Hunterhill Paisley News

THE intu Braehead team stands to attention, hoping to impress the new boardroom executives on a tour of the massive shopping and leisure centre.

he new Heads of Fun at intu Braehead, Lucie Roy and Aidan Smith skip along to their new jobs in the mall.

the new Heads of Fun at intu Braehead, Lucie Roy and Aidan Smith skip along to their new jobs in the mall.

They’re waiting for the presentation about intu’s aims and ambitions, key performance indicators and how important their role is within the centre.  But that’s not quite what happens next.
“Right, everyone,” the new executive says, clipboard in hand and resplendent in his shiny shoes, blue tailored waistcoat and brand new company tie.
For this is no ordinary meeting – this is the first day at work for intu Braehead’s new Heads of Fun.
Aidan Smith, aged seven and six-year-old Lucie Ray beat off more than 100 other youngsters who had applied for the mall’s Head of Fun role.
The shopping and leisure destination had advertised for youngsters between the ages of six and ten to apply for the position and show they had a very important attribute – a brilliant sense of fun.
Now the Heads of Fun will be aiming to bring a smile to everyone who comes through the doors of intu Braehead and make the mall even more child-friendly than it already is.
Their hours of work are school holidays, occasional weekends and the executive boardroom position comes with an attractive remuneration package of gift cards, free toys and entry to the many leisure attractions in the centre and Soar at intu Braehead.
Aidan and Lucie will advise the management team on children’s activities, review the latest toys, restaurants and leisure attractions, help organise the intu Braehead Kids’ Club and meet with Santa and his elves at Christmas.
With so many varied and talented applicants choosing a Head of Fun was a tough decision for the interview panel of television presenter, Jennifer Reoch; Britain’s Got Talent star, Edward Reid; DJ Paul Harper with radio station Heart and intu Braehead marketing manager, Christine Macdonald.

But after much deliberation, they decided to point their fingers at Aidan and Lucie to say: “You’re hired!”
Christine Macdonald, marketing manager for intu Braehead said: “Aidan and Lucie are a valuable and cute addition to our management team.
“They’ll bring a wealth of experience – particularly when it comes to fun and laughter – to the new Head of Fun role and our new team members will ensure that a visit to intu Braehead will now be even more enjoyable for our customers.
“The directive from the boardroom and our new Heads of Fun is for everyone to have an even bigger smile on our faces and make sure everyone has more fun.”
Aidan, from Houston, Renfrewshire said: “The staff here work really hard, so I think they should, have a play break.
“And I’m going to make sure everyone coming to intu Braehead has lots and lots of fun after they do their shopping.”
And Lucie, who stays in Erskine added: “I think we should all have a sing-song every afternoon and everyone could sing my favourite song – Love Yourself, by Justin Bieber.
“I’m also going to suggest we have an intu Braehead panto, which would be about shopping.”
paisley pirates

It was strictly standing room only as the Paisley Pirates held their end of season Player of the Year awards night in Paisley’s 5 on 5 Club, with, of course, the Scottish Cup showing prominently on the presentation table after the Pirates won in record-breaking style only 2 weeks previously.

paisley pirates

In front of a huge turnout, Coach Ian Turley introduced a marathon session of award giving, during which the club introduced each volunteer in turn to receive a commemorative gift as a “thank you” for their help during the season, without which the operation of the club would have been extremely difficult, paying tribute to the army of fans who had given of their time freely to support the club and ensure that all the necessary elements involved in running an ice hockey match were completed throughout the season.

Supporters who had purchased game worn jerseys were presented with them by the player who had worn the strip during the season just ended, and each player received a small award for their services during a year which had seen the club narrowly miss out on the SNL title, finishing in the runners up slot, while in the end of season playoffs they lost agonisingly to the eventual winners, Aberdeen, only on penalty shots after a 2-2 draw, before claiming the Scottish Cup in emphatic fashion, defeating Edinburgh Capitals 9-0.

The coach then paid tribute to two retiring players, netminder Gordon Langford, who had debuted for the Pirates in their inaugural season at the Lagoon back in the 1992/93 season, and utility player Colin McMillan, who had represented the Pirates over a number of seasons both at Braehead and at the Lagoon, both players receiving mementos to mark their time with the club, and thanking everyone for a special time in their careers.

At the beginning of the main award ceremony, there was a moment of poignancy as those present remembered Jim Liddell, one of Pirates’ most fervent supporters, who had passed away two years previously, and whose name was now to feature on the Supporters Club Player of the Year, to be known as the Jim Liddell Trophy, the award on this occasion to being made by his son, Alan.

Thereafter, awards were announced as follows:

Supporters Club Player of the Year Mark Hassan
(for the Jim Liddell Trophy)

Most Improved Player Graeme Meechan

Outstanding Effort & Application Chris Turley

Players’ Player of the Year Graeme Meechan/Mark Hassan (joint award)

Difference Maker Stuart Miller

Most Valuable Player Mark Hassan

There might be championship-winning squash club at the ON-X Sports Centre in Linwood – but there’s plenty room for even more members.


From left – back row, Alan Wright, Ian Armstrong, Craig Wright and Brian Wright. Front row, Graeme Bamford, Russell Forsyth, Blair MIchie, Paul Robson and David Armstrong.

The ON-X Squash Club has had a hugely successful inaugural season with their first team romping home to win Division 5 of the West of Scotland League by 57 points and being promoted. The second team came third in Division 6 and won promotion to Division 5. The club – sponsored by Commercial and Asset Finance Ltd – plays at the ON-X on a Wednesday night and a Saturday morning.

Club captain Blair Michie said: “We’ve had a fantastic first season and we’re aiming to repeat our success next season. “At the moment, we have fourteen members and running two teams. We’re looking for new members to join us and if we get enough new players we’ll get a third team going as well”.
“Playing squash is great fun and obviously, it’s a great work out and excellent for developing your fitness.
“It doesn’t matter what standard a squash player you are we’d welcome you along to the club and we can organise coaching sessions for people who haven’t played much squash or even never played before.”

Anyone who wants to join the ON-X Squash club should contact Blair through the sports centre on 0141 300 300 0250

The call is out for entries for the 6th annual Street Stuff Football Festival which will take place at St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 Stadium on Tuesday 3 May, starting at 5.30pm.


l to r: St Mirren FC’s Barry Cuddihy, Kyle McAllister, Jamie Langfield and David Clarkson.

The tournament is free to enter and is open to teams of five players from Renfrewshire in age-groups 8-11, 12-15, and 16-18 years old.

All of the games will be played on the main pitch, giving youngsters a unique opportunity to show off their skills.

Entry forms can be downloaded from St Mirren’s website at

Teams and spectators will also have the chance to play FIFA Tournaments on the Renfrewshire Youth Buses and take part in dance activities inside the stadium.

Street Stuff is run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

For more information on the Football Festival contact Stephen Gallacher on 07557 281 581,

For more information on Street Stuff, go to

265 residents in Renfrewshire have been reissued with postal voting papers for the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary election after a printing error was discovered on the reverse of the peach coloured Regional List Ballot Paper.

scottish parliament


The issue does not affect any of the other 30,124 postal votes issued in the three constituencies in Renfrewshire.

New ballot papers are being delivered today (Wednesday April 27) to all 265 residents involved – just a day after the incorrect papers first arrived by post.

Voters have been reassured that even if they have already returned the ineligible voting paper, the correct replacement ballot paper would count for their vote instead.

All of the 265 residents live in the Renfrewshire North and West constituency.

The postal votes for that group of people were printed in the final run of postal ballot papers being issued to people who applied for postal votes.

The backs of those Regional Ballot papers were inadvertently printed with the same details for the constituency of Renfrewshire North and West rather than referring to the West Scotland Region.

Sandra Black, Regional Returning Officer, said:  “We apologise for any inconvenience caused but the problem has been identified and is being quickly resolved.

“We would also like to thank the residents who took the time to contact us and point out something was wrong.  

“This is a specific problem linked to the last batch of postal votes that was printed and involves only that group of 265 people.  Everyone involved has been written to and also given a number they can call if they have any further enquiries.

“We are doing everything possible to give people all the information and reassurance that they are entitled to and we can confirm that every one of them will have the chance to make their democratic choice.”

Coats Observatory will be the place to be on Monday 9 May to witness the rare astronomical event of the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. The event will take place between 1pm and 6pm and is FREE of charge. Entrance to Coats Observatory will be via Oakshaw Street West in Paisley.

Mercury - First Messenger image
Using special sun filters on the Grubb telescope housed at the Observatory, visitors will be able to witness this rare occurrence. Transits of Mercury are rare and only happen in either May or November when Mercury’s orbit is at its most extreme points. On Monday 9 May Mercury will appear as a small black dot as it slowly crosses the face of our parent star. This event will not be repeated until November 13 2032, although there will be a partial transit visible on November 11 2019 – the November dates will not be as favourable for observation as the Sun will be much lower. The next one to happen that falls in May is not until 2049!

John Pressly, Observatory Officer states ‘This really is a fantastic opportunity to witness an astronomical event which we will not see repeated for several years. Transits of the planets Mercury and Venus have been used by astronomers in the past to determine a number of factors such as the distance from the Earth to the Sun and the sizes of the planets. Whilst we will not be conducting any scientific studies during the event it will still be great be able to say that you witnessed the transit of Mercury for yourself at Coats Observatory.’

In the event of inclement weather, a ‘virtual’ version of the transit will be screened in the Planetarium in the Observatory.

Please note, it is very important that people do not look directly at the Sun with unfiltered equipment.


**CATS Award nominee 2015: Best Music and Children’s Shows
A funny, intimate and delightful dance theatre piece which takes young children on a visual and musical journey of discovery
For children aged 6 month – 4 years


Scottish Tour: 4 May – 4 June 2016

“This production goes a wonderfully imaginative extra mile in its mix of bouncy dance theatre, cunningly versatile design, live music and audience participation.” **** The Herald

Featuring rhythmical text, this interactive performance envelopes children in an imaginatively changing world. They can enjoy the visual, physical and musical energy of the show, identify with the emotions of the characters and even explore the set at the end. The performance is inspired by  Barrowland Ballet Artistic Director Natasha Gilmore’s personal experiences with her own children in terms of what they find funny and how they behave and move.


Poggle is the story of Vince. He wants to explore the forest, but is too scared to go on his own until he meets Poggle, a friendly creature, who takes him on an adventure where he discovers the forest and the magical musical tree. With live music, clapping rhythms and bubble popping throughout, children will enjoy a sense of discovery and accomplishment throughout this show as they interact with the characters.

Natasha Gilmore, Barrowland Ballet, Artistic Director of Barrowland Ballet and director of Poggle, said: “Poggle was inspired by my young children as I watched the way they explored and played in the world around them. The joy of discovery and accomplishment when new skills are found and obstacles overcome and the wonderment children find in the simplest things, like mud.”

Barrowland Ballet is one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies and is based in the East End of Glasgow. The company name reflects its unique mix of popular culture and high art. Its name, taken from Glasgow’s famous Ballroom, also shares its belief that dance is for everybody. The company repertoire is built around the artistic work of choreographer, Natasha Gilmore. The work is inspired by her personal experiences and its challenging themes are delivered with wit and humour. The insightful observations of human behaviour and relationships enable audiences to identify with the stories in a multitude of ways, as they resonate with their own experiences. Recent productions, Tiger and Tiger Tale (7+) have toured to great success with Tiger Tale performing at Imaginate and both Tiger and Tiger Tale were part of the Made in Scotland showcase 2014 and toured internationally in 2015. Barrowland Ballet believes dance theatre should be available for everyone and creates professional productions and participatory projects for and with a variety of people. The most recent work was The River, a Festival 2014 event which took place along the banks of the Clyde with a 150 strong cast of dancers, singers and musicians.

Macrobert arts centre is the arts centre for Stirling and the Forth Valley and a cultural hub for Scotland. With a vision to promote and develop participation in and enjoyment of the arts macrobert offers a huge variety of activities with over 400 live performances – drama, comedy, opera, dance, music, musical theatre and art exhibitions – alongside a varied Creative Learning programme throughout the year.The venue is also a producer, co-producer and instigator of new work for young audiences.

Twitter: @barrowlballet | #poggle | |

Age guidance: 6 months – 4 year olds | Running time: 30 minutes plus playtime at the end


Touring dates 

Wed 4 May

Paisley Arts Centre, Witherspoon St, Paisley PA1 1UR

11am & 2pm


0300 3001210


Keen golfers will club together this weekend to raise money in support of Renfrewshire’s Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) group.


Elderslie residents Stephen Torrance and Andy Payne have arranged a golf day in memory of Vincent Torrance who took his own life in 2009, aged just 27.

The Vinny Torrance Invitational will see 80 players- playing in teams of four- take part in a Texas Scramble competition- with prizes for 1st and 2nd as well as four feature holes.

Elderslie Golf Club will host the event and have helped keep costs down by subsiding green fees for the tournament which has helped ensure a capacity attendance.

Local companies have also signed up to help with all 18 holes being sponsored on the day which will boost the fundraising total.

The previous hosting of the event raised more than £2500 which was donated to the SOBS group to allow the continuation of support for those who have been bereaved and those who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide.

Stephen said: “We are looking to raise awareness of depression and suicide and to let people know that it’s good to talk about these issues.

“The SOBS group are great as they give support to those directly affected by the loss of someone to suicide and they have a great team in Rosemary and Lisa.

“On the day Andy, Vincent’s best friend, and myself just want everyone to have fun. It’s a fun day and no doubt Vincent would’ve had a ball if he was involved.”

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “The event is a fitting tribute paid by Stephen to his brother and a terrific way to raise money for a worthy cause.

“It is vital that the stigma around suicide is removed and those at risk feel comfortable to discuss what they are feeling. The SOBS group provide an excellent outlet for those bereaved by suicide to speak with people who have faced similar experiences to themselves.

“If you believe you recognise the signs of self harm or suicide, please try and help. It could make a huge difference.”

The SOBS group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at The Wynd Centre, 6 School Wynd, Paisley, Renfrewshire PA1 2DB, from 7pm-8:30pm.

Renfrewshire’s Choose Life team can be contacted via 0141 849 2200 or

The SOBS national helpline can be reached on 0844 561 6855, experts at Breathing Space are available on 0800 838 587 and the number for The Samaritans is 116 123.

Ice hockey star Colin McMillan showed at the weekend that not only is he no slouch around an ice rink when playing for the Paisley Pirates and coaching Lanarkshire Lightning Junior Ice Hockey Club, he can also move pretty rapidly without the aid of his skates.



Fresh from celebrating the Pirates’ Scottish Cup win against Edinburgh only a week ago, Colin barely had time to come back down to earth again before heading off to London with his family to take part in the London Marathon on Sunday, where he was running in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, having recently found out that two of his friends were suffering from the condition.


“I had huge support from family and friends in terms of sponsorship,” he explained. “My original target was to raise £250, but at the moment it looks like the final figure might tip over the £1300 mark. I’m absolutely delighted with that, and want to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to support me, not just in financial terms, but just letting me know that they were thinking about me and the run ahead. It really makes a difference, particularly when you’re getting a bit tired, to know that so many people are rooting for you.”

Colin got round the 26.2 mile course in the highly creditable time of 3:58:52, although he expressed a little disappointment with his time. “It wasn’t a personal best, which I was hoping to achieve, but I was carrying a bit of a foot injury which certainly added a bit to my time. I suppose I’m satisfied with the time, I got round the course in less than four hours without mishap, and I’ve now got a target to aim for next time out. Most important of all, the Multiple Sclerosis Society will be £1200 better off and that’s the main thing.”

“It’s been a great break in London,” he went on. “My wife Rae and I came down a few days early to see some of the sights with our two kids and friends, and they were all there to catch me when I finished on Sunday. The atmosphere was something special, folk have been telling me they got glimpses of me on the TV, and it was just a great event to be part of. It’s been a great couple of weeks, but I think I might just take a week or two off now and give my aching feet time to recover!”

Thousands of food-lovers descended on Paisley as the town held its tastiest food and drink extravaganza yet.

Paisley Food Festival

Paisley Food Festival

The Paisley Food Festival – supporting the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – got taste buds tingling with a global menu of street foods from as far flung as Mexico, Indian and Africa.

The town’s picturesque Abbey Close – featuring the magnificent 12th century Paisley Abbey and neo-classical Town Hall – saw more than 30 food vendors create a taste explosion of global cuisine for 12,000 people.

Foodies also got the chance to be put through their paces with celebrity chef Nick Nairn – who declared his backing for Paisley’s bid during two packed live cooking demos.

Kids didn’t miss out joining in the food fun – with hundreds taking part in pizza making, cupcake decorating and chocolate treat workshops.

Twinning the bill is Scotland’s biggest real ale festival – the Paisley Beer Festival – which saw record numbers attending this year.

Organisers CAMRA Renfrewshire put on more than 230 cask ales, with the addition of a wine bar and cafe-style foods also helping to boost popularity.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Paisley already has a great reputation for hosting some spectacular events. As momentum builds for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 we are developing bigger and better events that will draw many more people into the town.

“The Paisley Food Festival attracted thousands of people – food lovers, families and people of all ages – who all enjoyed the great variety of global cuisines on offer.

“The festival ran alongside Scotland’s biggest real ale festival – the Paisley Beer Festival – and it was great to see the event become even more popular this year, with many people queuing to get into the event.

“Events like this are a great way to bring people in and show off everything Paisley has to offer as the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 builds momentum.”

Paisley Food Festival is part of an exciting calendar of events for Renfrewshire that is expanding as momentum builds for the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley’s culture bid is due to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport in early 2017.

The bid aims to use Paisley’s unique collection of heritage and cultural assets to change the area’s future.

For more information, visit or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.