Whitehaugh, Paisley News

Paisley’s worst wartime disaster will be commemorated with a special service of remembrance as it reaches its 75th anniversary.


Nearly 100 first aid volunteers died when a German parachute bomb hit First Aid Post #5 in Woodside, Paisley, at 2am on 6 May 1941.

It was a last minute gust of wind that blew the bomb away from residential closes on King Street towards the first aid post.

Jenny Enterkin (aged 102), the oldest survivor of the blast that killed 92 of her fellow volunteers working that night, will attend a special memorial service at Woodside Cemetery on Sunday 8 May, 2pm – lead by Reverend George Prentice.

Joining Jenny at the service is James Ferguson, whose father Peter went to help emergency services on the scene after the bomb hit. Peter was so shocked by the events of that day he took a piece of the parachute cord as a memento so he would never forget.

Three wreaths will be laid – one by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall on behalf of the people of Renfrewshire. Mrs Enterkin and Dr Stella Gibson (whose father was killed at the post) will also lay wreaths.

The names of those lost in the disaster will be read out by Council Leader Mark Macmillan, members of the Board of Woodside Cemetery and community representatives during the service.

After the service, people are invited to share memories over tea and sandwiches at Martyr’s Sandyford Church on King Street (from 2.45pm)

A special WWII 1940’s theme tea dance to celebrate the lives of those lost will also take place at the church – alongside speeches by local historians and live music of the era.

Provost Anne Hall said: “The Woodside bombings were Paisley’s worst disaster and it is important that we always remember the sacrifice these people made for the freedom we all enjoy today. Their lives, hopes and dreams were taken from them in a single moment – and we should never forget that.

“Anniversaries are always poignant moments of reflection for the community. In honouring the lives of all those who perished that day we keep their memory alive in our hearts.

“After the service, people are invited to join to share their memories in Martyrs’ Sandyford Church and I hope to see many come along to this part of the memorial event between 2.45pm and 5pm.”

The Woodside First Aid Post memorial service has been organised by the Renfrewshire Family History Society, the Board of Woodside Cemetery and Renfrewshire Council.

Patron of the Paisley based Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA), has been shortlisted for a top honour at the Scottish Charity Awards.


Sarah Winckless MBE has been the charity’s figurehead since 2009 and has worked tirelessly to help raise the profile of the their work to support families affected by the degenerative brain condition Huntington’s disease

Organised by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Sarah has been shortlisted in the ‘Charity Champion’

A former Olympic and World Champion rower Sarah has first-hand experience of the condition as she has tested positive for the faulty gene that causes HD.

“It has been an honour to have served the charity these past seven years and I’m delighted to receive this recognition, not just for me, but for the profile it will give to raising awareness of HD,” said Sarah. “As someone with the positive HD gene, I know personally the impact it has on families and I’m passionate about increasing understanding of the condition. I feel very privileged to work with the SHA and help in some way with the tremendous work they do with HD families, their support makes such a positive difference to hundreds of families lives across the whole country.”

HD is a hereditary progressive condition that causes changes to muscle control, thinking processes and causes long-term mental health issues. Those living with the condition will require 24 hour care as it progresses into its later stages. Each child of someone diagnosed with HD is at 50% risk of developing the condition themselves. There is no cure.

As well as support and motivation Sarah has also raised more than £50k to help support the charity’s team of specialist nurses, its youth service and its financial wellbeing programme.

SCVO’s chief executive Martin Sime said:

Year after year Scottish charities and voluntary organisations prove themselves to be beacons for creativity, tenacity and innovation. This year’s Scottish Charity Awards finalists demonstrate these qualities in abundance and are shining examples of how people can work together to make Scotland a better place.”

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 9.

“No single person has done more to raise the profile of HD and the work we do to support families living with the condition across Scotland. I’m delighted that all her hard work over the years is being recognised,” said SHA chief executive, John Eden.

The Charity Champion category is decided by public vote. Votes can be cast for Sarah here.


Getting a new pet is extremely exciting and providing you care for your companion correctly, they could go on to become one of the best friends you have. However, just like a baby human, it’s important you provide your young animal with everything they need early on in life to help them grow into a healthy and happy adult.


Champion Vets in Kilnside Road first launched their now famous Puppy Packs in Paisley in 2003 and (as far as they are aware) were the first vets in Scotland to do so. Their purpose has been to encourage new puppy owners to develop excellent habits of preventative care when looking after their new puppies into adulthood, with the aim that this continues through the lifetime of their pet. This includes the correct vaccinations, worming and flea treatments, optimal nutritional advice, regular check-ups with a professional and careful consideration given to neutering.


Champion Vets wish to make people aware of the re-launch of their Puppy Packs this May in two forms to suit everyone’s budget. The Deluxe Puppy Pack is similar to the original one, but with more services and greater discounts included – such as the inclusion of kennel cough vaccine and a 10% discount on neutering. It costs just £97.50 – now better value incidentally than the original has been since 2003!

The Value Puppy Pack still contains the essential elements of puppy care without the frills and is priced at £49.95 representing outstanding value for money’ although you may find you will have to pay for some additional treatments if required.

So please speak to Dianne at Champion Vets if you are looking forward to a new canine addition to your family. Our number is 0141 889 7638. Check out the full details of the Puppy Packs at  www.championvet.com/special-offers and scroll down.

Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is urging his constituents to consider applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for community projects which aim to help local people learn more about World War I.

Gavin Newlands MP

HLF is making at £1 million per year available until 2019 as part of their ‘First World War: Then and Now” programme for small community grants. It provides grants of £3,000 to £10,000, which enables groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their WWI heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

Since April 2010, HLF has awarded over £70 million to more than 1,300 projects – both large and small – that will mark the centenary of WWI. If a group have a project idea to mark the centenary of WWI, an online application pack is available on the HLF website.

Urging constituents to take advantage of this exciting opportunity, Gavin Newlands MP said:

“I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available to local communities in Renfrewshire. Like many areas across Scotland and throughout the UK, the impact of WWI on Renfrewshire was extensive.

“For those who want to find out more about its legacy, or who wish to mark the centenary of WWI in their communities, I would urge them to get in touch with Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added:

“The impact of the first World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘First World War: Then and Now” programme will enable communities to explore the continuing legacy of this war and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world”.

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  www.saintmirren.net/forms

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, stephen@saintmirren.net

For more information on Street Stuff, go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff.

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.