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On 29 December 1745, exactly 275 years ago to the day, the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie issued a summons to the then Paisley Town Council to meet and account for raising a local militia against them.
This summons, along with a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary for a £500 fine paid just five days later by the people of Paisley, will go on display when Paisley Museum reopens following its £42m redevelopment.
Unlike other towns, that were also fined by the Jacobites but later reimbursed, Paisley’s money has never been returned. Glasgow received £10,000 for its loss in 1749, and in 1750 Dumfries was indemnified with £2,800, however every application Paisley made was refused.
Archie Henderson, Social History Research Assistant for Paisley Museum said: “The history of the Jacobites is full of fascinating tales and having the opportunity to reinterpret the museum’s collection, tell new stories and retell old stories in a more engaging way is all part of the museum’s redevelopment. On 30th December this year Bonnie Prince Charlie will celebrate his 300th birthday, so what better time for us to remind people of this part of our town’s history.”
Originally, Bonnie Prince Charlie fined Paisley £1,000 and took Bailie Matthew Kyle and former Bailie William Park hostage to ensure the fine was paid. However, this fine was later reduced to £500 providing it was paid in full by the following evening. When the time came, the town only managed to pay £300, and the payment window was extended by 12 hours. At the final hour the remaining payment was made to the Jacobites and a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary John Murray of Broughton was issued.
Henderson goes on to explain: “After the Jacobites were defeated at Culloden, and money started to be repaid to other towns, Paisley Council was advised that they should take John Murray to court, which they did in 1753 and the case dragged on for seven years without success. In 1760 an appeal was launched but again there is no record of any response or positive outcome, so the debt has remained outstanding.”
It is believed that £500 in today’s money would be worth more than £100,000.
The redevelopment of the museum will enable the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%. Significant items from the Jacobite collection that will go on display alongside the summons (dated 29 Dec 1745) and the receipt (dated 3 Jan 1746) include a Culloden sword passed down from the Carlile family; a Jacobite silver medal commissioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie; a painting by David Wilkie (1819) of The Veteran Highlander; and a headstone originally from the grounds of Paisley Abbey commemorating John Orr, one of eight Paisley volunteers killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746.
Paisley Museum is part of the town’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus is led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam. When it reopens it is expected to attract over 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79 million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley’s collections are culturally significant and the museum’s refurbishment is a wonderful opportunity for the town to reinterpret our objects for public display in a way that is engaging and meaningful to visitors.
“It is also a real tribute to our curatorial teams past and present, that our objects are still in such good condition, and are able to illustrate the area’s rich culture and the people’s story.”
Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.
A £4.5m project to restore some of Paisley town centre’s historic architecture to its former glory has now completed work at several prominent sites on and around the town’s High Street.
The Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2) has been delivering a programme of building and outdoor streetscape improvements since 2017, and will run until 2022.
The project – funded and delivered by Renfrewshire Council with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland – covers a defined area within Paisley town centre around the High Street, New Street and Shuttle Street.
It includes grants for building owners to part-fund the costs of restoring and improving the town’s unique architecture. And the results of the team’s work throughout 2020 can now be seen at:
– a building repair project on the upper floors of the C-listed 41 High Street (above Right Way Credit Union), with major stone repair. A separate project will start in the new year and will improve the ground-floor shopfront;
– extensive improvements to the town’s much-loved Sma’ Shot Cottages – the volunteer-run museum and visitor attraction in Shuttle Street – recently repainted with conservation-grade paint along with repointing works, stone repairs, new doors and repairs to the windows, gutters and roof;
– a transformation of the outside of the Print and Copy It shop at 61c High Street, which replaced the previous shopfront with a new and much improved traditional-style one;
This is the fifth historic shopfront to be restored, with work already complete at 30 A and B High St (White Cart Co and Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience), 36 High St (the Shelter shop), and 44 High St (Uptown Barbers).
Work is also due to be completed before Christmas to preserve and improve the historic streetscape in George Place – restoring the cobbled street by reusing original granite setts and kerbs and adding quality Caithness paving.
Further improvements to other historic buildings and shopfronts are planned for next year.
Running alongside the building-improvement work is a programme of cultural and educational activity aimed at raising awareness of the town’s heritage, including a schools weaving project, a documentary on Paisley’s Mill Girls, and a drama project on Paisley’s role in the 1820 Radical War.
The current TH.CARS work follows a similar scheme which saw major improvements to buildings and streetscape in the Causeyside Street area between 2009 and 2016.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley town centre’s architectural legacy is one of the finest to be found anywhere in the country, with Scotland’s second-highest concentration of listed buildings.
“The TH.CARS2 scheme has been doing great work to preserve that by helping owners bring historic buildings which have fallen into disrepair back into use, while improving the look of others by restoring original architectural features.
“That investment has two more years to run and will help make the town centre a more attractive place to live, work and invest during what we know has been a challenging time for traders.
“It is great to see a number of projects have been completed in recent months and I look forward to seeing more go on site over the next year.”
For more information on the project, see www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2
The show must go on as they say and Rainbow Nursery took those words to heart and made a fantastic movie, we were sent this in last night and its fun just pure fun, well worth a watch for any age… Here is the message I received and video from last night.
Louise Borris: Hi there I work in a little nursery on Paisley called Rainbow. Due to Covid restrictions, our annual Christmas Show was cancelled, and as we could not get out into the community to spread festive cheer, the 3-5 room decided to go digital and put a 2020 twist on this years show. Turns out our show is very popular and has succeeded in getting some Christmas cheer out into the wider community. We thought you might like a look at our superstars and hoped that you could also share our show out there to help us bring a smile to as many people as possible, everyone could do with a smile this year.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is searching for community heroes across Renfrewshire as nominations for the Provost’s Community Awards open for 2021.
This year there are seven categories to nominate in, including a new category to recognise businesses who have adapted to ensure their survival during the Covid19 pandemic. You can nominate anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire for the following categories:
- Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
- Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction)
- Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
- Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
- Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
- Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
- Ingenuity in Business (sponsored by Provost Lorraine Cameron)
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This year has been unlike any other and it’s important that we pay tribute to the local unsung heroes who keep our communities going.
“We have recently heard of the sad death of former Provost Nancy Allison, who established the very first awards in 1997, and I know, for certain, that Nancy would have been very happy that I have decided to go ahead this year, despite the pandemic. She knew how important it was to recognise the big hearted people who support their communities and that is why we continue with these awards year after year.
“Earlier this year I awarded certificates to those who I know have gone the extra mile throughout the pandemic, but these awards are different – they come from the community themselves. Now it is your chance to tell me about the hard work that these groups and individuals do.
“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have an event this year to celebrate these achievements, but we will make sure the winners are announced online and through other media channels. I know there are some fantastic people out there who really deserve to be recognised and I can’t wait to read your nominations.”
The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday 29 January 2021.
The first pilot of lateral-flow testing in Scotland at a fixed site has concluded with more than 5,000 local people tested over the course of eight days.
Designed to identify asymptomatic people in the community (those without any symptoms), the quick and simple swab test was open to anyone who lived, worked or went to school in Johnstone.
Test results were returned in around 45 minutes and anyone found to be positive was asked to complete a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result, before being provided with the appropriate support to complete their period of self-isolation.
The testing centre ran at Johnstone Town Hall for 12 hours each day and was delivered and operated by Renfrewshire Council. This was the only fixed site for this type of testing in the country and involved more than 100 staff from the council and its partners.
Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, Chair of the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, said: “I’m so proud of the people of Johnstone for taking part in this pilot as we look to learn more about the virus, how to combat it and stop its transmission.
“More than 5,000 people is a fantastic turnout and the selflessness of local people will help inform the future decisions made by the UK and Scottish Government – so we really have played our part in the Coronavirus response.
“Thank you to all that took a test over the past eight days and also to the fantastic staff who ran the testing centre safely and efficiently and ensured that the pilot can be considered a success.”
All testing figures, including positive, negative and void tests, have been reported to the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland who will now assess and verify the figures before publication.
For more information on the pilot, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test-Johnstone.
“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our health, our wellbeing, our communities and our economy, but I am confident that by working together, Renfrewshire will recover and renew to come back stronger.”
That’s according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, as he welcomes plans for Renfrewshire’s economic and social recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Councillors will consider the ambitious plans next week which aim to create jobs and upskill employees, bolster business, invest in housing, tackle inequalities and improve the lives of people living and working in Renfrewshire.
Stark statistics within the reports lay bare the impact of the pandemic in Renfrewshire, with 293 local people having lost their lives.
The number of people claiming benefits rose by 80% at the height of the virus, while 6,000 crisis grant applications have been received, thousands have been supported through neighbourhood hubs and local community groups and Renfrewshire Foodbank has helped more than 4,000 adults and children.
Furlough support for Renfrewshire employees is estimated to equate to £115million and self-income support to almost £10million.
Councillor Nicolson said: “The pandemic has impacted on all parts of daily life and in some cases exacerbated existing vulnerabilities or created new difficulties. Many people and businesses have been impacted, through bereavement, loss of income, isolation and loneliness.
“Since the outset, Council staff have been working tirelessly together with community groups and local volunteers as well as with national agencies to support people during these unprecedented times, and the collective response has been phenomenal.
“This work continues and while the true impact of the pandemic will take time to fully emerge, we have been carrying out detailed research and together with community groups, local businesses and economic leaders, we have been preparing our plans for recovery and renewal.”
The two-year economic recovery plan has been prepared with, and approved by, Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, which pools business expertise from major local employers and skills and enterprise agencies.
It is underpinned by economic analysis by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute and by a summer survey of 500 local companies, with further data being collected next spring following the end of the furlough scheme and the Brexit transition period.
Detailing 14 priority actions the panel believe will make the biggest difference locally, the report focuses on support for business, young people, wellbeing, skills and employability, fostering a green recovery and on capital investment.
Councillor Nicolson added: “The building blocks of Renfrewshire’s economy have been consistently strong for some time and there are significant opportunities for growth after the pandemic with a strong business base, excellent educational facilities and £500million in capital investment well under way.
“We will build on this by creating jobs and training opportunities for our young people, including 150 new apprenticeships, with targeted projects to tackle unemployment and reduce health inequalities, and measures to bolster the skills and innovation of our significant manufacturing sector. To achieve this plan, all partner agencies will have a key role to play and by combining our knowledge and expertise, we can achieve so much more.”
Tackling inequalities is at the heart of the developing social renewal plan for Renfrewshire, which is being prepared through a public survey of 1,500 people combined with ‘listening events’ with community groups during winter 2020, to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 and involve local people in identifying solutions to the issues they face.
Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “Local people and communities continue to experience significant impacts on their lives resulting from the pandemic and sadly the initial findings suggest it is most affecting people on low incomes and in insecure employment, in particular women and young people.
“The social renewal plan will act as the blueprint for how we will work with our partners to learn from the pandemic and build on this experience to tackle the inequalities that exist in our communities.”
Councillors will also be asked to approve plans for at least £100million of additional investment over the next 10 years in Council housing across Renfrewshire, with the first phase targeting investment to eight areas across Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew.
Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “Coronavirus has underlined the importance of our home on our wellbeing and the need to live within a supportive community environment.
“This planned investment will provide a step-change in housing conditions for Council tenants by enhancing properties inside and out, making them more energy efficient and creating safe, welcoming neighbourhoods.
“At each location, we will develop comprehensive regeneration place plans, engaging with tenants and the wider community to create places to be proud of through a mix of improvements and new homes, this approach will continue the recent investment by the council and housing associations which will see more than 1,000 affordable homes completed by 2022.”
Dec 11, 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm
A fun, and engaging workshop discussing what ‘great social service’ looks like in today’s connected world. We’ll look at examples from a variety of companies and ask if we really deliver quality customer service, or do we focus on the numbers. Do we look for opportunities to wow customers across our social channels or do we just react to complaints.
Dec 10, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Join Gordon from fatBuzz looking at what you need to do to optimise your Business Page and how to tap into the power of LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Advertising.