 3
Cllr McGurk at Lochfield Bowling Club

Volunteers from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign are set to have access to £40,000 for environmental projects across the area.

If approved by councillors, volunteers will be able to apply for funding to carry out environmental improvements such as sowing wildflowers, installing planters or improving green spaces for local wildlife and would allow them to work with landscapers or purchase small items of equipment to carry out the work themselves.

Cllr McGurk at Lochfield Bowling Club

It would be allocated from the Renfrewshire Council’s Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund which has funded community-led projects worth more than £1.7million since it was created in 2018.

Of the 62 projects supported, 34 have originated from Team Up to Clean Up volunteers and numerous parks, community gardens and nature reserves have benefitted from the coordination of the campaign and the fund.

Cllr McGurk at Lochfield Bowling Club

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “Our Team Up to Clean Up campaign continues to be a fantastic example of how we can work together with the community as a Council, as is the Green Spaces Fund which has helped deliver improvements within almost every community in Renfrewshire.

“This funding would give volunteers the opportunity to carry our small environmental projects which they believe would make a significant difference to their local green spaces and I look forward to this being brought forward to the forthcoming board for consideration.”

Tuecheen Woods path

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign brings the Council and community together to improve Renfrewshire’s local environment, with a £2.5million investment by the Council in additional road sweeping, fly tipping removal, litter picking, and gully cleaning enhanced by litter picking carried out by dedicated volunteers from the local community.

Team Up to Clean Up logo

Since it launched in 2017, the area’s street cleanliness has improved significantly – with the area now being well above the Scottish average and moving from 26th in Scotland to 13th last year.

For more information on the campaign, including how to take part, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or join more than 3,200 members of the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/teamuptocleanup.