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Top names in the arts to perform at Paisley’s first Weave festival

Renowned names in Scotland’s literary scene get ready to make an appearance at Paisley’s first Weave festival this weekend.

PAISLEY, UK. 02/07/2016
The Sma’ Shot Parade on Sma’ Shot Day in Paisley 2016.
COPYRIGHT © STUART WALLACE 2016
visit my website: www.stuartwallacepictures.com

Award-winning novelist, playwright and performer Alan Bissett and author and journalist Kirstin Innes will showcase their work at the three day arts festival which is set to take over Paisley town centre from Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July.

PAISLEY, UK. 02/07/2016
The Sma’ Shot Parade on Sma’ Shot Day in Paisley 2016.
COPYRIGHT © STUART WALLACE 2016
visit my website: www.stuartwallacepictures.com

This marks the first time the Weave festival has taken place in the town serving as a wraparound cultural programme to Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations – one of the world’s oldest workers festivals.

PAISLEY, UK. 02/07/2016
Burning of the Cork on Sma’ Shot Day in Paisley.
COPYRIGHT © STUART WALLACE 2016
visit my website: www.stuartwallacepictures.com

Kirsty and Alan will be unveiling two new poems at the Sma’ Shot Poetry Slam taking place at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday from 7pm – 10pm.

Weave is inspired by the town’s globally-significant heritage of weaving and radical politics and is taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The weekend festival is also a signature event in Scotland’s 2017 Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology celebrations.

The event will reconnect the town’s weaving heritage and global connections via a programme boasting almost 40 shows across six venues and four outdoor live zones in Paisley’s historic town centre.

In addition to Kirsty Innes and Alan Bissett’s poetry showcase other programme highlights include:

– Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, the Scottish/English/Indian ensemble, touring their new album Neuk Wight Dehli All-Stars;

– the premiere of Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi’s new show Mass Movement, influenced by her personal journey as a refugee rebuilding her life in Scotland;

– an outdoor family ceilidh, mass drum-off, and four live music stages, hosted by DJ Gary Spence and by Celtic Music radio and local promoters LNP, located at Abbey Close, Gilmour Street, Paisley Arts Centre and Brown’s Lane;

– a poetry slam, storytelling sessions, and a series of talks, tours, workshops and demonstrations from local artists and designers, including traditional Paisley shawl weaving;

– PaisleyMake Makers’ Market at Paisley Abbey will showcase a variety of exceptional and innovative Scottish designers and makers featuring everything from clothing and jewellery to interior design;

– Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) in collaboration with L’n’P Promotions and Sma’ Shot Weave Festival are hosting an evening of live music featuring; Rachel Sermanni (full band), The Great Albatross and Mark McGowan.

The weekend will also include all the traditional Sma’ Shot Day elements on the Saturday, including a parade through the town led by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank along with a diverse range of community groups and artists, historic re-enactments by local youth theatre group PACE, and a pyrotechnic Burning of the Cork show on Bridge Street opposite the Paisley Abbey.

Alan Bissett, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Weave Festival. As a fairly recent inhabitant of Renfrewshire, I’ve become fascinated by the history of Paisley and the surrounding area, which has found its way into the new poem I’ve written for the festival about the legacy of the textiles industry.

“Paisley is clearly a place bursting with creative voices – some found on the page, some found holding court on bar-stools – and I’ve tried to tap into that. The Slam Poetry night is going to be exciting too, as the energy of the town takes its place as part of Scotland’s vibrant spoken word scene. Gonnay be a cracker.”

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Sma’ Shot is always a unique day, attracting visitors and showing off the town as a fantastic venue, with events taking place in our streets, parks and heritage buildings but with the introduction of Weave the cultural offering will be even more ambitious and bigger than ever before.

“Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is all about creating showcases for our brilliant local talent and presenting that alongside the best artists from Scotland, the UK and around the world. In particular, it’s great to have artists like Kirsty Innes and Alan Bissett involved for the first time who call Renfrewshire home but enjoy recognition nationally and further afield.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to our myths, stories and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is celebrating Scotland’s people, distinct culture and traditions, and historic landscapes.”

“The historic environment forges connections between people and the places where they live and visit, and I’m sure Weave’s exciting programme of activity will bring Paisley’s historic past to life in the context of a modern, collaborative and vibrant Scotland.”

Sma’ Shot Day marks the victory of Paisley’s weavers in an industrial dispute over payment for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls together.

For more information on the event or for the full listings please visit: www.paisley2021.co.uk/weave-and-sma-shot-day/.

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SAY Award 2017 Commission Buddie Designer

Paisley will welcome the biggest names in Scottish music this week who will take home a piece of the town’s famous pattern created by a local designer.

Lisa Crockard with the SAY Award and some items from her collection

The Scottish Album of the Year Award will take place on Wednesday 28 June at Paisley Town Hall where the winning artist will receive a £20,000 cash prize provided by Creative Scotland. The event is taking place in the town in support of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Each of the ten shortlisted acts, which include big names like Mogwai, Sacred Paws, Honeyblood and Ela Orleans, will be presented with a distinctive 3D printed creation designed by Lisa Crockard as part of the SAY Design Commission.

Lisa, a textiles graduate of Glasgow School of Art took a detour on the path to her design career, having worked as a menswear fashion buyer in London for big names like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for more than 16 years. Lisa decided it was time for a change and moved back home to Paisley to pursue her real passion – jewellery design.

“I really enjoyed my job in London but it was something I kind of fell into – I always thought I’d go back to design at some point. When I came home I enrolled in a jewellery design course at the City of Glasgow College which I completed last year,” she said.

“I was really interested in the idea of using modern technology like 3D printing to create bespoke designs and I use it in a lot of my work.”

Lisa has been working with Renfrewshire Council’s InCube business incubator scheme which provides funding and support to creative businesses. Her jewellery designs are currently on sale at the InCube shop in Gilmour Street, Paisley.

Lisa continued: “The support I’ve had from InCube has been fantastic. It’s given me access to business experts which has been invaluable as well as providing office space and advice. It’s also a great place to network with similar businesses. I really don’t think I’d be as far along with setting up my business without the help I’ve had from InCube.”

Lisa was selected for the SAY commission after entering a competition by the organisers of the SAY Award, Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

She said: “When I made the decision to enter I really didn’t think I’d win because there were so many great ideas. I really love live music so I’m really excited that my design was chosen as a commission by SAY.

“The design brief was to create something that connects Scottish music, art and design and captures the spirit of the SAY Award. I decided to design a 3D printed award for the 10 shortlisted acts with a reason to celebrate Scottish music etched on each Paisley pattern motif.  Also, as the awards are being held in Paisley I was keen to highlight the town’s cultural heritage using modern technologies.”

Robert Kilpatrick, Projects and Operations Manager Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “We received a number of applications for the SAY Design Commission, and were completely blown away by Lisa’s work, the bespoke award truly encompasses the spirit and characteristics of the town, in which we are so thankful to be supported by.”

The SAY Award is produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021, Creative Scotland, Black Bottle, TicketWeb and PPL. The most prestigious music prize in Scotland, the winner receives £20,000, equal in prize terms to the Mercury Music Prize. Previous SAY Award winners include Anna Meredith (2016), Kathryn Joseph (2015), Young Fathers (2014), RM Hubbert (2013) and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat (2012). Visit www.sayaward.com for more info.

You can also view more of Lisa Crockard’s work by visiting www.lisacrockard.com.

The production costs for making the awards were supported by Incube. The business incubator is currently inviting applications for their next programme to find out more visit:  https://incube.ren/.

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Family fun day at Barshaw goes down a storm

Barshaw Park was full to the brim on Saturday as thousands turned out to enjoy the annual Gala Day- which survived the anticipated windy weather.

One of the local community’s favourite events, there was something to keep adults and children alike entertained all afternoon as a range of stalls and activities were put on.

Kids were able to try their hand a kite-making at one of a number of workshops, which also included hula-hooping and a special preview Sma’ Shot Day workshop- where children can design and make a prop that they can bring along to be a part of the Sma’ Shot parade.

Photographs by Yvonne Goldie for www.paisley.org.uk

Combined with balloon modellers, magic shows, inflatables and face painting, there was no shortage of activities to keep them busy.

A live stage hosted by Erskine Music and Media entertained the crowds as they showcased the magnificent local music and dance groups Renfrewshire has to offer- including the captivating Rock Us Community Choir.

There was also the opportunity for locals to sign up for one of the many community groups Renfrewshire has to offer as well as charities fundraising towards their cause.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The annual Gala Day is a firm favourite in Paisley and it’s always fantastic to see thousands of the local community having such a great time.

“The Gala Day is just one of a number of exciting events taking place across Renfrewshire this summer and I hope to see everyone out enjoying what we have to offer.”

Upcoming events in Renfrewshire include the annual Sma’ Shot Day- which this year is part of the Weave Festival- as well as the Paisley Pipe Band Championships.

For more information on what’s going on visitwww.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events, www.Paisley2021.co.uk/events or contactevents@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Paolo Nutini backs home-town culture bid with exclusive one-off Paisley Abbey show

Paisley’s Paolo Nutini has announced an exclusive one-off homecoming charity show in the stunning surroundings of Paisley Abbey to back the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The show – on Friday 20 October – tops the bill for Paisley’s annual Spree festival and is taking place in support of a number of local good causes.

Paolo and his band will deliver an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to be in the town’s 850-year-old Abbey to see it.

Only a limited number of gold-dust tickets will be available to the public for the 550-capacity venue.

Fans will be able to register via thespree.co.uk from Friday for a chance to get the option to purchase a pair.

100 tickets will be made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

All ticket monies will go directly to five local charities selected by Paolo himself – The Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, The Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and some of the town’s Syrian refugee children.

Paolo said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Abbey since I was a wee boy. I’m proud to be a part of The Spree … I’m proud to be from Paisley … love is music and music is home. Big love people.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story.

Bids were submitted to the UK Government in April and a decision on the shortlist for the next stage is due over the summer. The winner will be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo’s support has been absolutely instrumental to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and we are utterly thrilled he is playing this gig – it will be spectacular and we cannot wait.

“It is wonderful to see him helping us realise the bid’s aim to open up the benefits of culture to everybody in the town by supporting local charities and communities who face real barriers to accessing world-class cultural experiences.”

The Spree is Paisley’s flagship annual arts festival and takes place over ten days in October, with Paisley Abbey also hosting a one-off – and now sold-out – collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The full bill is available at thespree.co.uk

Tickets for Paolo’s show are £30 each and restricted to two per person. Ticket sales will be via an online ballot utilising Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan System. The ballot opens at 9am on Friday 30 June and runs until Thursday 6 July.

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£250,000 set to be invested to revitalise Renfrewshire’s local environment

Councillors will consider plans for a £250,000 investment to deliver a programme of improvements to Renfrewshire’s local environment.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson (second from left) and Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board (furthest right), with members of Community Action for Erskine.

A report published for the Council meeting on Thursday (29 June) outlines plans to tackle the challenges faced in delivering improved environmental standards and a desire to support local communities in their contributions to improving Renfrewshire.

The proposed investment would deliver a programme of focused activities to clean up roadsides and tackle litter and dog fouling hot spots as part of an initial environmental clean-up. This would be followed by improvements to roads signage and infrastructure.

RDC Litter at Erskine 16.6.17

There would also be a marketing campaign designed to support and empower communities to help them address the local issues that matter to them most.

The programme would be launched in late summer 2017 and would focus on all key routes and include additional activities in town centres, neighbourhoods and villages, parks and open spaces.

The initiative would see a high-profile public engagement campaign take place to support, and work in partnership with local people and key partners.

A series of seasonal campaigns would be undertaken to raise awareness, encourage community participation and demonstrate the benefits for people to get involved in environmental improvements – particularly targeting local people, schools, businesses and communities.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, said: “We’ve listened to what the communities of Renfrewshire have told us and one of their highest priorities is the cleanliness of our streets.

“The proposals which are set to be considered will ensure that levels of litter, dog fouling and waste will be tackled and our roads infrastructure will be revitalised.

“The quality of the environment plays a huge part in civic pride and we want to encourage residents, groups and organisations to take ownership of the campaign and help make it their own.

“We want to make Renfrewshire a great place to live, work, visit and invest in, and by listening to what communities have told us and improving our local environment, we can provide a solid foundation to deliver these ambitions.”

The report will be considered at the Council meeting on Thursday 29 June.

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Archaeological dig to explore a mysterious site near Paisley Abbey

A mysterious site next to the grounds of Paisley Abbey will be unearthed after funding was secured for an archaeological dig.

The north west side of the building. Original source – black & white 3½” x 5½” photograph

Renfrewshire Council has been awarded £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones programme as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology to conduct a ‘Wee Dig’ of part of the Abbey Drain site.

The 12th century Abbey is renowned not only for its outstanding architecture but also as the cradle of the Royal House of Stewart as a number of the Stewarts were buried within its walls. It is also believed that Robert II, the first Stewart king of Scotland and the grandson of Robert the Bruce, was born within the walls of Paisley’s Abbey. The Abbey also has a fascinating underground history – the magnificent medieval Abbey Drain.

View of Abbey from window of the George A. Clark Town Hall looking south showing Clark’s Anchor Thread Works Mill faintly in the background. Original source – black & white 6½” x 4¾” photograph.

The Paisley “Wee Dig 2017” will take place between 18 and 24 September 2017. This significant heritage-led regeneration project will see a previously unexplored part of the Abbey Drain site excavated to shed light on what lies beneath alongside a programme of events to allow people to get involved. This ties in with ambitions set out in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The “Wee Dig 2017” will expand what is already known about Paisley’s monastic past as well as inspiring some budding archaeologists of the future.

Councillor Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The ‘Wee Dig 2017’ is a very exciting project which celebrates our unique heritage – one of the main themes of our Paisley Town Centre Action Plan 2016 – 2026 which aims to regenerate the town centre and create jobs.

“This project demonstrates how we are delivering on these plans by making the most of our assets to attract more people and businesses into the town.”

Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it’s our ambition that people of all ages will have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about.

“We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, Paisley will be opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”

Over the course of the week a series of interactive workshops will be held with a number of local groups and members of the public. These sessions will involve experiencing the dig itself, learning about various archaeological techniques and looking at artefacts from previous digs.  A film on the Paisley Abbey Drain will be featured to allow visitors to see what is under the area of the dig site.

The dig and supporting activities will be led by archaeologist firm GUARD Archaeology Limited who will manage the project on the ground, lead the workshops and be on hand to answer questions about what is uncovered.

Iraia Arabaolaza from GUARD, said: “We are very excited to be part of the Wee Dig and work alongside volunteers and local people. This project will provide an opportunity to carry on with our long involvement with Paisley and the Abbey Drain, and introduce this part of local heritage to future generations.”

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister for Paisley Abbey said: “I am delighted to support the Wee Dig project.  It is always fascinating to discover more about the past. It is good that the dig will have a strong community focus as the history of Paisley is so closely interwoven with the Abbey’s history.

“The Wee Dig will give everyone the opportunity to become detectives investigating our shared past.”

The public is encouraged to come along, get involved and to share their experiences of this week-long event on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #WeeDig2017.

Further information about the programme of activities and guidance on how the public can get involved will be available later this summer.

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Erskine Gala Day 2017

Erskine Gala day returned to Park Mains High school on 24th June 2017. Great fun was had by all.

Pictures taken by Ricky Kelly for Paisley.org.uk

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Retiring Headteachers thanked for their service

Seven headteachers from across Renfrewshire with more than 230 years’ experience celebrated their retirement this week.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services thanked them for their service during the informal ceremony which was also attended by Provost Lorraine Cameron and Peter MacLeod, Director of Children’s Services and Chief Social Work Officer.

The headteachers who were thanked for their service were:

Moira Monaghan – Bushes Primary School

David Nicholls – Gleniffer High School

Marie Ward – St Fillan’s Primary School

Hazel McMillan – Thorn Primary School

Carol Vallance – Bridge of Weir Primary School

Susan Carlton – Wallace Primary School

Eileen Young – Linwood High School

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Award winner wants sporting heroes nominations

A WINNER in last year’s Renfrewshire Sports Awards is urging people to nominate their unsung sporting heroes.

Jamie Arthur getting his award last year

Jamie Arthur, 24, is an Active Schools Coordinator and won the 2016 Disability Coach of the Year Award for his work with young people with disabilities.

Nominations for this year’s awards, covering a host of categories, close on Friday, June 30.

Award categories are Community Coach of the Year; Development Coach of the Year; Young Coach of the Year and Disability Coach of the Year.

There are also awards for Technical Official of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Event Volunteer of the Year. And for school sport there is an Honour Our Sport Award.

Jamie, who went to Johnstone High School, said: “It was a great feeling just to be nominated by someone who had looked at the categories and thought I was good enough to be considered for an award.
“I’d been nominated two years in a row which was a great honour, but to win the award last year felt amazing as it was great recognition for all the hard work I had done.”

He added: “The sport awards are a great concept, as the night is filled with coaches, volunteers and officials from all aspects of life together under the one roof. It’s great to see so many people who share the same passion in life as yourself.
“I’m all for local sport, and as an Active Schools coach and coordinator I think the impact and influence of local sport clubs and teams is extremely valuable as they provide great avenues for children to pursue a life in sport.”

Log on to www.renfrewshiresportsawards.com to make a nomination.

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Pupils graduate as good sports

DOZENS of secondary school pupils have shown they’re a class act when it comes to learning about sport and leisure.


A total of 57 Fifth and Sixth Year students have graduated from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education.
This initiative, run by Renfrewshire Leisure, gives the students training for leisure and sports coaching awards and qualifications that could help them find work when they leave school, college or university.

Each pupil taking part has completed a minimum of 12 after-school sports workshops, a training weekend, First Aid and Child Protection instruction and has helped organise and run sporting events throughout the year.

The students, who received their graduation certificates at a ceremony in front of family and friends at Renfrew Town Hall, also had to complete 100 hours of volunteering during the year’s course.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “All our graduates have come on leaps and bounds during their time on the course and we’ve seen their confidence build and their skills developed as sports coaches and event organisers.

“They themselves and their families should be proud of what they achieved.
“The course may have come to an end, but for the students what they have learned is just the start of achieving something special in their lives.”