refurb lagoon

THE fitness suite at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre re-opened on Monday after a £180,000 refurbishment.

refurb lagoon

The gym had been closed for a makeover with more than 40 new pieces of fitness equipment including three stair climbers and a large functional rig.

And to let people see the new-look and upgraded gym, an Open Weekend is being held on Saturday and Sunday 7 and 8 December.

Anyone can come along to the gym for free and try out the new fitness machines, book a place at one of the fitness classes and take part in an exercise class in the gym being held every hour from 9am until 3pm.

There are also two special offers to coincide with the new-look Lagoon gym. You can take out any pay monthly membership in December with a reduced first payment of £10 and two people can get a gym-only six-month membership that gives them access to Renfrewshire Leisure’s six fitness suites for only £179.

Call Renfrewshire Leisure’s membership team on 0300 300 0250 or visit your local leisure centre for more information.

Head of Leisure and community services, Mark Tokeley said: “We’re really pleased with the way the refurbishment has gone. And I’m sure the members will be also be impressed with their new-look facility.”

Paisley Halloween Festival - Copyright Chris Watt
Tony Gritzpatrick
Paisley Abbey

A commemorative event will take place this weekend to mark the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema Disaster.

The commemoration will take place in Paisley town centre this Saturday 7 December and will begin with a lantern procession involving more than 150 young people from community groups and schools starting at Dunn Square at 5.15pm and traveling up St Mirren Brae, towards Abbey Close.

Paisley Abbey

Following the procession, a service at Paisley Abbey will see local performers, and community groups pay tribute to the victims, survivors and their families.

As part of the Paisley Abbey service Renfrewshire Makar, Brian Whittingham will read his poem about the disaster while singer-songwriter Carol Laula will perform a song, written with actor and musician Tom Urie, specially commissioned for the 90th commemoration.

A number of invited guests will attend the service including survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown along with their families.

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. As a result of the crush that followed 70 children died and more than 30 children were injured.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were global as well – as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for an appropriate number of adult attendants to ensure safety of children.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims, survivors and families who were affected by the terrible events that took place that day.

“This weekend’s commemoration will allow us to reflect and raise awareness of the disaster and its far-reaching impacts and reflect on this very tragic point in Paisley’s history.”

In addition to the procession and service a commemorative film ‘The Glen Cinema Disaster’ directed by Paul Mothersole has been commissioned with ticketed, free screenings taking place on Saturday 7 December between 1 and 4.15pm at POP Community & Arts Space in the Piazza. A small exhibition of printed letters held in the Secret Collection will also be on display in POP from 7 – 20 December.

Also, as part of the 90th anniversary commemorations an artist will be commissioned to create a public piece of art, in collaboration with the local community to commemorate and raise awareness of the disaster.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are encouraged to attend the lantern procession as there are only a limited number of tickets available for the Paisley Abbey service on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, 9B Gilmour Street.

The event taking place on 7 December is in addition to the annual memorial service and wreath laying which takes place at Paisley Cenotaph on the morning of 31 December, which is run by community members and supported by Renfrewshire Council.

The Glen Cinema 90th anniversary commemoration event is funded through Renfrewshire Council’s Future Paisley programme.

To secure a ticket for The Glen Cinema Disaster film screening please visit: https://glencinemadisasterfilm.eventbrite.co.uk

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public for the commemorative service at Paisley Abbey on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, Paisley Office, 9B Gilmour St, Paisley PA1 1DG from Friday 22 November. The shop is open from 11am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.

johnstone christmas lights

Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in the town are switched on this weekend.

Saturday, 30 November, will see Houstoun Square transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of entertainment to put everyone in the festive spirit.

johnstone christmas lights

From 12pm, the Pulse FM DJs will host the main stage – set in the Houstoun Square bandstand – with local acts performing live from 2pm.

Santa will be taking a break from his busy schedule to hear what all the children are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto. Don’t forget to say hello to his reindeer friends!

This year’s event takes place on Fair Saturday so if you’re looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and support a local cause in the process, then don’t miss the St Vincent’s Hospice market. Active Communities will also be running creative activities including face painting and glitter tattoos until 5pm.

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joined by lucky competition winner, Calum Anderson from St Anthony’s Primary, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone for the Christmas period.

Provost Cameron said: “We had two great events in Paisley and Renfrew on the past two weekends. Now it’s Johnstone’s turn and I can’t wait to bring the festivities to the town.

“The town will be buzzing all afternoon with Santa making an appearance and lots of entertainment to keep young and old entertained.“I’m looking forward to turning on the lights with Calum this year and I hope to see you all there for the big moment.”

Research shows around 65p from every pound spent in the local area stays in the local area and Renfrewshire Council are encouraging visitors to the event to take part in the Spend Local campaign and support the wide range of businesses on offer in Johnstone town centre.

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Anyone unable to visit a polling station on the day of the election is being reminded to register for a postal vote, with the application deadline arriving at 5pm on Tuesday 26 November.

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Once registered, a pack will be sent out on 2 December to allow electors to cast their vote and return it to their local election office in advance of polling day on Thursday 12 December.

Due to the increased volume of mail in the run up to Christmas, postal voters are encouraged to complete and return their postal votes as soon as possible.

If voters cannot send the postal vote in advance, it can be handed in to their polling station on the day of the election.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “If you’re unable to visit your polling station on election day, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to vote.

“Register for a postal vote by Tuesday’s deadline and you’ll still be able to have your say in the election.

“Once you receive your voting pack, please return it as quickly as you can to ensure it reaches the election office in sufficient time.”

To vote in the election, residents must be registered on the electoral roll and this does not take place automatically by paying council tax.

Anyone over the age of 14 in Scotland can register but to vote in this election, voters must be over 18 and a UK Citizen.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Tuesday 26 November.

Voters can also request a proxy vote – where a person votes on their behalf – and the deadline for this method is 5pm on Wednesday 4 December.

For more information on the election, please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/GeneralElection2019.

Renfrew Xmas Lights

Thousands turned out for an afternoon full of festive cheer as the Renfrew Christmas lights were switched on this weekend.

There was fun for all the family with entertainment put on in the town centre designed to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Renfrew Xmas Lights

Santa took a break from his busy schedule to hear what the children in Renfrew had on their lists in advance of the big day and there was plenty of opportunity to get the perfect photo with Rudolph and friends.

There was something for even the littlest elf with puppet shows, face painting and a balloon artist in the town hall, and funfair rides in the Charles Avenue car park for the thrill seekers willing to brave the cold.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without carols and the Renfrew Burgh Band delighted audiences with all the favourites during their annual carol concert.

Later in the afternoon, the main stage in the town centre – hosted by Pulse FM – saw local artists showcase their talents before the big switch on arrived at 5pm.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost Cathy McEwan was joined by lucky competition winner, Mairead Campbell, age 9, from St James’ Primary, to turn on the lights and set off the spectacular fireworks display above Renfrew Town Hall.

She said: “I was delighted to see so many people in Renfrew this weekend.

“Everyone was having a great time and the fireworks to finish the event were incredible.

“Mairead did a great job helping me switch on the lights and I hope she had a brilliant day out with her family.”

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Renfrewshire Council’s supported carers team need five people to help care-experienced young people move into adult life.

Supported Carer Kathie says looking after a care-experienced young person has been one of the best things she has ever done.

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Kathie said: “I became a supported carer for Emily when she turned 18 years-old. Watching her grow over these last two years has given me a really good feeling. Emily has gone from strength to strength and I consider her my fourth daughter.

“I got into supported care because I am a foster carer, but you don’t need to have experience to become one. The supported carer team give you lots of support and training to help you whenever you need it.

“In fact, I didn’t even think I would be a good foster carer till my mum arranged an appointment on my behalf and they came to my house and told me I’d be an ideal candidate. Since then, I have never looked back. It’s been an incredibly positive experience.

“Emily has been with me since she was 12 years-old. She has always had the drive to succeed in life despite her biological family’s situation. From a young age, Emily decided she wanted her life to be different and I’ve been able to provide that stable family home environment for her to do just that.

“Sure, there have been tough times for Emily as she lost both her parents at a younger age than most people experience. Emotional support is a huge factor for supporting care-experienced young people, and you need to be able to give them a non-judgemental listening ear so they will open-up and talk to you about things going on in their life.

“Since Emily turned 18, she has been paying her rent, she cleans her own room, she’s at university studying law, she has a boyfriend, and she cooks for herself and us on occasion. Basically, she has come on leaps and bounds.

“Emily is brilliant at saving her money. She knows what she wants, and she is going for it. I’ve been there any time she needed me, and we can talk about anything at all.

“If you have a spare room, have the time, energy and patience to help, then speak to someone to see if it is for you. It can’t hurt to have a chat about it.”

For more information, contact the Supported Carers Service on 0141 618 4531 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SupportedCarers.

Renfrew Christmas Lights

Renfrew will shine bright this Saturday, 23 November, as the Christmas lights are switched on in the town.

The festivities in the town centre kick off at 12pm and there’s a sleigh-load of free family fun on offer to keep even the littlest elf entertained.

Renfrew Christmas Lights

Renfrew Town Hall will be busy hosting free face painting and a balloon artist until 4pm, and you can catch Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre’s performance of Lost Bears’ Christmas at 12pm and 1pm.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols and Renfrew Burgh Band will be hosting their annual Christmas carol concert in Renfrew Town Hall from 3pm.

Santa will be waiting in his grotto to hear what’s on your Christmas list this year – you can find him inside the Renfrew Christian Fellowship Hall until 4pm. Don’t forget to say hello to Rudolph and his friends!

From 3pm-5pm, local performers will showcase their talents on the main stage – hosted by Pulse FM – before the big switch on.

There’s something for the thrill seekers too, with a funfair located in Charles Avenue car park until 6:30pm.

Research shows around 65p from every pound spent in the local area stays in the local area and Renfrewshire Council are encouraging visitors to the event to take part in the Spend Local campaign and support the wide range of businesses on offer in Renfrew town centre.

At 5pm, the lights will be switched on and the sky above Renfrew will be lit up with a spectacular fireworks display.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost Cathy McEwan will be there to switch on the lights. She said: “Our winter events season is in full swing and it’s brilliant having all this activity in the heart of the town centre.

“There’s fantastic entertainment on all afternoon – with carol singing, face painting, Santa’s reindeer and more, finishing with an unmissable fireworks display.

“This year I’ll be joined by competition winner Mairead from St James’ Primary to switch on the lights and I’d love to see you all there too.”

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

Step into Christmas in Paisley! We’ll be celebrating all things festive with Santa, his reindeer and a sleigh-load of free, family fun throughout Paisley town centre on Saturday 16 November from noon till 6 pm.

Gus from Pulse FM will kick things off on the live stage shortly before the tinsel-tastic Santa parade gathers, ready to process through the town centre on this year’s new, longer route from 12.30 pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

With Santa in his sleigh and his trusty reindeer leading the way, this year’s 300-strong parade will dazzle spectators with its giant festive floats, costumed characters – including ice queens, delectable sweets, gingerbread men and roller-skating candlesticks – plus choreographed displays from local community groups.

Times for Saturday 16th November

12:00-18:00
Crafty Christmas Market @ Piazza Shopping Centre
12:00-18:00
Winter Roller Disco @ County Square
12:00-18:00
Jolly Kids Zone @ Coats Venue
12:30
Santa Parade
13:30-14:15
Visit Santa’s reindeer @ UWS
13:30-18:00
Live Stage @ Gauze Street
13:45-16:00
Festive Choir Concerts @ Paisley Abbey
14:00-17:30
Santa’s Grotto @ Piazza Shopping Centre
18:00
Lights on!

And speaking of roller skates, we’ll also be operating a new Winter Roller Disco over in County Square. With skating sessions running throughout the day, you can test your balance on 4 wheels with a spin around our roller rink.

Coats Venue will be our jolly kids hub this year; a fantastic, free space that’s bursting like a Christmas cracker with things to do for young children. Head here to write your letter to Santa, make Christmas cards, get a glitter tattoo or take a yuletide selfie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols either, and where better to hear them than the atmospheric Abbey. Make sure you stop in for a mince pie and a rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer before heading to the Piazza for a spot of shopping – courtesy of the Urban Market – and a visit to Santa in his Grotto!

For music and entertainment, head to our live stage. Here you’ll catch performances from Funbox, The Singing Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

With their help (and Santa’s magic!) we’ll countdown to Christmas before lighting up the town with the big switch-on at 6 pm. We hope we’ll see you there!