Sma’ Shot Day 2013

Celebrate the weavers’ victory in one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world!

Listen for the beat of the Charleston Drum as it makes its way from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, and watch the colourful procession, headed by The Cork…who always meets a spectacularly-fiery end!


With music, entertainment, stalls, mini-zoo and so much more, it’s always a great day out for all the family.

The parade is on from noon to 12.45pm, with the burning of the cork at 5pm.

Paisley Central Library will be hosting a display and film on the life of celebrated trade unionist Willie Gallacher. There will also be a tea dance at Paisley Town Hall, with free tickets available from the town hall.

Date: Saturday 6 July

Time: Noon until 5pm

Venue: Abbey Close and elsewhere, Paisley town centre

Sma’ Shot Festival

The festival came about as a result of a political battle fought between the weavers of Paisley and their employers, the manufacturers, in the 19th Century.

The Sma’ (small) Shot was a cotton thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the famous shawls.

However, the Sma’ Shot was unseen in the finished garments and so the manufacturers, known locally as ‘corks’, refused to pay for the thread.The weavers had no choice but to buy the thread themselves. Without it the shawls would fall apart and the weavers would not be paid for their work. A long dispute followed.

The Charleston drum, which was beaten through the streets of Paisley to summon the weavers in times of trouble, was beaten once again to rally the weavers in protest marches. After a long and hard struggle, the manufacturers backed down and the weavers were paid for the Sma’ Shot.

In 1856 the first Saturday in July, a traditional holiday for the weavers, was renamed Sma’ Shot Day in honour of the victory.From that day and for many years, the Charleston drum was used to rally weavers and lead them to the departure point for their annual trip, usually “doon the watter” to Ayr.
The demise of the weaving industry, the introduction of the five day working week and a change in local government brought an end to Sma’ Shot Day in 1975, but in 1986 local councillors and the people of Paisley decided to revive this great tradition.
Since then, on the first Saturday of July, once more the beating of the Charleston drum rallies the people of Paisley to a gathering outside Paisley Town Hall, and a procession is held through the streets of Paisley, led by ‘The Cork’, an effigy of one of the manufacturers defeated by the Paisley weavers.

£750k business boost to provide wages bonus

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a £750,000 business-boosting measure designed to support the local economy and boost employment.

The money has been secured to help companies take on new staff, with extra money for businesses who agree to pay the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour.

The news was announced by Council Leader Mark Macmillan at an event designed to celebrate the first anniversary of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire economic development programme.

Councillor Mark Macmillan at conferenceOn the night, Councillor Macmillan revealed that:

– an extra £750,000 will be pumped into the council’s existing wage subsidy programme, after it secured external funding;

– the council will pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour;

– as a result, the wage subsidy programme will be renamed the Renfrewshire Employer Recruitment Incentive.

The announcement takes the total amount made available for Invest in Renfrewshire to more than £8m.

Invest in Renfrewshire is a council-run programme with the twin aims of boosting the local economy and tackling youth unemployment, and includes a variety of funding packages, including graduate internships, retail improvement grants and financial support.

The employer recruitment incentive offers employers 50% of the wage costs of any new employee aged 16-24.

Councillor Macmillan said: “Jobs and the economy are two of the major priorities of this council, and we are making a substantial investment in both.

“The aim of the Employer Recruitment Incentive is to stimulate the Renfrewshire economy by making it easier for firms to offer employment to young people.

“While the terms of the funding only require the council to pay 50% of the costs of the employee at minimum wage (up to £6.31 per hour), we are offering firms an incentive to pay the Living Wage of £7.50.

“We want the council to help set the standard for the rest of Renfrewshire by offering a fair deal to employees.

“That’s why we brought in the Renfrewshire Living Wage for 800 of the lowest-paid council employees last November, and this funding will make it easier to extend that deal to the private sector.

“I would encourage all local firms to get in touch with the Invest in Renfrewshire team and find out how the employer recruitment incentive could help them.”

The one-year anniversary event saw around 150 representatives of various businesses signed up to the scheme gather at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew to hear about the successes of the past 12 months.

Visitors heard from employees and young people who have benefitted from being part of Invest.

Awards were presented to three firms judged to have made big contributions to the scheme: Bray Controls Ltd, Inchinnan; Cairellot Learning Centre, Bishopton; and Ingliston Country Club, Bishopton.

For more information about Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 3000 144, email or visit

Stunning Time Lapse photography taken over the town of Paisley.

For more of our videos please visit our youtube page by clicking here.

Real Gone Kids is the new vocal academy that all young Paisley buddies should want to be part of. It makes no difference whether you are a novice or experienced singer.

All we ask is you have a passion for music and dedicated to learning. We offer workshops/private tuition to build confidence before entering you into one of the groups.


At this stage you will get to show off all your efforts by performing at gigs and shows in local and surrounding areas. For more information you can call Laura on 07948578201. You can also find us on Facebook.

M&S cheque presentation to George Street fire victims

BIG-HEARTED shoppers in Paisley town centre rallied round in their usual generous fashion to support a worthy cause.

Caring staff at the busy Marks and Spencer store in the High Street were so dismayed when they learned five families had lost everything after fire gutted their homes, they organised a bucket collection to raise money to help the victims.

From left - Laura Kirkland; Greg McGoldrick, from M&S; George Street fire victim, Karen McAvoy; Paul Luby and Cath Menzies, from M&S.

(From left – Laura Kirkland; Greg McGoldrick, from M&S; George Street fire victim, Karen McAvoy; Paul Luby and Cath Menzies, from M&S.)

The George Bar and flats in Causeyside Street, Paisley were destroyed in the blaze that broke out in the early hours of Sunday, February 24 leaving 24 people homeless. What remained of the building had to be demolished.

A team of fundraisers at the popular store organised buckets to be set up at the check-outs where customers could donate their loose change and it wasn’t long before they got the backing of Buddies.

Now a cheque for  £1,171 to be split among the families who lost their homes has been collected by young mum, Karen McAvoy who was left with nothing after the fire.

From left – Paul Luby; Cath Menzies, from M&S; George Street fire victim, Karen McAvoy; Laura Kirkland and Greg McGoldrick, from M&S.

(From left – Paul Luby; Cath Menzies, from M&S; George Street fire victim, Karen McAvoy; Laura Kirkland and Greg McGoldrick, from M&S.)

Karen, 30, said: “It is quite incredible that complete strangers would want to help in this way. Everyone lost everything that night and I know I speak on behalf of all the families when I say we are really grateful for this donation.

“I had no idea at all that this was happening and it was very kind of people to think about those who lost so much when the fire broke out.

“I would like to thank all those involved at Marks and Spencer and all the customers who donated when they were shopping in the store. It really is appreciated and will mean so much to those who not only lost their homes but everything in them too.

“I cannot thank everyone enough and will use my share to buy a few bits and pieces for my new place.”

Karen told how she had just gone on holiday to Spain with her seven-year-old son, Connor the day before and was devastated when she got a call from home to say there had been a fire at the property.

She said:”I called the police at Mill Street and asked them to make sure my front door was secure until we got back to Paisley. What I didn’t realise at the time that all that was left was my front door and there was nothing else left to secure.

“Everything was gone. We had lost it all. I started to Google what had happened and quickly realised it was more serious that I could ever have imagined. We decided to stay for the rest of our break so I had a few days before I had to deal with the reality of it all.

“This donation is so welcome and will be a nice boost for all those concerned.”

Joyce Kirk, manageress at M&S, in Paisley High Street, said: “The staff who took this fund raising effort on board voluntarily were terrific in organising this collection and they tell me the response from the public was magnificent.

“It was a real team effort from everyone who helped set up the collection and those who shop in our store in Paisley. So it is well done to all.”

Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council and chairman of Paisley Vision Board, said: “Paisley means many things to many people, but no one can deny that Paisley Is…a caring place.

“Our town centre stores always play a huge role in supporting those causes which affect the lives of people in Paisley and elsewhere in Renfrewshire. It is testimony to the hard work of the staff at Marks and Spencer and the generosity of their customers that such an excellent sum of money was raised for those families who lost so much in the George Street fire.”

Festival of Fire 2013 Paisley

Once again Generation Sound Productions LTD have been asked to provide the sound at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s upcoming event in Paisley Town Centre,

Festival of Fire is a FREE family event showcasing a number of fire appliances dating from the 20th Century to the present day,

We are privileged to be asked to provide our services at this event as we have supported Strathclyde Fire & Rescue before all fire services in Scotland merged under one name “Scottish Fire & Rescue Service”

Generation Sound Productions will be providing the sound for the event so if you have any requests why not email us at and we’ll see if we can play it for you on the day.

For more information about this event please see the poster attached*


Paisley Museum’s Lunchtime Talk: ‘Wings over the Heather’

Paisley poet and weaver Alexander Wilson was known as the ‘Father of American Ornithology’. To celebrate his contribution to the study of birds, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park Ranger Service will be at Paisley Museum next Wednesday to tell us about their own work and study of the Hen Harrier, one of the UK’s rarest raptors.

The Lunchtime Talk, ‘Wings over the Heather’, will take place at Paisley Museum on Wednesday 26 June at 12.30pm. Admission is free and open to all.

For more information on Lunchtime Talks, future performances or events please visit or follow us on Facebook 

Wear Red for BIG heart Cycle

Sunday 23rd June 2013

The second Big Heart town cycle will take place this weekend in Renfrewshire.
It all begins at The Lagoon Leisure Centre and ends at Castle Semple Visitor Centre in Lochwinnoch.


British Heart Foundation Scotland is working together with Renfrewshire Council and The Community Health Partnership to raise awareness of Heart Disease through fundraising and volunteer work.

Dont have a bike ? Thats no excuse as they can lend you a bike free of charge – contact Bernadette Reilly on 0141 618 6810 for further information.
The event starts at 10am at The Lagoon Leisure Centre and its anticipated most participants will complete the cycle in 1 ½ – 2 hours…

Free transport will be provided back from Lochwinnoch to Paisley early afternoon for participants and their bike
Entry cost is £5 per adult and child entry is free. Children under 16 are welcome to take part but must be accompanied by an adult
BHF Scotland are also asking if participants can wear RED for the event

Sponsor forms are available from or by telephoning 0121 661 5100 and pressing option 4. The British Heat Foundation Scotland would very much appreciate it if you would consider getting sponsored to do the cycle to raise vital funds for BHF Scotland.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Area’s land-use plan reaches key milestone

The planning overview which will govern how Renfrewshire’s land can be used for the next five years has reached another key milestone.

The Local Development Plan is the council’s view of how land should be used for different purposes – such as housing, industrial or retail use. Once agreed, it will be used as the basis for all future planning decisions.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGLast year, the council approved new version of the plan, which was published and advertised in January, giving the Renfrewshire public six weeks to have its say on the contents.

All representations received have been compiled into a single report, which has now been published on the council’s website and was this week circulated around councillors on the Planning and Property Policy Board.

Around 1,780 parties responded to the consultation, and their comments have been grouped into 46 issues.

The next stage is for the council to pass the proposed plan, the objections made to it, and the council’s response to those objections, to Scottish Ministers.

They will review all the material and will report back early next year with a decision on any changes that should be made to the plan.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of the Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “We want to ensure Renfrewshire continues to be an attractive place to live, visit and do business.

“The Local Development Plan is a vital part of that, as it lays down guidelines designed to ensure the right developments take place in the right place at the right time.

“We have to strike a balance between using the area’s land in a way which encourages economic growth, while also protecting our communities and the environment.

“The area of the plan which has attracted the most comment is land for housing. The local economy cannot grow without some degree of expansion for new homes.

“The strategy laid out in the plan is for the vast majority – 88% – of future housing development to be contained within brownfield sites.

“Provision has been made for some limited release of greenbelt land, but residents should be assured this will only happen in areas where we feel any development would be sustainable and appropriate.”

For further information, or to view the summary of representations, visit

Hardeep Singh Kohli Indian Takeaway Paisley Review & Photographs

The following review is by Peter Greenwood for Paisley on the web..

“When it comes to curry, the British can’t get enough” smiles Hardeep, from behind his pots and pans. And from the smell wafting up through the crowd as he cooks it’s not difficult to know why.

Hardeep Singh Kohli is known for many things. Comedian. Author. TV host. But tonight, as he steps out onto the stage at the Paisley Arts Centre his primary role is “chef”.

His live show, Indian Take Away, has toured the length and breadth of the UK for the last two years and now he’s hitting his home away from home, Paisley. Barely a minute out on stage in a very fetching kilt and Lion Rampant shirt combo, and he’s already captured the audience with a slightly modest “I haven’t done anything yet!”

The show begins as Hardeep takes us back through his childhood, to the dishes his mother (who was late to her own son’s show) made when he was younger, in a time when money and tolerance were scarcely found among Glasgow’s west end. He tells a story about attempting to become a tree to avoid bullies and how it was a rare occurrence when he wasn’t chased for his differences. But for all there was back then Hardeep is so happy and proud of where we are now and he wasn’t afraid to tell us many instances, good and bad, from his past which brought us right back to the present as he starts cooking. Almost.

First of all, before anything can begin, he had a phone call to make. Placing the call to a local takeaway is a part of the show; Hardeep will call what he feels is the best Indian restaurant in town, order a delivery and while it’s arriving he’ll prepare his own take on a dish. Tonight we‘re treated to a Lamb Jalander from the Indian Scene Take Away.

As he cooks, he tells us some more stories about his family and what inspired the tour, with the true answer earning an “aww” and a smattering of applause from the audience as he tells us it was his mum. “With mum in the house, no matter what I do with divine intervention it’ll always be the second best curry in the house” he says. “I can’t wait for her to tell me what I’m doing wrong tonight!.

Dish prepared, delivery delivered, with the audience sharing around poppadoms, Hardeep invites three members of the audience up onto stage to try a blind taste test. His vs. the Take Away.

However there‘s doubt in Hardeep‘s eyes, he‘s tasted the local dish and he mouths to us quietly how good theirs is. But no, those gathered onstage take the test and Hardeep is declared the winner – by one point! A narrow victory, but still one he’s delighted with.

Indian Takeaway was a great night out, there was a great atmosphere as Hardeep chatted with members of the audience, offering advice to young Liam in the crowd and even taking the time to introduce his mum and dad to us all.
And the dish Hardeep made? Delicious.

Paisley Arts Centre Photographs

Photos from Saturday night in Paisley Arts Centre, all photographs taken by Tracey Clements for

To find out more about the tour and dates please visit