Recruits take to the runway in Fashion Show Challenge

Renfrewshire teenagers taking part in this year’s Recruit competition were challenged to stage a fashion show in a busy town centre shopping mall.

Five teams taking part in The Recruit were each given two days, and no budget, to organise the show in which they each had to choreograph, style and model fashions from different decades from the 1950s to the 1990s.

They then staged three ten minute fashion shows over the busy lunchtime period in the Piazza Shopping Centre in Paisley.

Primaljit Kaur, 16, from Renfrew, said: “It was very scary because we had people watching but it was a really good experience and good for getting your confidence up.”

Caitlin Dickey, 17, from Paisley, said: “It was a bit different, quite nervewracking but really good fun.”

Francesca Connelly, 17, Gryffe High, said: “It was a bit more interesting than some of the other challenges because it was about putting on an event. I’m interested in fashion and events management so this is really good experience for me.”

The teams were judged by an expert panel made up of choreographer Susanne Neil, hair stylist Claire McMahon and Louise McBride, Fashion Marketing lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Susanne said: “I showed them how to walk, got them to relax and be confident within themselves. I got them to bring their own personalities to it. They were all very mature and professional.”

Louise McBride said: “I was giving them an overview of what fashions were apparent in each decade and gave them ideas of where to look but all of them had great ideas themselves. I was very impressed. They had great enthusiasm, great teamwork and they just got into the show.”

In the end the winning team was Team Endurance for their showcase of fashion from the 1970s.

Claire said: “The input I had was on hairstyles from different decades and help and tuition on the morning of the show. They showed great enthusiasm, great teamwork. We picked Team Endurance as the winners though because of all the costume changes, they really pulled it out of the bag.”

The fashion show task was the latest in a series of challenges the 30 Recruits are facing over the course of the Apprentice-style competition this summer.

Maureen Hill, Piazza Shopping Centre Manager, said: “The Piazza was happy to provide our support to the Fashion Show Challenge. As well as being a great opportunity for those taking part in The Recruit to showcase their skills, the Mall’s fashion retailers and style-savvy shoppers made the Piazza the perfect place for the teams to show their take on fashion through the ages to a delighted audience.”

Towards the end of the programme the Recruits will face individual interviews before the overall winner is announced at a black tie finale in August.

See photos of what The Recruits have been up to on Renfrewshire Council’s Flickr page.

Renfrew goes back in time as 139 year old time capsule is revealed

Construction work on a £5.2million modernisation of Renfrew Town Hall has revealed a 139 year old time capsule.

The time capsule is in the form of a large glass jar which was found in the clock tower of the town hall.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson joined museum and community representatives at the opening of the time capsule in the Renfrew Community Museum in the town’s Brown Institute.

Preliminary work by museum curators has found that the capsule contains documents signed by the then Provost along with a photograph of Renfrew Town Hall, coins, newspapers and a trades directory.

Among the newspapers included are copies of the Edinburgh Scotsman, Glasgow Herald, Glasgow Daily Mail, Paisley and Renfrew Gazette and Renfrewshire Independent.

Along with the insights it gives into Renfrew’s and Scotland’s history, the time capsule has a special history of its own.

From its base in the clock tower of Renfrew Town Hall, it survived a major fire in 1877 which led to much of the current town hall being rebuilt.

Now the time capsule has been rediscovered during construction work on the £5.2million refurbishment of Renfrew Town Hall which has been supported by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said “This is an amazing discovery. It’s a very special moment for me as Provost to be part of this unique civic experience begun by a provost almost 140 years ago.

“It’s particularly pleasing that the time capsule has been rediscovered through the programme to restore the iconic Renfrew Town Hall to its rightful role at the heart of our community.

“Preserving Renfrew’s history and traditions have been at the heart of that programme and the town hall will have an adjoining new Renfrew Community Museum.

“In the lead up to the town hall and community museum opening in December this year, Renfrewshire Council’s arts and museums service has been working with young people and local history groups on how Renfrew’s history can be told.

“There will be particular interest in this new discovery from our school pupils working on the ‘Renfrew: Past, Present and Future’ project which will result in a time capsule being buried in the town hall for future generations to discover”.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson said “Renfrew has a proud history from its origins as a royal burgh to its shipbuilding heritage and the fact that it had Scotland’s first municipal airport.

“Throughout the development of the programme to redevelop Renfrew Town Hall we’ve had strong backing and commitment from the local community.

“As we move towards the final stages of that investment, it’s a great boost to be able to find and display such a distinctive part of Renfrew’s heritage”.

Craig Elliott, Marketing and Access Co-ordinator for the council’s arts and museums service
Said: “The initial assessment of the objects in the time capsule is that they appear to be extremely well preserved.

“However, most of the objects are paper which can present significant issues concerning conservation and redisplay. We will be working with freelance conservator Ann Evans who will provide advice on handling and displaying the objects.

“All being well we anticipate the objects becoming a focal point of the displays in the new Renfrew Community Museum due to open in December”.

Nationally, 1872 saw the widespread introduction of free education through the Education Act, the first international football match – a 0-0 draw between Scotland and England – and the introduction of the secret ballot by Prime Minister Gladstone on voting for Westminster MPs.

Locally, the newspapers contained in the Renfrew time capsule tell of the parade of tradesmen which accompanied the laying of the memorial stone for Renfrew Town Hall.

There’s also the story of the theft of £190 from a Renfrew cattle dealer while in a “house of ill fame in Paisley.”

Residents urged to have their say at conference events

Renfrewshire residents are being urged to express their views on local issues at a series of community planning conferences being held this autumn.

Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership will host their tenth annual community planning conferences this September.

The theme of this year’s events is “Our Renfrewshire, Our Future” and is designed to bring public sector agencies and members of the public together in a discussion about how to improve the quality of life in the area.

Participants can choose from discussions on topics such as tackling crime and offending, improving health, improving Renfrewshire’s economy or simply ‘your local area’.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson, who chairs the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership, said: “Anyone who is interested in how public agencies, community and voluntary groups and the wider public can work together for a better Renfrewshire should definitely think about attending.

“We’ll explain what the council and our partners are doing to tackle the challenges of budget cuts, economic downturn and a changing society, and what our key priorities are in building a better Renfrewshire.

“But we also want your views on how we can improve our services, how we can work together better and how we can reach out to our communities more effectively.

“With question and answer sessions, open discussions and drop-in surveys, everyone should have the opportunity to put their point across.”

Daytime and evening conferences have been arranged. Conferences will take place on the following dates:
* Monday 12 September – Glynhill Hotel, Renfrew
* Wednesday 14 September – Johnstone Town Hall
* Tuesday 20 September – Paisley Town Hall
Bookings are being taken now on a first-come, first –served basis.

Places can be booked online at or by calling Renfrewshire Council on 0141 840 3349.

New basketball sessions added to Street Stuff

Street Stuff’s packed summer programme of activities just got even bigger.

Basketball has just been added to the timetable of free activities running throughout the summer holidays for local young people.

The basketball sessions will take place four times a week, on:

– Mondays, 1.30-3pm, at Ferguslie MUGA,
– Tuesdays, 6.30-8pm, at Hunterhill MUGA,
– Thursdays, 6.30-8pm, at Shortroods MUGA,
– Fridays, 1.30-3pm, at Seedhill MUGA.

This is in addition to two sessions a day, six days a week of activities including street football sessions with coaching from St Mirren FC, the Renfrewshire Youth Bus and youth gym bus at locations throughout Renfrewshire.

The activities are aimed at young people aged between 13 and 18.

Street Stuff is run in partnership by Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, Arriva, St Mirren FC and Reid Kerr College.

To see the full timetable of activities go to or for regular updates follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter.

Park Mains construction reaches key stage

A multi-million pound high school construction project in Erskine has reached a key stage with its 900 ton steel framework now in place.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson had a site tour recently at the new £33m Park Mains High site to see the impressive structure take shape.
Work started in January this year to replace the existing Park Mains building and the school is set to open its doors to 1,350 pupils in August 2012.
Councillor Lawson said: “I was delighted to visit the new school site to see the impressive structure take place. This multi-million pound project is a major investment in local education and is a key part of our Building Better Communities programme.

“Local children deserve to be taught in modern, well-equipped buildings and I look forward to the new school opening its doors next summer.”

Councillor Iain Nicolson, Deputy Convener of the Education Policy Board, said: “It’s always been our aim to build on Park Mains High’s strong links with the community. In addition to providing top class education facilities, the recent announcement that a competition standard synthetic football pitch will be built at the school is a major boost.

“The £400,000 investment in the state-of-the-art 3G football pitch alongside the sand dressed synthetic to accommodate a range of sports, means the community sports campus at Park Mains will be first-class.”

The next stage of construction will progress the upper floors, roof, walls and windows.

A photograph is attached showing Councillor Lawson and Councillor Nicolson on their recent site tour at Park Mains.

Joe set to bring the X-Factor to Renfrewshire


X-Factor winner and Popstar to Opera Star finalist Joe McElderry will be the star performer at Renfrewshire’s Provost’s Charity Ball 2011.

Joe, who will compete this Sunday in the opera-singing tv show, will help Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson raise funds for local hospices St Vincent’s and Accord by performing at the glamorous event at Mar Hall.

Provost Lawson said: “This will be my fourth charity ball and each year we’ve had wonderful performers but Joe McElderry is definitely our biggest star yet. I loved him on the X-Factor, he has a fabulous voice so I am absolutely delighted he is going to perform at the ball this year.” Read more

Street Stuff’s biggest ever programme of free summer activities

The award-winning Street Stuff programme will run its busiest ever timetable of free activities for young people over the summer holidays.

Street Stuff, which includes the Renfrewshire Youth Bus, street football with coaching from St Mirren FC and the youth gym bus, will be running two sessions a day, six days a week throughout Renfrewshire over the next six weeks.

The packed programme will see activity sessions running in afternoons and evenings every Monday to Saturday over the holidays.

The activities, aimed at young people aged between 13 and 18, will be on offer in Ferguslie, Johnstone Castle, Foxbar, Howwood, Gallowhill, Bridge of Weir, Bishopton, Kilbarchan, Glenburn, Linwood, Kirklandneuk, Shortroods, Renfrew, Seedhill and Hunterhill among others places.

The Box, a multi-purpose entertainment unit kitted out with computer games and dance mats, will also be in Renfrew’s King George V playing fields over the summer period.

Councillor Kenny McLaren, Renfrewshire Council’s Community Safety spokesperson, said: “Street Stuff takes activities, state of the art fitness and computer game equipment, and expert coaches, right out into the heart of local communities to encourage young people to get involved in positive, healthy activities.

“The programme has become extremely popular with young people across Renfrewshire and as a result we’re running our busiest summer timetable ever to give as many young people as possible the chance to get involved over the holidays.”

Street Stuff is a hugely successful youth diversion activity programme which has helped contribute to significant reductions in youth disorder in communities across Renfrewshire.

The programme attracts more than 15,000 young people a year and has led to youth disorder dropping between 14% and 30% in each area where it operates.

Street Stuff is run in partnership by Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Engage Renfrewshire, Arriva, St Mirren FC and Reid Kerr College.
To see the full Street Stuff summer timetable go to
Or for regular updates follow RenCouncilNews on Twitter.

Date: Saturday 2 July
Time/ Venue:
12pm – parade sets of from Brodie Park, Paisley, finishing at Abbey Close.
12.30pm onwards – youth gym bus at Paisley Cross.
BBC Radio DJ Ally McCrae and a variety of local bands and performers at County Square, Paisley.
Stalls, dancers, singers, mini-farm and tea dance at Paisley Town Hall, Abbey Close.
1.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm – Clan Scotland Cycle Stunt Team shows at Paisley Cross.
5pm – ‘Burning of the Cork’ fire display, Abbey Close.

Paisley is set to celebrate the historic victory of the town’s weavers over the mill owners with a packed day of fun and entertainment this weekend.

Sma Shot Day, which is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the country, starts at 12noon with the traditional parade from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, lead by Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson and culminates in the spectacular burning of the cork at Abbey Close at 5pm.

In between there will be lots going on including the Clan Scotland Cycle Stunt Team showing off their skills at Paisley Cross, alongside the youth gym bus.

At County Square there will be entertainment provided by BBC Radio DJ Ally McCrae and a variety of local bands and performers as well as a range of arts and crafts on offer.

If that’s not enough, at Paisley Town Hall and Abbey Close there will be a tea dance from 1pm, a mini farm, a selection of variety acts, dancers and singers, a community planning partnership marquee and PACE Theatre Group’s performance of the Sma Shot story.

Sma Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century. The owners refused to pay their staff for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma Shot Day.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said: “Sma’ Shot Day is a unique festival that celebrates an important episode in Paisley’s history. It has been celebrated with a parade and family day for over 150 years and this year’s programme looks like our best yet.

“The parade is always great fun with lots of music and people in fancy dress and as ever I hope the people of Renfrewshire will come out and join in the festivities.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders awarded Freedom of Renfrewshire

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Paisley to watch the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders receive the Freedom of Renfrewshire.

400 members of the Fifth Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland marched through the town centre before being presented with the honour by Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson in front of the historic Paisley Abbey.

The soldiers were met with cheers and applause throughout the parade and presentation.

Colonel Bruce Russell MBE, Representative Colonel of Five Scots, accepted a framed scroll from Provost Lawson and in return presented her with the regiment’s official plaque and a painting called “The Thin Red Line”.

Provost Celia Lawson said: “I was extremely proud to see them all march through the town and to see the wonderful turn out from the people of Renfrewshire. They do an incredible job and the people living at home are very, very grateful. The award of the Freedom of Renfrewshire isn’t given often but the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are an inspirational to us all and very deserving of this title.”

The Freedom is the highest honour a local authority can give an individual or group. Historically the title would have provided rights such as to trade and to graze cattle, however, it is now purely a civic honour.
Following the ceremony the soldiers and their families were invited to a civic reception in Paisley Town Hall. The event was sponsored by local firms Chivas Bros Ltd and Goudie’s Ltd.

The event formed part of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations in Renfrewshire following a flagraising ceremony on Friday 17 June and a joint service in Paisley Abbey lead by the Provosts of both Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.


I confirm that carriageway resurfacing works in Ferguslie Park Avenue,
Paisley ( see attached layout) are programmed to start on Thursday 23 June
2011 and will last for approximately 1 week.

(See attached file: Ferguslie Park Av_surfacing extents.pdf)

The works involve the replacement of the existing carriageway surface,
along with deep patching where required. A full road closure will be in
place for the duration of the works, with access being maintained to
premises on and off Ferguslie Park Avenue. Access will be maintained for
emergency vehicles on either side of the works, but owing to areas of deep
patching, it will not be possible for such vehicles to drive through the

Alternative routes will be signed and are as follows:

Through traffic, including service buses, should proceed via McKenzie
Street and Blackstoun Road and vice versa.

Community Councils have been advised via e-mail.

Adjacent landowners will be advised via a letter which will be delivered
next week .

Ferguslie Park Av_surfacing extents