activity camp

YOUNGSTERS can enjoy a variety of sports and fun activities if they come along to Renfrewshire Leisure’s October Activity Camps.

Running from October 11 to 15, between 10am and 3pm during the school holidays, the camps for Primary school-aged children – run by Active Schools Renfrewshire – are jam-packed with various sports, games, arts and crafts and dance classes.

activity camp

They are taking place at the ON-X, in Linwood, Johnstone Community Sports Hub and The Lagoon, in Paisley.

The multi-activity camps at the ON-X feature sessions in various activities, including archery, bushcraft, orienteering, dodgeball, rounders and many more sports and fun activities. An early drop off at 8am and late pick up at 5:30pm is available.

A football camp run in partnership with the SFA and Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services is being held at Johnstone Community Sports Hub, during the school holiday week.

These camps are suitable for all primary-aged youngsters, no matter what their football experience and are organised by qualified SFA coaches, in line with the National Player Pathway.

The camps aim to improve skill level, teamwork, fitness and communication. Players will improve through a combination of coaching, skills challenges and small-sided games, all based around enjoyment and having fun.

Johnstone Community Sports Hub hosts a dance and movement camp featuring a variety of styles from street dance, disco, cheer to lyrical, ballet and jazz.

The sessions will be delivered by experienced dance coaches at UKCC Level 1 and 2, using fun games, activities and routines.

Movement will range from stretching, conditioning, floor and vault skills. General skills will be based around rolls, handstands, cartwheels, round off, bridges, walk over and progressions.

An Active Families Disability Sport and Activity Club for Primary-aged children is being held on Wednesday, October 13 at 3:15-4:15pm and 4:15-5:15pm, at the ON-X, in Linwood; and on Thursday October 14 between 4:30-5:30pm,at the Lagoon Leisure Centre for young people of secondary school age.

 

Attendees will be able to take part in a club where two bouncy castles will be on offer, as well as the opportunity to take part in sports activities led by qualified coaches. These will include: boccia, archery, football, basketball and frisbee golf.

This family club is available to any family with a young person with a disability and/or sensory impairment and siblings are welcome.

A parent or guardian must stay with the participant for the duration of the club and are actively encouraged to take part.

When a rest is required, soft drinks and snacks will be available. This hour-long club allows all the family to take part in fun activities.

Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We’ve got something for everyone to enjoy during the school holiday.

“The activities we provide for the young people are not only great fun, but they are beneficial to their health and fitness.

“These camps are a great opportunity for youngsters to keep active, learn new skills and meet new friends at the same time.”

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/october-activity-camps-2021 for more information on the camps and details of prices and to book go to www.renfrewshire-leisure.class4kids.co.uk.

The award-winning Renfrewshire Libraries service is going for the double this year in a prestigious national award.

Primary Outreach Librarian, Jacquelyn Else-Jack is one of six nominated in the longlist for this year’s Library and Information Professional of the Year.

Jacquelyn’s achievement follows Renfrewshire’s School Libraries Support Coordinator and School Librarian, Clare Hemsworth, winning the award last year.

According to CILIPS – the organisation for Scotland’s library and information professionals – who organises the award:

“Jacquelyn has created many innovative engagement programmes, including RIOT (Read It Out Time), in which numerous schools undertook a six week programme based on the work of a local author and worked alongside sports services to encourage the link between sport and reading.

“Jacquelyn was involved in the Just the Ticket project, to encourage Primary Seven library use, which is now being expanded beyond the pilot project.

“She also promoted the Summer Reading Challenge with enthusiasm, leading to Renfrewshire being placed 3rd in Scotland for highest sign ups.”

The outright winner of the Library and Information Professional of the Year 2021 will be announced later this year.

Mark Tokeley. Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Congratulations to Jacquelyn for being named in the longlist for this award and we’re rooting for her when it comes to judging who will be the outright winner.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for Renfrewshire Leisure and our libraries service to be in a position where we could win the award two years in a row.

“We always strive to provide the best and most innovative library service and it’s gratifying that our good work is being recognised by CILIPS.”

Renfrewshire Libraries has recently extended its opening hours and more information on opening times is available from www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk.

CREATE Paisley, a Renfrewshire based youth arts charity is working with partners to promote creativity and wellbeing again this October by hosting Open Mind Summit, a one-day online event exploring how creativity and culture can improve young people’s wellbeing.

Launched in 2019 on World Mental Health Day (10 October) the sell-out event attracted over 100 like-minded individuals of all ages to be inspired, learn, collaborate and connect.  In 2020, in the midst of lockdown, the event moved online, and discussed ‘how can creativity help children and young people overcome isolation and loneliness’. Over the last 2 years, the summit has hosted a diverse line-up of young people, artists, activists and influencers, national organisations, educators, researchers and more with keynotes from Darren McGarvey and Steven McLeish.

Alan Clark, Executive Director at CREATE Paisley said, ‘We’re delighted to continue Open Mind Summit for a third year and build upon the connections and conversations over the last 2 years. The Summit continues to be a space to be inspired and to explore the role of creativity in improving the wellbeing of children and young people. This last 18 months has been an extremely challenging time for young people across Renfrewshire and further afield and we know the power of creativity and the arts in supporting young people towards improved connections and wellbeing.’

This year, the Summit will be on Friday 8th October and will explore the theme, Mental Health for All with three subthemes: Nature for All, Connections for All and Justice for All.   The programme this year will reflect these themes, with 3 keynote speakers, a morning panel discussion and a range of workshops.

Alan continues, ‘We’re so excited by this year’s line up with keynote talks from Angela Awuah, Ollie Bray and Jo Musker-Sherwood, as well as an opportunity to hear more about 10,000 Miles, a celebration of connection and creativity and a showcase the work of two dance companies right2dance in Paisley, Scotland and yellowwheel in Melbourne, Australia and their experiences with connecting across the globe.’

Angela Awuah is founder and director of award-winning social enterprise Mental Health The Arts (MHTA), an early intervention creative arts academy in South London which works with young people on developing creative coping mechanisms using their gifts and talents. She has been a carer for over 10 years for a family member that was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her background involves campaigning, public speaking and youth-led social action.

Ollie Bray is currently Strategic Director at Education Scotland where he overall strategic responsibility for National Improvement Initiatives and Professional Learning and Leadership. This includes major national initiatives including Wellbeing and Equality. Immediately before rejoining Education Scotland he was Global Director: Connecting Play and Education at the LEGO Foundation (www.legofoundation.com) where he led the Foundations work related to education improvement through the use of technology and play.

Jo Musker-Sherwood has over fifteen years’ experience in the charity sector. As the Founder Director of Hope for the Future, she oversaw the charity’s growth from a small project to a national NGO impacting climate policy at all levels of government. Following an experience of activism-related burnout, Jo turned her attention to researching and developing strategies for emotional and ecological wellbeing. She is a coach in training, and currently researches, writes, mentors, and consults on emotional resilience strategies for those working in the environmental sector.

Hazel Darragh, Senior Communications Officer at Kibble Education and Care Centre, added “We’re delighted once again to be part of the Open Mind Summit, alongside Create Paisley and other partners, to explore the intrinsic link between creativity, culture and wellbeing. At Kibble, children and young people excel in all areas of the arts; an important means of self-expression, achievement, connection and confidence. This year’s event is set to be one of the best yet, with a host of key speakers, workshops, performances and inspiring conversation.”

“Working with the team at Open Mind Summit has been a really positive experience. The Summits’ aims and objectives fit well with our own at the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events which are aligned to culture, health, wellbeing and regeneration. CCSE’s involvement has seen us facilitate some of the Summit’s online sessions and our PhD student Lam Pham’s multi-faceted association with the Summit has been beneficial for her ongoing research.’ Prof Gayle McPherson, Director of CCSE

“The health and wellbeing of our young people is so important. This event will be a very useful tool and learning experience for young people and practitioners who work with young people. It will look to equip them with better ideas and resources to help them deal with mental health issues they may be dealing with now or in the future.” Cllr. Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure

Open Mind Summit is funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with CREATE Paisley as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Open Mind Summit is on 8 October on online platform Hopin. Tickets are just £25 and there are a limited number of bursary places available for creative practitioners and young people.  To find out more and book your place, visit: www.openmindsummit.com.

 

monster dash logo

FUN runners are being given the chance to take part in a Halloween Monster Dash.

The family event over a 5k route is being organised by Renfrewshire Leisure around the ON-X Sports Centre, in Linwood and is an alternative to the annual Paisley 10k Road Race and Fun Run, which is not taking place this year.

monster dash logo

While plans are already being made for the popular Decathlon-sponsored Paisley 10k and Fun Run to be held in 2022, the smaller-scale Monster Dash is an ideal way for fun runners to take part in an event this year.

The Monster Dash is being held at 12 noon on Sunday, October 31 and runners are being encouraged to come along in fancy dress since the event is being held on Halloween.

Everyone taking part will receive a goody bag and there will be spot prizes for the best-dressed runners in Halloween costumes.

ON-X Linwood

The route will take fun runners on two laps of the scenic Linwood Moss and is a flat course with only a few gentle undulations.

Entrance fee is only £3 for adults and £2 for children. Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/monsterdash to register for the event.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “While unfortunately we’ve had to postpone this year’s big races – the Paisley 10k and Fun Run – we thought we would still give runners the chance to take part in a fun event, albeit on a smaller scale.

“This will be a good way to ease everyone back into running again and since it’s Halloween, we hope the runners will join in the spirit of what day it is and come along in fancy dress.

“We’ve already started planning for next year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run, which I’m sure will be better than ever.”

The official charity partner chosen for next year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run is the Armed Forces veterans’ charity, Erskine.

THE oldest swimmer at Renfrew’s Victory Baths can’t wait to dive into the history of the swimming pool.

An exhibition to mark the Victory Baths’ centenary opens on Sunday, September 19 and 92-year-old Meg Main is looking forward to finding out all about the place she describes as her “second home”.

Meg has been visiting the pool for decades and is well-known as the water aerobics instructor to members of the Victory Baths’ Over 50s Club – up until the start of Covid restrictions a role she has carried out for more than 20 years.

The exhibition at the pool begins on September 19  – the date in 1921 the baths were officially opened – and apart from the public holiday on September 24, runs every day until September 26.

Meg, from Renfrew said: “Having an exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the baths is a great idea and a lot of people will be interested in its history.

“We’ll find out how the baths were built for the people of Renfrew and how the baths have benefitted their health over the years.”

Meg added: “Renfrew Baths has been like a second home to me over the years and there were times I would come here five days a week.

“Swimming helps you relax as well as giving you exercise. You can also meet lots of people and make new friends if you’re a regular at the pool.”

The baths were gifted to the town by shipbuilder and government minister, Sir Frederick Lobnitz who along with his wife, Lady Lobnitz and Lady Blythswood conducted the opening ceremony watch by crowds of locals.

People interested in seeing the exhibition at the pool can book a tour on weekdays at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 7.30pm as well as during the weekend at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm. To book a place on the exhibition tour, call 0141 618 4914.

Following Covid regulations, tours must be booked for Test and Protect purposes and are limited to ten places per tour. Face masks must be worn unless exempt.

To help celebrate the centenary, Renfrewshire Leisure is reducing the charge for swimmers to 100p (£1) per swim and £4 for a family swim at the Victory Baths, on its actual anniversary day, Sunday September 19.

The Baths will also offer extended opening hours of 9am to 7pm on September 20, 21, 22 and 23.

Claire Carlton, a receptionist and swimming teacher from Renfrew Baths involved in the exhibition, said: “Meg is a legend around the Victory Baths and lots of people know her. She’s a real character and a great example to everyone the way she has kept active.

“As Meg says herself, the exhibition will be very popular as the pool has a very interesting history with many unusual stories being told during the event.”

More information about Renfrewshire Leisure’s pools and how to book swim sessions can be found here www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

centenary 2

A special exhibition is being staged to mark the centenary of Renfrew’s Victory Baths.

People will get the chance to see and hear about the amazing history of the swimming pool, which was officially opened on September 19, 1921 and is now run by the charity, Renfrewshire Leisure.

centenary 2

The baths were gifted to the town by shipbuilder and government minister, Sir Frederick Lobnitz who, along with his wife, Lady Lobnitz and Lady Blythswood conducted the opening ceremony watched by crowds of locals.

The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 19 and apart from the public holiday on September 24, runs every day until Sunday, September 26.

People interested in seeing the exhibition at the pool can book a tour on weekdays at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 7.30pm as well as during the weekend at 10.30am, 11.30am and 12.30pm. To book a place on the exhibition tour, call 0141 618 4914.

Following Covid regulations, tours must be booked for Test and Protect purposes and are limited to ten places per tour. Face masks must be worn unless exempt.

To help celebrate the centenary, Renfrewshire Leisure is reducing the charge for swimmers to 100p (£1) per swim and £4 for a family swim at the Victory Baths, on its actual anniversary day, Sunday September 19.

The Baths will also offer extended opening hours of 9am to 7pm on September 20, 21, 22 and 23.

As part of the exhibition, a film called, ‘The Man Who Made Renfrew Victory Baths’ will be screened, showing how renowned architect of the period, Thomas Abercrombie designed the Baths.

Abercrombie was born in Paisley and was responsible for the design of some iconic buildings in the town, including the former Royal Alexandra Infirmary, the YMCA buildings in New Street, Wallneuk Church and the former Paisley Baths, in Storie Street.

The Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire, Brian Whittingham, has also written a poem, called ‘Back In The Day’ to mark the centenary.

centenary 2

The exhibition will also feature the story of two Olympic swimmers, William Francis and Hugh Smith who trained at the Victory Baths and competed in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games.

And the background will be revealed about former Eastenders soap actor, the late Ross Davidson who played water polo at Victory Baths and went on to represent Scotland. As part of the Renfrew Aqua Water Polo Club he won a Scottish league and cup double in 1975.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The Victory Baths is an iconic building in Renfrew and has been part of the lives of people from the town for generations.

“It has a great history with many stories connected to the swimming pool and the people who swam there. I know the exhibition showing the history of the Baths will be of great interest to people of all ages”

“We are delighted to be celebrating the centenary of the Victory Baths, which have been at the heart of the community for 100 years. Renfrewshire Council has recently invested around £100,000 in the essential plant that supports the swimming pool, and we have invested in new internal and external lighting and interior decoration so that the Baths are looking their best for their big birthday.

“Swimming is as popular now as it’s ever been, not just at the Victory Baths, but across all of the pools run by Renfrewshire Leisure.

“Its popularity has increased since lockdown restrictions eased, which has been great to see as we work with people to help with their health and wellbeing, which is so important to our region’s recovery from the pandemic.”

More information about Renfrewshire Leisure’s pools and how to book swim sessions can be found here www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

Artist Kevin Cameron, Provost Lorraine Cameron and Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes outside Paisley Town Hall

A time capsule containing memories of life in Paisley has been placed inside the foundations of Paisley Town Hall during the £22m transformation into a landmark entertainment venue for the west of Scotland.

The striking Victorian-era town hall – part of the legacy of Paisley’s proud past at the centre of the world’s textile industry – is undergoing a major redevelopment to preserve it for future generations.

Artist Kevin Cameron, Provost Lorraine Cameron and Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes outside Paisley Town Hall

The project is part of a wider investment by Renfrewshire Council in Paisley’s cultural venues aimed at driving new footfall to the town, including the work to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor destination, retelling the unique stories of the town’s people, Pattern, and more.

Local artist and filmmaker, Kevin Cameron, worked with residents, local schools, and former employees of Paisley Town Hall to collect stories and memories of activities and events that have taken place at the venue.

Provost Lorraine Cameron and artist Kevin Cameron with the time capsule

Inside the time capsule, the memories are contained within a scroll consisting of over 30 pages that can be unravelled, read and easily displayed. The scroll is wrapped around a bobbin as a symbol of the town’s thread-making heritage.

Paisley Town Hall has been a unique landmark at the heart of life in the town since 1884, having been gifted to the town by Sir George Clark, owner of one of the firms which at that time had made the town a global thread-making hub.

Building contractors Morrison Construction are currently on site, with work due to finish in late 2022 and the building due to reopen in early 2023.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which will operate the reopened building, said: “Everyone in Paisley will have their own special memories of the town hall and I’m delighted that we have been able to preserve some of those to be shared with future generations.

Primary 7 pupils from West Primary School with the time capsule

“The town hall is a key project within the council’s wider investment in the town aimed at using Paisley’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage offer to change its future.

“Once reopened the town hall will build on the work already done to make Paisley one of Scotland’s key destinations for heritage, culture and events – driving new footfall and visitors to the town centre, day and night, and helping the local economy build back from the effects of the pandemic.

Primary 6 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary with the time capsule

“We look forward to helping people make memories at Paisley Town Hall for many years to come.”

Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron, who added a letter for future generations to the time capsule, said: “Paisley Town Hall is special to so many people and it was important to involve the local community.

Provost Lorraine Cameron with the time capsule scroll

“At a time where our lives are still disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and normal events have been unable to take place as planned, the creation of the time capsule has given many people a chance to look back on some of those times they hold most dear.

“The scroll includes memories from some of our oldest citizens collected through workshops with ROAR, and stories from some of our youngest citizens, with pupils from Williamsburgh and West Primary Schools contributing accounts of their life before and during the pandemic.

“I am honoured to be asked as Provost of Renfrewshire to contribute a letter and share my hopes for a future Paisley with generations still to come.”

The town hall redevelopment will deliver:

– preservation of its unique 19th-century architectural features while adding 21st-century performance facilities, guaranteeing the building’s long-term future;

– the capacity of the main hall expanded to 1,200, allowing the venue to host bigger and better events and help make the town a stop-off on musical tour schedules;

– entirely new rooms created within currently-unused spaces, including a café-bar, dance studio, and screening room, widening the building’s range of uses;

– new performance facilities, a much-improved audience experience, and a complete replacement of the venue’s electrical and mechanical systems;

To be kept up to date on the use of the building when it reopens, register your interest with Renfrewshire Leisure via https://mailchi.mp/renfrewshireleisure/paisleytownhall

The town hall redevelopment is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces. Projects due to complete over the next couple of years also include:

– the £42m project to transform Paisley Museum, expected to help drive 128,000 visitors a year, to see the town’s internationally-significant collections;

– a new modern home for library services within the Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub, currently being built in a vacant former retail unit on the town’s High Street;

– work to upgrade Paisley Arts Centre;

– a redesign of Abbey Close to create an expanded outdoor events space set against Paisley’s town hall and 12th-century Abbey, plus work to turn County Square into an attractive hub for small events and provide a welcome showcase for larger events, festivals and attractions in the town.

More information is at http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/PaisleyTownHall

Renfrewshire Leisure to make delivery service available to whole community while essential electrical work takes place

Work will start later this month on essential work at Lochwinnoch Library.

Renfrewshire Council is investing £86,000 in rewiring the popular High Street library, which is operated by Renfrewshire Leisure.

To allow work to take place, the building will temporarily close from Wednesday, September 15. The project is expected to be completed by mid-winter.

To support members and the wider community during this time, Renfrewshire Leisure will be making its home delivery service available to the entire community in Lochwinnoch. People will also be able access services at any of the region’s other libraries, as well as those which are available online at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk, where a huge range of ebooks, audio books, magazines and newspapers can be accessed.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Skoobmobile will also be in the village one afternoon a week to support parents and children with library access. Details as to when it will visit and where it will be parked will be available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com, as well as at any of the other libraries and facilities operated by the charity.

Joyce Higgins, Digital and Library Development Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “This work is an important investment in the Lochwinnoch Library building – one that’s important to its future – and we are grateful to Renfrewshire Council and its contractors. 

“Lochwinnoch is a well used and much-loved library. While we appreciate that there will be some inconvenience for our regular visitors it’s essential that this work takes place.

“We hope, however, that the temporary extension of our home delivery service to everyone in the community will help. This is a great service. Our brilliant library team will be on-hand to take orders as well as to help people with their book choices if they’re looking for a little inspiration.”

For the duration of the closure, books can be returned to any Renfrewshire library or via the home delivery service.

Meanwhile, refurbishment work is continuing at Lochwinnoch’s community centre, the McKillop Institute. It has seen Renfrewshire Council invest close to £1million in improvement works there. The centre, operated by Renfrewshire Leisure, is also due to reopen this winter.

To register for the home delivery library service, please call 0300 300 1188 or email libraries@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Popular book-sharing programme returns for the first time since first Covid-19 lockdown 

Booking opens today (Monday) for the return of the popular Bookbug sessions at Renfrewshire’s libraries.

Children will be able to enjoy the reading programme in-person for the first time in almost 18 months from next Monday (September 13) as the safe return of services in the region’s libraries continues.

As part of on-going Covid-19 safety measures, places must be pre-booked, with slots available seven days in advance of each session. They are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Bookbug sessions will run at Bishopton, Erskine, Ferguslie, Foxbar, Glenburn, Glenburn, Johnstone, Linwood, Paisley Central, Ralston and Renfrew libraries.

Joyce Higgins, Digital and Library Development Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We are delighted to once again be able to offer Bookbug sessions in our libraries.

“While we have had some brilliant videos online, the team can’t wait to welcome children, their parents and carers back – and to enjoy some songs, giggles and smiles. Bookbug’s brilliant. It’s one of the most popular initiatives in our libraries and we know how eager families have been to see it return, as we have.

“To help keep everyone safe, we have had to make a few changes, so I would please ask everyone to work with the staff at their local library to ensure everyone can enjoy being back. It’s another positive step in supporting our communities as they recover from the pandemic.”

Places, which are limited, can be booked at http://bit.ly/BookbugSessions, where details about all of the sessions are available. To help manage demand, people are being asked to book just one session each week.

A family ticket – including one adult and up to three children – can be booked online. If there is more than one adult attending, please book one family ticket per adult. If you are not able to attend a session you have booked, please cancel it via the “manage booking” link in your confirmation or by calling 0300 300 1188.

While libraries staff will not be sharing toys during the sessions, children can take along their own soft toy.

People are asked not to visit a library if they show any symptoms of coronavirus.

Bookbug is the book sharing programme delivered in partnership by national reading charity Scottish Book Trust, local authorities, libraries and health trusts. It encourages parents and carers to share books with their children from as early an age as possible to inspire a love of reading.

A £60,000 grant has been secured to tell the story of Paisley’s world-renowned shawls in exciting displays to be created in the town’s transformed museum.

Dimensions – 76″ x 71″ ( 193cm x 181cm). Fibre – warp silk and wool twist, weft wool. Colours – red, yellow, light blue, white, green, and black. Fringe – 2.5″ (6cm) warp fringe both ends. General description – finely woven all over square pattern shawl, possibly French. Condition – good.

Museum Galleries Scotland (MSG) has awarded the money to Paisley Museum Reimagined in another major boost for the venue when it reopens in 2023 following a £42m overhaul.

It will allow the most extensive exhibition of shawls since the museum began collecting them in 1905, as well as creating new ways of sharing their international importance with audiences and strengthening the town’s links to its past.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of museum operator Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know the important role cultural heritage plays in boosting wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem. The Paisley shawl collection exemplifies this link with our past in an most enjoyable, colourful and illuminating way.

“We are delighted that Paisley Museum Reimagined has secured this grant from Museum Galleries Scotland and grateful to them for their support.

“The collection of around 1,200 shawls held by Renfrewshire Museum Service is of national significance. This funding will allow us to show the collection to its best.”

The funding, secured from MSG’s Museum Development Fund, will allow the museum team to create a series of visually exciting displays of the shawl collection – inextricably connected to the Paisley pattern – showcasing almost 70 of them each year.

With many of the shawls requiring conservation from textile specialists, much of the grant will be used to make them fit for display.

Kirsty Devine, Project Director of Paisley Museum Reimagined, said: “To know that we will be able to display the shawls in a way in which we never have before further enhances plans for our transformed museum. It really is exciting.

“They are an important part of our history and demonstrate the importance of shawl weaving in the town as well as the wider global connections. But they are now delicate and need to be carefully looked after to ensure they can be safely displayed and enjoyed by everyone. The support from Museum Galleries Scotland allows us to do that, creating another attraction.”

Some of the funding will also be used to involve community groups in telling the story of the shawls, including some previously untold tales. This will include the co-production of some new displays.

Sean Kelly, Collections and Conservation Manager at Paisley Museum Reimagined, said: “Our aim is for communities to view Renfrewshire Museum Service as relevant, responsive, accessible and, above all, open to collaboration. Through our work with the shawls, we will create vibrant displays for visitors, as well as opportunities to work with the community.”

The transformation of the museum, construction work on which began in July, will see the size of the campus grow by 20 per cent, allowing for Paisley’s internationally-significant collections to be reinterpreted and the number of objects on display to be more than doubled.

The museum project is part of a wider investment in Paisley’s historic venues by Renfrewshire Council, aimed at using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story to bring new life and footfall to the town. That also includes a transformation of Paisley’s A-listed Victorian town hall into a landmark entertainment venue and a new home for library services in a formerly-empty unit on the town’s High Street.

ABOUT THE PAISLEY SHAWL COLLECTION

  • Paisley Museum’s shawl collection is the world’s largest collection of Paisley-style shawls. It is recognised by MGS to be of national significance – making it one of only 50 such collections of artworks or other treasures in Scotland.
  • The collection of over 1,200 shawls shows the great variety of patterns and styles that were created in the 18th and 19th centuries when Paisley enjoyed a global reputation for the quality of its woven textiles.
  • Shawl weaving was a significant industry in Paisley for more than 300 years. In the latter half of the 18th century, Paisley shawls became a symbol of wealth and status in Europe. In the late 18th century, there were more than 3,500 textile weaving looms in Paisley and the surrounding villages.
  • Among the highlights in the collection are the Kashmir Shawl – an important example of Indian design and craftsmanship – and the Chinese ‘Fairytale Shawl’ which exemplifies unrivalled perfection in textile design and production.
  • Many of the shawls’ patterns were inspired by fabrics from Asia. Researchers believe the intricate and beautiful hand-woven designs of the Kashmir shawl originated in India in the 15th century. The most popular and recognisable was the teardrop motif, which continues to be known as ‘Paisley pattern’.
  • The origin of the teardrop pattern has significance for South East Asian and Middle Eastern communities. The grant will enable the museum to continue working with community groups with links to these locations as the displays focusing on the shawl and the pattern are further developed.

A unique arts festival is being staged at a very unusual location – a cycle track between Paisley and Lochwinnoch.

The Cycle Arts Festival Renfrewshire is a series of innovative artworks and performances for all ages that can be experienced along the 11-mile cycle path between August 21 and 29.

The artworks and performances include an oversized wind-powered sculpture based on a child’s whirligig toy; a live performance that will see a group of BMX bike riders trace out coloured pathways along the cycle track in a choreographed stunt with paint on their bike tyres; a walking theatre experience, outdoor film installations and a puppet show.

Most of the Festival events are free, however some performances required tickets to be purchased. Some performances also have limited capacity so booking early is recommended. For more info on booking and ticket prices, go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/cycle-arts-renfrewshire.

Muriel Ann Macleod, Creative Producer for Place Partnership at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We want to encourage the communities of Paisley, Elderslie, Johnstone, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch to come out and enjoy these outdoor events taking place on their doorstep.

“People can attend the arts festival by either cycling or walking along the cycle path, which is one of the most scenic off-road cycle routes in Scotland,

“This is a unique way of staging an arts festival and it links innovative arts events to people’s health and wellbeing, raising awareness in cycling and experiencing the countryside environment.”

The events are being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure in partnership with Sustrans, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and Renfrewshire Council as part of the Green Arts Initiative and the Future Paisley Programme.

Future Paisley is the radical and wide-ranging programme of economic, social and physical regeneration using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

The project is supported by Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership programme, designed to support local partners to work together to place culture at the heart of development and regeneration.

Move to remove most national COVID restrictions makes possible the careful return of many more valued local leisure activities at Renfrewshire Leisure

Renfrewshire Leisure is making plans to further expand its range of services and facilities in the wake of the Scottish Government’s confirmation that most national restrictions are lifted from today (9th August). With the long period of restrictions moving towards conclusion, the charity will be extending its delivery to support local people in living lives which are healthy, happy and fulfilled.

The return will retain a focus on the wellbeing of users and staff. Ever since COVID restrictions were introduced, the organisation has maintained safety as its top priority for those using its facilities or benefiting from its services. 

From next Monday, August the 16th:

  • Operational changes will allow an increase in swimming capacity for each session. Changing rooms and showers will re-open, although customers are still recommended to arrive “session-ready”, as maximum capacity in changing rooms will remain limited. Pre-booking system remains in place, online and by telephone, with some limited opportunities to arrive without a booking – and only where capacity allows.
  • Johnstone Community Sports Hub will re-open after pool repairs – available to the public outside of school day hours.
  • In the charity’s gyms, fitness suites will return to their original fitness areas, and there will be a trial of early morning gym sessions starting at 6.20am at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays, and at ON-X on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • At Johnstone Community Sports Hub, session capacity will double to 24 – an increase of 524 sessions being bookable each week. Double sessions will be possible again, subject to availability and pre-booking.

And from Monday 23rd August the ON-X leisure pool and the flume at the Lagoon Leisure Centre will re-open between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays, and between 10am and 4pm at weekends. 

This enhanced range of services is expected to trigger substantial demand for those looking to rebuild fitness and enjoy the exceptional leisure facilities available across Renfrewshire.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, emphasised the importance of increasing capacity to meet the needs of local people and help them rebuild their physical and mental health after the long period of restrictions since March of last year.

She said: “We take very seriously our commitment to support local people who depend on our range of services to support their wellbeing, so we are carefully and safely enhancing our capacity to meet that need. In order to prioritise the wellbeing of our users, caution will continue to be our watchword, but opening up this phase of leisure and fitness opportunities is really exciting.

“We know how much local people have missed our wide range of activities, so we are pleased to be moving to meet those needs as quickly as we can.”

Pre-booking remains in place for all sessions and locals are being encouraged to visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com to take up the new booking opportunities, and get information about the entire range of activities available.