hannah fox

Visitors to one of Paisley’s best-known chip shops will be having a special conversation while they’re eating their fish and chips.

Hannah Fox and Kate Drummond from Paisley Arts Centre’s Out of Place programme of innovative artworks will be interviewing customers in Castelvecchi, in Paisley’s New Street on Monday, March 25 and Saturday, March 30 between 11am and 5pm.

kate drummond

They will be gathering information for a unique newspaper called The Castelvecchi Chronicle, which when printed, will be used to wrap the next day’s fish and chips!

Kate Drummond explains: “Castelvecchi owners, Alfredo and Linda Nutini have kindly welcomed us into their wonderful café.

“We’ll set up camp in the restaurant to gather news, views, top tips, wishes and fascinating facts from customers as they sip their cups of tea and have a delicious meal.

hannah fox

“We want to fill this newspaper with people’s news with an emphasis on the delights, trials or triumphs of their day-to-day experiences, which will then be featured in this rather unusual newspaper.”

Hannah added: “After we’ve produced The Castelvecchi Chronicle, we’ll deliver the newspaper back to the café for the classic ‘keep ‘em warm and soak up the grease’ function.

“The staff can wrap all takeaway orders in their very own newspaper for people to read while they eat their fish suppers.”

The Castelvecchi Chronicle project is part of Paisley Arts Centre’s Out of Place programme of innovative artworks in unconventional spaces delivered in association with Glasgow’s Take Me Somewhere. The main Out of Place programme will run from May 17 to May 19.

Ferguslie ELCC Baking 2Y9A9540

Renfrewshire Council is searching for 90 Early Learning and Childcare staff to join its team.

The Council will recruit 50 Early Learning and Childcare Officers and 40 Early Learning Support Workers this Spring, with the new starts taking up their positions in time for the new term in August.

Ferguslie ELCC Baking 2Y9A9540

Applications for the vacancies are open, with interviews taking place at a recruitment event in Johnstone Town Hall on Wednesday 17 April 2019. Some of the Council’s funded providers will also be attending the event.

The Early Learning and Childcare Officer vacancies are open to anyone with a practitioner qualification recognised by SSSC at SCQF7. People looking to get back to work, change jobs or start a career in childcare can apply for the Support Worker role, which includes on the job training for an accredited early learning and childcare qualification.

The recruitment drive will support the Council’s work to expand its Early Learning and Childcare provision and meet the Scottish Government’s target of 1140 free hours of early learning and childcare by August 2020.

The Council is currently carrying out a £14million extension and refurbishment programme to ensure its Early Learning and Childcare Centres will be ready to accommodate the new hours. New centres will also be built in Hawkhead, Dargavel, Houston and Kirklandneuk, with work scheduled for completion in August 2020.

Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted to announce the start of the recruitment drive for our 1140 Early Learning and Childcare expansion.

“Renfrewshire has a lot to offer anyone considering a career in Early Learning and Childcare, from career pathways and development opportunities to competitive terms and conditions.

“We are committed to providing the best learning environments for young children and are driven to maintain quality across all early learning and childcare centres and classes, whether they are local authority, private or voluntary.

“We were the first Council in Scotland to be rated ‘excellent’ by Education Scotland for our efforts to close the poverty-related attainment gap and we are determined to ensure every child in Renfrewshire gets the best possible start in life.

“If you are interested in joining our Early Learning and Childcare team, make sure you get your applications in before the deadline on Sunday 14 April 2019.”

Parents of three-year-olds, four-year-olds and some eligible two-year-olds will see the number of free early learning and childcare hours they receive increase from 600 to 1140 in August 2020.

The expansion will give parents more flexibility in their choice of nursery and childcare services, meaning they can choose from council, private and volunteer-run nursery classes, centres and childminding. They will also be able to choose their preferred option of nursery or childminding session.

There will also be an increase in the number of places commissioned from independent and private nurseries.

Parents and carers should continue to apply to their local nursery for a place for their child and when capacity to accommodate 1140 hours becomes available in their class or centre, they will be contact directly and asked to select their preferred option.

To apply for the Early Learning and Childcare Officer or Early Learning Support Worker vacancies, visit https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/renfrewshire-council/jobs.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 14 April 2019

For more information on 1140 Early Learning and Childcare, come along to our recruitment event at Johnstone Town Hall or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC

Janis Mackay

PUPILS will be write up for spending time in Ferguslie Park Library when they get to meet a host of children’s authors, storytellers and a poet.

The youngsters from Glencoats and St Fergus Primary Schools will be heading for the library on a regular basis from now until the beginning if May for a series of visits from the creators of popular children’s books.

Janis Mackay

They include Janis Mackay author of The Accidental Time Traveller; Morag Hood, writer and illustrator of I Am Bat; Alan Dapre, who is a TV script writer and author of humorous children’s books and storyteller, Renita Boyle.

Pupils, from Primary 1 to Primary 7, will also hear from AH Proctor, who writes fairy-tale adventures for children; Brian Whittingham, the Tannahill Makar from Renfrewshire and Matt Oldfield, the children’s book author and co-writer of the Ultimate Football Heroes series of books.

These events are being made possible thanks to support from the Paisley 2021 Legacy Fund.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for young people to meet and ask questions of the authors of some of their favourite books.

“It’s also a good opportunity to extend the brilliant work that the Primary School Outreach Librarian has been doing at both St Fergus and Glencoats Primaries, which involves encouraging young people to visit libraries and inspire them to read more.”

Mark Beaumont

Record-breaking cyclist, Mark Beaumont will ride into town to tell a sell-out audience about his adventures going around the world in 80 days.

The 36-year-old Scot is a well-known long-distance cyclist, documentary maker and author will talk about his adventures in the saddle as he cycled 18,000 miles in 79 days in an epic record-breaking bike journey around the world.

Mark Beaumont

Around the World in 80 Days – An Evening With Mark Beaumont is a free event organised by Renfrewshire Libraries and takes place in The Lagoon Leisure Centre, on Monday, March 11, at 7pm. Mark will also describe his other adventures that have seen him travel to 130 countries.

There will be complimentary refreshments for ticket holders in the new temporary Central Library next to The Lagoon at 6.30pm.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Mark has become a household name through his documentaries about ultra-endurance and adventure.

“Having smashed the circumnavigation cycling World Record twice in his career, he now holds this 18,000 mile title in a time of 78 days and 14 hours, averaging 240 miles a day.

“His epic documentaries have taken viewers to over 100 countries including the Arctic and he also survived his boat capsizing in the mid-Atlantic.”


The popular children’s TV show, Twirlywoos is being brought to life at Johnstone Town Hall.

Thanks to Renfrewshire Leisure who is bringing the show to the venue, youngsters can enjoy a stage version of the CBeebies TV show.

The well-loved characters Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo set sail for two shows, in Johnstone town Hall at 1pm and 3.30pm , on Thursday, April 4.

Twirlywoos Live! features all the favourite characters from the hit TV show and children can expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises as the Twirlywoos embark on a new adventure onboard their Big Red Boat.

With beautifully inventive puppetry, Twirlywoos Live! promises to be a laugh-out-loud treat for little ones.


The show is brought to the stage by MEI Theatrical, whose recent productions include Sarah and Duck Live on Stage (Polka Theatre and UK Tour) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (West End).

It is written by Zoe Bourn, who has brought to life some of the world’s best-loved children’s titles including Thomas and Friends and Fireman Sam Live!.

Twirlywoos was first broadcast on CBeebies in 2015, and in 2017 celebrated its 100th episode. It is co-created by Anne Wood, who has devised shows including Teletubbies, and Steve Roberts, who with Anne co-created the Bafta-winning CBeebies series Dipdap.

Twirlywoos Live! is recommended for ages 1+, with babes in arms welcome. The running time is 55 minutes with no interval.

To book tickets log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on or call 0300 300 1210.


Hundreds of pupils from nurseries, primary and secondary schools have entered Renfrewshire’s annual Inspired Art Competition.
Now 130 of the 600 entries of drawings and paintings are on display in a free exhibition, at The Tannahill Centre, in Blackstoun Road, Paisley, until April 15.


Two of the talented pupils – Matthew Meigan, aged 14, who attends the Mary Russell School and 13-year-old Paisley Grammar pupil, Leah Bogle – have had their artwork chosen to be turned into posters promoting the exhibition.

The exhibition aims to showcase the development of young people’s art and design work from three and four year olds, to the more sophisticated pieces, which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupils’ portfolio for national qualifications.

The competition is organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The name of the exhibition is very apt because after seeing the artworks, you couldn’t help, but be inspired by the what our pupils have achieved.

“The pupils, their families and their teachers should be really proud of the artwork produced and I’d encourage everyone to go along to the Tannahill Centre and see for themselves how fantastic the artwork is.”


More than double the amount of people than expected turned up at Paisley Arts Centre to learn sign language.

Staff who had organised the British Sign Language sessions reckoned they would get 50 people coming along, but they were astounded when there was a queue of 128 waiting to join the Paisley Arts Centre’s Sign Language Club.

Organiser Emma Armstrong, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It was the first meeting of the club and we got a real shock when we saw people queuing out the door and along the side of the building.


“We had to move everyone into the main theatre auditorium, as there were so many who came along. We were delighted to see all these people were interested in learning sign language.”

The Arts Centre received funding from Renfrewshire Council to help with the costs of running the Sign Language Club and the grant means the club can run for at least a year. Those attending now only have to pay £10 for each block of six sessions.

The club meets on a Monday night at the Arts Centre and instruction is provided by Graham Dow, who is profoundly deaf and David O’Rorke from local theatre company, Historical Adventures.

David Emma added: “We had people coming along to learn BSL for all sorts of reasons.

“One lady wanted to learn because her grandson was born deaf and would be learning Makaton – the children’s version of BSL. She wanted to be able to communicate with the boy.

“Some people wanted to use the signing skill in their workplace and others were just interested in learning BSL.

“Everything was very informal and everyone had a lot of fun. But people were also very keen to learn sign language.”

paisley 10k

OLYMPIC running star Callum Hawkins got off his marks yesterday to launch this year’s Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

And he’s urging people to sign up for the popular event – sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer Decathlon – taking place on Sunday, August 18.

paisley 10k

Last year, almost 3500 people took part in both the Paisley 10k and shorter Fun Run through the streets of the town.

Many of the runners were taking part in the events organised by Renfrewshire Leisure to raise tens of thousands of pounds for their favourite charities and good causes.

This year, there is more than £2000 in prize money up for grabs in the 10k race and trophies for the both boys and girls fun runners who are aged seven and under, eight to 12 years old and 12 to 15 year olds.

paisley 10k

Callum who represented Great Britain running the marathon, in the 2016 Rio Olympics said: “I’ve competed in and won the Paisley 10k in the past and it’s a great race to be involved in whether you’re a serious athlete or a fun runner.”

“I’d encourage everyone, no matter how experienced they are as a runner to get their trainers on and take part in the race. There’s always a good turnout of spectators along the route cheering on the runners.”

paisley 10k

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson if Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The Paisley 10k and Fun Run is a great event for those taking part and the hundreds of people who come along to watch the races.

“There’s lots of fun and if past races have been a anything to go by the runners and the crowds who turn out to watch give the day a carnival atmosphere.

“Taking part and being sponsored to complete the course is also a great way to raise money for local groups, sports clubs, charities and local good causes.”

You can register for the race by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

There’s now much more to see in Paisley’s fascinating museum store, The Secret Collection.

With the temporary closure of Paisley Museum for a multi-million pound re-development, the entire collection of artefacts has been moved to The Secret Collection store, 9 High Street.

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

The public can book weekly free guided tours of the museum store, which last 45 minutes to an hour. The Secret Collection is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Christine McLean, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Heritage Manager said: “The Secret Collection is Renfrewshire’s own unique town centre Museum store.

“During the past six months all the objects have been moved out of Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and the Coats Observatory to their new home

 “I’d encourage everyone to come and have a guided tour which will give a peek at Renfrewshire’s fantastic heritage.

“If you’ve been to our Museum before, you might just spot some old favourites.”

The free weekly public Tours of The Secret Collection, at 9 High Street are available to book online by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection or by email tours@renfrewshireleisure.com or telephone 0141 618 5129.

Tom Johnston

The intriguing story about one of Scotland’s unsung heroes is being told in a new play being staged at Paisley Arts Centre.

The one-act play by award-winning Robert Dawson Scott, called The Electrifying Mr Johnston is about prominent Scottish journalist turned socialist politician, Tom Johnston.

Tom Johnston

The play is a Mull Theatre production and is being staged on Friday, March 8, at 7.30pm.

Tom Johnston was a radical thinker, land reformer, and scourge of the establishment, who began his political career as a town councillor in his hometown of Kirkintilloch.

He was elected to Parliament as part of the Red Clydeside surge of MPs in 1922, alongside giants of socialism including James Maxton. John Wheatley, and Davey Kirkwood.

Appointed Secretary of State for Scotland during the Second World War and frustrated by the migration of Scottish workers to the Midlands and South East of England, Johnston launched numerous initiatives for Scotland.

As late as the 1950s most rural communities in the Highlands were still lit by paraffin lamps. But the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, a product of Johnston’s vision and a triumph of engineering, brought electricity to the rural communities of Scotland and changed the Highlands forever.

The play contrasts Johnston’s early radical writings and beliefs with later compromises, as he vies with Highland landowners for access to land for the benefit of the people and the country as a whole.

Following the performance of the Electrifying Mr Johnston there will be Bite-Size, which is a programme of rehearsed readings of new plays and works-in-progress, hosted by director Alasdair McCrone and playwright Peter Arnott with a cast of professional actors.

The readings, followed by feedback and questions and answers offers the audience a chance to be part of and enjoy the fun of the creative process.

To book tickets log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on or call 0300 300 1210.