Behind the scenes at Paisley Town Hall – Paisley Photographs

Paisley Town Hall will be ‘an even bigger asset than before’ when it reopens after a £2.36m refurbishment next month.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan scaled the heights of the iconic clocktower for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the work.

This was a one-off opportunity to see up close some of the features of the town hall, long regarded as one of the finest 19th-century buildings in Renfrewshire.

(Image rights of Renfrewshire Council, not to be used without permission)

After checking out the restoration work and speaking to the project team, Councillor Macmillan said: “The town hall will become an even bigger asset to Paisley when it reopens in May.

“We are investing in our architectural and cultural heritage as a step towards the economic regeneration of our town centres.

“Aside from the restoration of a much-loved building, the project is also generating work opportunities for young people as apprentices.”

The new venue will be fully accessible for people with disabilities and will be a top entertainment, wedding and conference, venue.

A remodelled foyer, and the creation of new interior space from the existing cloisters, will provide space for customers to relax and access information on what to see and do in Renfrewshire using the new interactive screens.

The restoration work will provide the town hall with a makeover in time to play host to the Mòd in October 2013.

The town hall is currently closed for events, but open for bookings. Customers can have restricted access to view the building prior to making a booking. The new town hall reception number is now 0141 618 5041.

I am sure you will agree that these Paisley Photographs are simply stunning and from a unique angle.

joni keen

The Joni Keen Quartet at Paisley Arts Centre

Celebrate the ‘First Lady of Song’ with talented Scottish Jazz singer Joni Keen.

Accompanied by her quartet, Joni Keen will return to Paisley Arts Centre later this month, following a hugely successful show here back in 2010.

Joni’s wonderful jazz vocal first rang out in 2000 after she performed during the Glasgow Jazz Festival, and has since gone from strength to strength, playing both internationally and for the BBC. Her latest offering is inspired by her second album entitled ‘Ella, Oscar and Me’ and is a fitting tribute to the ‘First Lady of Song’ Ella Fitzgerald and jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson.

joni keenOn the night, Joni will be accompanied by three talented musicians who will collectively take the audience on a musical journey through Ella and Oscar’s catalogue of classics, reliving the era with humorous anecdotes and beautiful live song. And with such a loyal following throughout Scotland, jazz fans are advised to book early to ensure they don’t miss out on what is sure to be a wonderful night’s entertainment.

The Joni Keen Quartet will play Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday 20 April at 7.30pm. Tickets to the show cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

For further information on The Joni Keen Quartet, future events, exhibitions or shows log on to or follow us on Facebook


Image courtesy of 

Games Fund enters home straight

The race for applications to a Commonwealth Games-inspired fund for local sports clubs, organisations and athletes has entered the home straight.

Renfrewshire Council’s Commonwealth Games funding programme has grants of up to £5,000 for coaching, training, equipment, transport and marketing.

Councillor James Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “Renfrewshire is the ‘Gateway to the Games’ in 2014 and we’re looking to use this opportunity to build a legacy of sporting activity and achievement.

“Whether you’re an individual or a sporting club, it can be expensive to take part in your chosen sport so this funding could be a big help.”

“This money will help nurture local competitors and allow them to reach their full potential at next year’s Games. And for those of us who don’t compete at the elite level, it might just help in getting some great fun out of sport.”

Grants are available to any voluntary or not-for-profit organisation or club which delivers sport or physical activities within Renfrewshire. They are also open to elite athletes.

Individual awards of up to £5,000 are available although more may be on offer in exceptional circumstances.

Application forms are available now at or from the Active Renfrewshire team on  0141 889 1110

Applications must be returned by Friday 5 April 2013.


See George Orwell’s dystopian novel brought to life on the stage at Paisley Arts Centre.

Coming to Paisley Arts Centre on April 19, Sell a Door Theatre Company are back with their interpretation of George Orwell’s famous political science fiction novel, 1984.

Adapted by playwright and director Matthew Dunster, 1984 follows Winston Smith and the people of Oceania, who are tyrannised by the Party and their totalitarian rule. Employed by the Outer Party, Winston rewrites history for the Ministry of Truth, but when he’s handed a note that simply says ‘I love you’ by a woman he hardly knows, he decides to risk everything in search of the real truth.

In a world where cheap entertainment keeps the ‘proles’ ignorant by content, where war without end is always fought and Big Brother is always watching; can Winston possibly hold on to what he feels inside?

1984 will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 19 April, 7.30pm. Suitable for ages 10 +. Tickets to the show cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

For further information on 1984, future events, exhibitions or shows log on to or follow us on Facebook


ON-X Linwood

Plenty for kids this Easter break

Wondering what will keep the kids busy during the school holidays?

The answer might be a packed programme of sports and leisure activities from Renfrewshire Council.

The Active Renfrewshire team promise Commonwealth Games-themed activities, sports ‘taster’ sessions and outdoor activities such as fishing and cycling. Other less-sporty types might prefer the arts, dance and multimedia activities the StreetStuff team bring with them on the Youth Bus.

The team will be out and about across the towns and villages from 1-14 April.

ON-X Linwood

Details of where they will be and when are available online at or from the Youth & Sport Services Team on 0141 889 1110.

Sports centres operated by Renfrewshire Leisure, including the new On-X Linwood centre, will host Spring Activity Camps during the holidays. These highly-popular camps are available for four or five days and are designed around ‘early risers’ or ‘afternoon kidz’ to suit parents’ needs.

Places can be booked online at or on 0300 300 0250.

Councillor Jim Harte, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “With the weather being so bad lately, I’m sure the kids are raring to get outside and have some fun. But even if it stays as bad, we’ve got plenty going on, from the activity camps to the Youth Bus, which the weather won’t beat!

Benefits are changing day

Residents turn out for welfare reform info event

Renfrewshire residents turned out to a special event to spread the word over wide-ranging and controversial changes to the benefits system.

The council-run ‘Benefits are Changing Day’ was held at the Tannahill Centre in Ferguslie Park, Paisley to raise awareness of UK Government’s welfare reform programme.

These include changes to housing benefit – dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’ – which will see cuts in housing benefit for social housing tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need.
Benefits are changing day
It is thought that the changes – due to come into effect on April 1 – will affect around 3,000 households in Renfrewshire.

Those affected will include council and housing association tenants, who could find themselves with less money to go towards their rent.

Visitors to Benefits are Changing Day were able to speak to a range of advisors about the help available to them.

Groups represented at the Tannahill Centre included the council’s housing, benefits and AdviceWorks teams, Renfrewshire Employability Partnership and Ferguslie Park Housing Association.

Councillor Michael Holmes, Renfrewshire Council’s deputy leader and welfare reform spokesman, said: “The UK Government’s welfare reform agenda will take around £22 million out of the area’s economy.

“Many of the people worst-hit by these changes will be the ones who most need help, with more people at risk of being pushed into poverty and homelessness.

Benefits are changing day

“As the council is the body responsible for administering these benefits, we are doing everything we can to make people aware of the changes and what they should do.

“Renfrewshire Council has created a 45-strong team to support and advise local people about the changes, and to help them with financial issues.

“Events such as the Benefits are Changing Day are part of that process, and I was pleased to see so many people turn out to take advantage of the help on offer.”

For more information about the changes, tenants should call their landlord. Anyone wishing advice about housing benefit entitlement can call 0300 300 0204 for more information.

More information is available on the council website at

A Happy Easter to one and all from all of us at Historical Adventures.  While we may be on beak during the Easter term there will be plenty of activities to do once we return starting on Tuesday the 16th of April.  We have various after school drama classes on at selected schools which are Fordbank Primary (Junior’s class on a Tuesday), St Anthony’s Primary (Junior’s class on a Monday, Senior’s class on a historical adventuresWednesday) and Todholm Primary (Junior’s classes on a Tuesday and Thursday, Senior’s class on a Wednesday and Friday).  If you are a pupil who attends one of the schools in which we offer Drama Classes, please talk to your school teacher for information on joining.  Classes run from three pm until four pm and are only two pounds per session.

In addition to our after School programmes, our Youth Theatre  classes at Johnstone (St Aidan’s Church Hall, Tower Road, 6.00 pm until 7.30 pm) and at Foxbar (Foxbar Community Centre, Amochrie Road, 5.30 pm until 7.00 pm) are underway with their ‘Tam O’Shanter’ shows, bringing an adaption of the famous Rabbie Burn’s poem to life on stage.  Full of Tam’s antics, with ‘murky deil’s’ dancing and Horses ‘skelpitin’ on to safety, don’t make yourself feel ‘scunnered’ by missing this fantastic show.  Join in the fun and have ‘bonny’ smiling faces all around as we celebrate this timeless tale (dates to be announced).

For any more information please check out our facebook page at  for all the very latest and up to date information concerning our Youth Theatre’s, School Programmes and other events.

Heritage project hailed as economic boost

A special project which will enhance access to one of the area’s best-loved parks has been hailed as a boost to the local economy.

The Semple Heritage Trail was officially launched earlier this month at an event attended by local dignitaries and pupils from nearby Lochwinnoch Primary.

The ambitious £880,000 project will see work at Castle Semple Country Park in Lochwinnoch to create ‘heritage destinations’ and conserve built and landscape features.

It will also improve biodiversity by creating wetland habitats and will see mobile cameras installed to allow the public to view the wildlife in the park.

The project – due to be completed by summer 2015 – will also create volunteer opportunities, as well as allowing up to 1,000 schoolchildren to take part in practical workshops.

Councillor Chris Gilmour, Chair of the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park Authority, said: “I was delighted to attend the launch of the Semple Trail Heritage Project.

“The lands at Castle Semple have a long history which will be brought to life by this project through conservation, interpretation and activity.

“We already welcome 350,000 visitors a year to the Castle Semple area.

“This project will deliver a better experience for those who already come and will hopefully entice many new visitors, with all the economic benefits that will bring.

“I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has been involved in the delivery and funding of this hugely-worthwhile project.”

The Semple Trail Heritage Project is being delivered and part-funded by Renfrewshire Council, Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority and the South Renfrewshire Access Network Initiative group.

Funding has also been provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Renfrewshire LEADER , the RSPB  and the SRDP Rural Priorities Woodlands in and around Town challenge fund, administered by the Forestry Commission Scotland.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in this project.

“With spring just around the corner, this fascinating and beautiful country park is now accessible to so many more people.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to have been part of this and I would urge everyone to visit, explore and enjoy the wonderful natural heritage of the Castle Semple estate.”

Find out more here.

easter eggs

Walkers invited to join Easter event

Renfrewshire residents are being urged to use their heads as part of an Easter Eggstravaganza outdoor event.

The council’s Youth and Sport Services has organised an Easter Bonnet walk on Paisley’s Gleniffer Braes on Wednesday 3 April.

Bonnets are not essential but prizes will be given out on the day for those with the most creative seasonal headgear.


The walk – which will take in the lower reaches of the hills – should be suited to all levels of walkers, although suitable footwear should be worn.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sports, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “Events like this can be a fun way to get out about and enjoy the health benefits, as well as being a good way to meet new people.

“I would encourage anybody who is free on the day to go along.”

The walk will start at 1pm at Glen Lodge Visitor Centre, Glenfield Road, Glenburn. For more information, call 0141 842 3000.

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates win SNL Trophy

It’s been 20 years since the Pirates last won the league. In 3 seasons Coach Ian Turley has transformed a club that was left for dead by the previous management into Champions.

In the players and fans opinions this makes him a real local hero in their book. Here are some Paisley Photographs of the trophy being presented by Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall.

Provost Anne Hall presenting the SNL Trophy to Team Captain John Churchill, flanked by Alternate Captains Chris Turley (on the left) and Mark Hassan (on the right)

Provost Anne Hall presenting the SNL Trophy to Team Captain John Churchill, flanked by Alternate Captains Chris Turley (on the left) and Mark Hassan (on the right)

The Paisley Pirates Team: Back Row - Ian Turley Jr, Gordon Nelson, Scott Blackwell. Richard Thorp, Martyn Guy, Rab Henderson, Ian Turley Sr  Middle - Chris Coles, Keith Riddoch  Front - Jackie Turley, Provost Anne Hall, Graham Park, Chris Wilson. Stuart McCaig, Warren Crawford, John Churchill. Chris Turley, Mark Hassan, Calum Blair.

The Paisley Pirates Team:
Back Row – Ian Turley Jr, Gordon Nelson, Scott Blackwell. Richard Thorp, Martyn Guy, Rab Henderson, Ian Turley Sr

Middle – Chris Coles, Keith Riddoch

Front – Jackie Turley, Provost Anne Hall, Graham Park, Chris Wilson. Stuart McCaig, Warren Crawford, John Churchill. Chris Turley, Mark Hassan, Calum Blair.

Team Captain John Churchill with Coach Ian Turley Jr

Team Captain John Churchill with Coach Ian Turley Jr
All images courtesy of please do not use the images without permission. Kind regards to Douglas Hepburn.