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

Hundreds of school pupils in Renfrewshire have taken part in a project to raise their awareness of the dangers of alcohol misuse.

The Young Persons Alcohol Project is an annual event aimed at second year pupils from all Renfrewshire’s secondary schools.

The project aims to engage with young people to promote and protect their mential, social, emotional and physical well-being.

All the pupils taking part are involved in a series of workshops including PACE Theatre Group’s production ‘Take a Drink’ highlighting the consequences of alcohol misuse among young people.

The project is run by Renfrewshire Council’s ASIST team in partnership with Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Renfrewshire Council for Alcohol, and Pace Theatre Company.

Trinity High School in Renfrew hosted a VIP session of the project which invited senior council officials and elected members, representatives from Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue to join pupils in order to see how the project works.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson said: “The Young Persons Alcohol Project gets young people thinking about the consequences of drinking by presenting them with real-life scenarios which they can really relate to. As well as information and advice, the different workshops and presentations give the pupils practical experience to help them make safer choices when it comes to alcohol.”

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are to be awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire.

At a meeting of Renfrewshire Council, Provost of Renfrewshire Celia Lawson backed by Leader of the opposition Labour Group, Councillor Iain McMillan, moved that the battalion’s name be added to the roll of names of those who have been admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of the area.

The move, which received unanimous support from all parties on the council, honours the contribution made by the regiment to the nation not only in times of conflict but also in times of peace.

To celebrate the honour, the battalion will march through Paisley on Monday 20th June, to coincide with a weekend of Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Provost Lawson said: “The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are the official battalion of Renfrewshire and many serving men and women are from our community. The battalion has a long and proud history. In recent years they have fought in the conflict in Afghanistan where more than 250 British service personnel have lost their lives. I am very proud to be able to bestow the Freedom of Renfrewshire on the battalion.”

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.

Councillor Iain McMillan said: “Renfrewshire has a strong military history with a tradition of honouring our military heroes so it is very fitting that we should award the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders the Freedom of Renfrewshire. I am delighted to support this decision and I’m sure many people across Renfrewshire will do the same.”

In 2009 internationally-renowned sculptor Sandy Stoddart became the first Freeman of Renfrewshire since 1961.

The first citizen of Renfrewshire to receive the honour was Mr Stewart Clark in 1902.

Renfrewshire will celebrate Armed Forces Day with a weekend of celebrations starting with a flag-raising ceremony on Friday 17th June.

On Saturday 18th June a joint Armed Forces Day service will be held in Paisley Abbey to honour servicemen and women from Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, followed by stalls and activities at Abbey Close and a family fun day at the British Legion at Renfrew Road, Paisley.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be officially awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire on Monday 20th June.

This years Sma Shot Day Festivities will take place on July the 2nd 2011.

The event will start from Brodie Park and take its traditional approach to Paisley Town Centre and Paisley Abbey where the burning of the cork will take place “see image”

The traditional event, which is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the country, is one which is continuing to get larger each year and is certainly one a Paisley family event not to be missed.

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.

You can find out more about Sma Shot day by visiting the Paisley History section and also we have lots more photographs on our Flickr Gallery..

Paisley Abbey

Another chance to comment on town centre plans

Renfrewshire residents and businesses are getting another opportunity to have their say on plans to improve the environment of Paisley town centre.

Following the successful exhibition held recently in the WRVS Cafe in Causeyside Street, plans will be displayed in the Piazza Shopping Centre for three days.

The exhibition will display proposals to improve parking, pavements, streetlighting and preserve the architectural heritage of the Causeyside area. The exhibition will take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8-10 June and will show draft proposals prepared by consultants Ironside Farrar for Renfrewshire Council after the council successfully secured £1.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

Representatives from Renfrewshire Council and Ironside Farrar will be available at the exhibition each day from 8am to 5pm to provide information and answer questions.

Councillor Iain Nicolson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Economic Development Policy Board said “This exhibition is providing people with another opportunity to comment on the draft plans and will ensure that a full consultation process has been carried out prior to the designs being finalised. Staff will be on hand at the exhibition to answer questions and I would encourage people to go along and give us their views. This is a key project which will regenerate the historic core of Paisley Town Centre and we want to get it right – we need the input from the community and this exhibition gives people another chance to contribute.”

The detailed proposals include wider pavements, more crossing points, on street parking, and new lighting and street furniture.

It’s hoped that a planning application for the programme will be submitted later this year with work potentially starting in the Spring of 2012.

The Paisley Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council. Focused on the Causeyside area of the Paisley Town Centre Conservation Area, the THI project aims to support investment in the regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Local volunteers praised for allotments initiative

A group of community volunteers have been praised for setting up an ‘allotment watch’ scheme helping make their neighbourhood safer and more attractive for residents.

The Brediland Allotments Group were supported by a grant of £4,618 from the Safer and Stronger Renfrewshire Partnership to fund planting, development work with local residents and equipment for the volunteers help combat vandalism.

The group carried out a questionnaire and leaflets with local residents on the security of the area and encouraging them to contact the police and Renfrewshire Wardens Service if they saw problems arise in the area.

The questionnaire was well received and both police and community wardens were invited to the site to talk about problems taking place and give advice on how to prevent further incidents.

The grant also funded eight volunteers to go on training courses, allowed the group to buy safety helmets and hi visibility jackets and helped pay for renovations to the front gate of the allotments site, which included new planting to make it more inviting.

Eileen Reid, Brediland Allotments Secretary, said: “This has been a great project for getting the community to work together. We made contact with local residents through the questionnaire which got a really positive response and we’ve received many comments from neighbours about how much more inviting the place looks thanks to all the work we’ve done.

“We also had community days to clear the front gate entrance and do the replanting and the community service team were excellent in their help clearing the way of rubbish and over grown brambles etc for the fencing supplier to install the new fences. They also greatly contributed to planting an anti-vandal barrier on the outside of the new fencing.”

The Safer and Stronger Renfrewshire Partnership is made up of Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership and other local organisations.

Their aim is to work together to make Renfrewshire a safer place to live, work and visit and to encourage and empower communities to work with them.

The Brediland Allotments Group is just one example of local communities in Renfrewshire engaging in volunteering projects and contributing to making their neighbourhoods greener and safer.

Now there is even more opportunity for community groups or charities to get involved in as 2011 has been named European Year of Volunteering by the European Commission.

In order to celebrate it small grants have been made available to promote the work of volunteers in Scotland. The funding is open to community groups and voluntary organisations with an annual income below £250,000 and groups with an income below £100,000 will be considered a priority.

To find out more, please contact Paisley Partnership Regeneration Company by e-mailing or calling 0141 887 7707.

An event is being held to promote a Renfrewshire service helping young homeless people develop the skills they need to get their own homes.

The Paisley Project is a partnership between Blue Triangle (Glasgow) Housing Association (BTHA) and Renfrewshire Council and provides support for homeless young people in the Renfrewshire area between the ages of 16-25.

The project is delivered at two sites in Paisley, one at Argyle Street, which is owned by Paisley South Housing Association and one at Bruce Court, Dundonald Road, which provide supported accommodation for young homeless people.

Each young person gets their own one bedroom furnished flat within the two main units and there are also four flats available within the West End area, where young people can take a further step towards independent living.

Blue Triangle (Glasgow) Housing Association provides staff at the two sites to enable the young people to develop their skills to sustain their own tenancies and empower them to develop and realise their own potential and become part of the community.

The activities involved include budgeting, cooking, domestic skills, confidence building, educational development, health care, social skills and leisure activities. The project is also now able to provide follow on support for young people moving out of the project and into their own home.

The funding of the staff team is provided by Renfrewshire Council.

Councillor Brian Lawson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “There can be a number of reasons why young people become homeless and this can be a very difficult situation to get out of. This innovative project sees the council working in partnership with Blue Triangle Housing Association to help young people get back on their feet and empower them to go on to get their own homes and feel part of the community again.”

The aim of the service is to work with the most marginalised young people and BTHA operate an “open access” policy which ensures that they work with individuals facing a wide range of issues and will only exclude from the service if it would mean others would put at risk.
Since January 2010 the new joint service has taken 74 referrals and 54% of those have succeeded in moving on to their own tenancy. The average length of stay for each service user is between four and six months.

Fiona Stringfellow from Blue Triangle Housing Association, said: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council on this project which is all about changing people’s lives for the better. We know homelessness is often not resolved by just giving someone a house as there are many and complex reasons for their homelessness. We at Blue Triangle work with the young people to ensure that they leave the project equipped with a range of skills that hopefully means they won’t come back into the system. The young people can be challenging, however, seeing someone that the staff have worked with leaving and taking their first steps towards independent living is always rewarding.”

The project works with a range of partners to ensure a joined up approach to support young people to gain skills, including Social Work Through Care, Paisley Threads (Barnardos), First Crisis (Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health) Renfrewshire Council on Alcohol, Renfrewshire Drugs Service, Kibble Works, Princess Trust, Reid Kerr College, Buddies for Learning, Spark of Genius, Apex, Careers, Furniture Initiative and Renfrewshire Workforce Plus.

The event is being held to provide partners and other organisations with a better awareness and understanding of the work that is undertaken and the support provided to young people in Renfrewshire.

fair trade

Renfrewshire challenged to join Fairtrade world record attempt


People of all ages across Renfrewshire are being challenged to take part in a world record bid to create the longest string of bunting.

The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (28th February- 13th March) is ‘Show Off Your Label’ with a particular focus on Fairtrade Cotton. As part of the campaign the Fairtrade Foundation is attempting to break a world record for the longest continual piece of bunting. The aim is to tell more people about how Fairtrade cotton protects the livelihoods of cotton farmers in West Africa and India.

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group are backing the challenge and urging individuals and groups in the area to get by designing their own bunting using the Fairtrade Foundation bunting kits.

Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of the steering group, has already written to all the schools in the area asking pupils and staff to take part and is urging other groups, including churches, youth groups and nurseries to join in.

All the bunting that is created from schools across Renfrewshire will then be gathered together and sent off to the Fairtrade Foundation by 16th April for their world record breaking attempt.

A series of Fairtrade Fortnight events are also lined up to take place throughout Renfrewshire for people of all ages to get involved in.

These include everything from a family fun day at Paisley Town Hall, to a Fairtrade wine tasting in Lochwinnoch, a performance by a local theatre group on the injustices facing Fairtrade farmers and a Fairtrade football tournament.

Councillor Lawson said: “The support for Fairtrade in Renfrewshire is constantly growing and as a result this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight looks set to be our best yet with a huge range of events offering something for everyone.

“In particular we really want Renfrewshire to back the world record attempt to create the world’s longest string of bunting. This is something you could do if you are part of a local youth or community group or maybe just as something fun to do with your friends. The aim is to raise the profile of Fairtrade which ensures that farmers and producers get a fairly paid for their work. As well as empowering producers Fairtrade also supports communities in developing countries by helping to build things like schools, roads and provide running water so this is a great way to do something fun whilst helping those in poorer countries.”
Fairtrade currently helps more than 7.5 million of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Packs of blank Fairtrade bunting are available for free from the Fairtrade Foundation for a limited number with further packs available to buy go to

For a full list of events running in Renfrewshire over Fairtrade Fortnight go to You can also get the latest news and information from Renfrewshire by following our Twitter feed @RenCouncilNews