Pipe bands from across the UK will head to Paisley for the town’s growing Pipe Band Competition this weekend.

Bands from Milngavie to Manchester will take part in the national competition on Saturday 21 July presided over by Depute Provost John Caldwell.

This will be the third Paisley Pipe Band Competition which has become a key event in the lead up to the World Pipe Band Championships with bands coming from further across the UK this year including greater Manchester and Morpeth in Northumberland.

There will also be competitors from Milngavie, East Kilbride and Irvine as well as local bands from Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew.

The event kicks off at 12pm with the main band competition taking place in County Square. There will also be a High Street competition from 12.15pm. The day culminates at 5.30pm with all the bands taking part in a ‘march past’ before Depute Provost Caldwell awards the winning competitors with their prizes.

Depute Provost Caldwell said: “I am really looking forward to presiding over the Paisley Pipe Band Competition for the first time. It’s great to have bands coming from all over to compete and perform in front of the people of Renfrewshire.

“As well as a competition it’s a fun day of entertainment for everyone and I hope to see lots of people out enjoying the fun.”

Paisley Pipe Band Competition is run by Renfrewshire Council in conjunction with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

What’s On in Renfrewshire!
We have a fantastic season lined up – tickets now on sale!

Full details of performances, exhibitions, films, classes and events are available in our ‘What’s On Guide’. Get your FREE copy at Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre or Paisley Museum.

Bookings and information:
Paisley Arts Centre, New St, Paisley PA1 1EZ
Tel: 0141 887 1010 (Mon – Fri:9.15am – 4.45pm – closed 12.30pm – 1.30pm Sat: 9.45am – 4.45pm – closed 12.30pm – 1.30pm)
Online: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking

Coming up……

Solar Viewings

Every Thursday afternoon, 2pm to 4pm from 12 July to 31 August
Coats Observatory
£FREE (No booking necessary)

We all owe our existence to the Sun. Without it, life on Earth would be impossible. The Sun provides heat, light, nourishment for plant and animal life right down to the very atoms that make up our bodies, …which are made of the same material found inside the Sun.

Safely view the Sun through the special telescopes housed in Coats Observatory. See sunspots, prominences and solar flares and learn more about our nearest star.

Please note that Solar viewing is weather dependent and will not take place in the event of thick cloud or rain.

Music: The Rat Pack is Back

Sunday 22 July
Paisley Town Hall, 7.30pm
£14 (£12 conc)

You are invited to come along and see Britain’s longest running tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr; The Rat Pack is Back on Sunday 22 July with the fabulous Don Hunt Swing Band.

Frank, Sammy & Dean take you on a trip to the strip in Las Vegas to the Sands hotel where they performed all the classics.

The hit show perfectly captures not only the music and comedy of the original legends, but also the personalities of the stars who ruled the entertainment world from Las Vegas. Don Hunt from the Swing Band is also no stranger to the Rat Pack having played on shows featuring the real Sammy Davis Jnr.

The first 3 people to email us at ram.els@renfrewshire.gov.uk with ‘VIP TICKETS PLEASE’ in the subject will win a pair VIP ‘Meet & Greet’ tickets, where lucky winners will be invited backstage to meet the band and have their photograph taken with the Las Vegas legends.!

Family Events and Classes: Crazy Olympic Camp

Mon 30 July – Fri 3 Aug
Paisley Museum, 10am – 3pm
£31 (£23.50 conc for those in receipt of full working tax credit)
Suitable for ages 8-14

With the official launch of London 2012 upon us in just two short weeks, Renfrewshire Arts and Museums is gearing up for the fun with a themed summer workshop focusing on all things Olympic!

Using animation, film, drama, music and visual arts, our award winning Community Outreach team will be on hand to help children create and prepare their very own country for entry into the Crazy Olympic Games! The week of fun-filled, creative activities will culminate in an ‘Opening Ceremony’ on Friday 3 Aug, at which children will have the chance to show off their country’s flag and team uniform to their parents, families and friends.

To book call 0141 887 1010, max 25 places. Participants are asked to bring a packed lunch.

Exhibitions at Paisley Museum

Sixty Years, Six Lives
A photography exhibition from Ian Berry (Magnum Photos)

Tues 19 June – Sun 12 August
FREE (associated with The UN Refugee Agency and Scottish Refugee Council)

Photographer Ian Berry is known worldwide for his arresting, evocative photos – and as a member of the celebrated cooperative, Magnum Photos. Magnum Photos was formed following the Second World War by pioneers of photo-journalism including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Today its photographers continue to chronicle the world and its people, with a powerful, individual vision. To mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has partnered with Ian Berry and Magnum Photos to produce this exciting exhibition. Berry has photographed refugees around the UK, including Scotland, who came here seeking safety since the 1950s.


Friday 29 June – Sun 21 October

Following the popular “Paisley’s Glasgow Boys” exhibition, now the girls are back in town! This exhibition celebrates a century of female artistic creativity, including new acquisitions for the permanent collection at Paisley Museum.

There is an emphasis on artists associated with Glasgow School of Art, from trail-blazing Glasgow Girls, Olive Carleton Smyth and Stansmore Dean, through to their successors such as Joan Eardley and contemporary artist Mary Redmond, whose newly commissioned work is shown here for the first time.

Herstory Portraits

Friday 29 June – Sun 21 October

An exhibition of work by Glasgow-based artist Sharon Thomas, Herstory Portrait presents egg-tempera portraits of seven inspirational women, several of whom are the first females to gain key positions in their respective professions. Herstory Portrait includes preparatory sketches and is a unique opportunity to see inside the artist’s process.

Developed over the span of the last year its primary focus is on mapping female power and influence in Glasgow today and further afield but with a compass leg positioned firmly in the experience of Thomas; a female artist making paintings in the 21st Century in Glasgow.

Big Summer Chill

Tues 10 July – Sun 19 August

Every 1000th, 2000th & 3000th visitor is a winner!

Forget expensive foreign travel and rainy British beaches…you can have your summer holiday at Paisley Museum, where we’re bringing the seaside inside. An interactive natural history exhibition for all the family, no matter what the weather is like outside.

Activities include:

– Games zone with themed board games
– Interactive fishing game
– Art corner
– Story corner
– Soft play ‘rock pool’
– Boat for smaller children to play in

There will also be a chance to win some family passes to M&D’s Theme Park!! Every 1000th, 2000th and 3000th visitor is a winner.

Check in for the town’s top holiday destination, it’s FREE!

Why not drop in for your chance to be part of our summer holiday installation! Simply fill out one of the luggage labels explaining:

1. Your best holiday memory
2. Your ideal holiday destination if money was no object

Win With Us
Congratulations to our lucky winner M. Tomlinson of Renfrew, who took just a few minutes to fill in a short survey after attending Renfrew Gala Day and won a £30 gift card for Braehead.

We value your opinions and are always striving to provide you with the best possible service. Please take our quick survey and tell us what you think. Thank you.


Creative summer workshop for children – the Crazy Olympics Camp!

To coincide with the official launch of London 2012, Renfrewshire Arts Outreach Team will be channelling their Olympic spirit and athletic energy into the Crazy Olympics Camp from 30 July – 3 August at Paisley Museum.

Using animation, film, drama, music and visual arts, the week-long camp will be full of fun filled, hands on, creative activities that children will love joining in with.

With the Olympics in mind, children will have the chance to create their very own country: from the national flag right down to their country’s team uniform, with a view to displaying their artistic creations at the official Crazy Olympics ‘Opening Ceremony’ on Friday 3 Aug, to which parents, family and friends will be invited to attend.

To enrol your child in the week-long activities workshop please call 0141 887 1010. Please note that places are limited to a maximum of 25.

The camp is suitable for children aged 8 – 14 years and will take place on Monday 30 July to Friday 3 Aug from 10am – 3pm at Paisley Museum. Crazy Olympics Camp costs £31 per child and £23.50 concession (for those in receipt of full working tax credit). All participants are asked to bring a packed lunch each day.

For further information on the Crazy Olympics Camp, future events and exhibitions log onto www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.

Saturday 7th July saw this year’s Sma’ Shot Day parade from Brodie Park to Abbey Close. 

This year the weather played a major part in the event – the night before the event the contractors who were tasked with setting up the many stalls outside Paisley Town Hall had major problems with the wind and had to construct two large marquees instead. The main parade was also hit by the weather when strong heavy rain tried to dampen spirits just before and during the parade but thankfully the parade and its participants all smiled and braved the rain.

Just as the parade started and was heading towards Neilston Road shops, Tony Lawler the Charleston Drummer hit straight through the side of the drum (which dates back to Napoleonic times) cutting his thumb in the process. The parade was temporarily halted but Tony was made of sterner stuff and the parade snaked its way down to Paisley Town Centre to lots of applause from those watching from the side.

The now traditional pint of lager at the Wellington was a welcome distraction for Tony and a welcome rest for the parade as it reached its half way point. As the parade hit Abbey close the crowds gave it a rapturous reception and the participants could relax.

From the pictures above, you can see the parade from start to finish as well as the excellent BMX Stunt Riders “The Clan”. The video below is the journey from Brodie Park to the end point in Abbey Close, you will notice the rain is a feature in almost all the images!

Renfrewshire CAB is aware that many private sector tenants in Renfrewshire are facing unlawful charges by landlords and letting agencies which cause real hardship. Only around 5% of Renfrewshire households live in private sector rented accommodation but problems with private tenancies represent over 22% of housing issues brought to the bureau.

We think the cases we see in the bureau may be just “the tip of the iceberg” and we want to get a better idea of how widespread the problem is in our area. We’d like anyone who has rented, or is still renting, privately in Renfrewshire to complete out short, confidential questionnaire to tell us about the charges they have paid. The questionnaire is available online until 31st July 2012 at:


Paper copies are also available the Bureau in George Street, or from our Outreach Centres in Renfrew and Erskine libraries and Johnstone Neighbourhood Office.

The evidence collected from the survey will be used locally and nationally to raise awareness of tenants’ rights, and to help us campaign for good practice among landlords and letting agents. We’ll also use it to back up our response to the Scottish government consultation on private sector housing which will inform its strategy for the next ten years.

We would be grateful if you would forward this e-mail to any of your contacts who may be affected by this issue.

Renfrewshire’s best young business brains showed they were on the ball when they presented their ideas for a St Mirren football museum to club bosses.

The 30 teenagers from the area’s Recruit programme impressed with their business plans for how the memorabilia extravaganza could work at the club.

The Recruit is a council-run youth employment project loosely based on telly favourite The Apprentice, which sees young hopefuls compete through a series of business-based challenges, with jobs on offer for the winners.

The hugely-popular programme has taken place in Renfrewshire since 2010, but this summer sees two editions running simultaneously – one for S5/6 pupils, and another for unemployed 16-19-year-olds.

This task saw the youngsters from the S5/6 group asked to locate St Mirren memorabilia – with tickets, programmes, strips, old photos and even a ball dating back to the club’s foundation in 1877 among the items tracked down and pictured.

The teams then presented their plans for the museum, detailing how they would market and run the facility and what its website would look like.

The event took place in the home dressing room at St Mirren Park, before a judging panel of club community coaches Brian Sproul, Steven Sweeney and Gary Hocknull.

After picking the winners, Brian said: “We were really impressed with the hard work of everybody involved, and with the quality of their research.”

The group winners were Team Cutting Edge – Jatinder Singh, 16, of St Benedict’s High; Nicola Edoni, 16, of Trinity High; Kaitlin Douglas, 17, of Johnstone High; and David Pirie, 17, who has just left Paisley Grammar.

There was also an individual winner – Gleniffer High pupil Ross Mills, 16, of Team Stratosphere – who impressed the panel with his presenting skills and enthusiasm.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Employment and Economic Development taskforce, said: “Tackling youth unemployment is a big priority for the council, and schemes like The Recruit are a big part of that.

“The Recruit programme has been so popular that it has grown in size over each of the three years it has been running and that is testament to its success.

“We would like to thank St Mirren, who have been great supporters of The Recruit over the years, as well as all the other employers who are taking part.”

Some of the other tasks which this year’s Recruits have already taken part in include a week-long army-style residential camp and other career-focussed training.

The two programmes will continue to run over the summer, with the Top Recruits set to be crowned at a finale event to be held in Paisley Town Hall in August.


One picture attached: (l to r) Gary Hocknull, Steven Sweeney, David Pirie, Nicola Edoni, Ross Mills, Kaitlin Douglas and Brian Sproul, at St Mirren Park.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

Thomas Coats Observatory

New season of afternoon viewings launches next week

On Thursday 12 July, Coats Observatory in Paisley launches its regular solar viewing season.

We all owe our existence to the Sun. Without it, life on Earth would be impossible.  The Sun provides heat, light, nourishment for plant and animal life right down to the very atoms that make up our bodies, which are made of the same material found inside the Sun.

You can get a closer view of our nearest star by attending one of the solar observing sessions at Coats Observatory. These will run every Thursday afternoon, 2pm-4pm from July 12 to Aug 31 in the garden of Coats Observatory. Telescopes dedicated to safe Sun watching will be set up, allowing visitors to see detail such as sunspots, solar flares and prominences, and observatory staff will be on hand to answer any questions that visitors may have.

Coats Observatory point out that, on a point of safety, the telescopes in use at Coats Observatory to view the Sun are specially designed only for solar viewing. We should never look at the Sun with binoculars, an unfiltered telescope or even with the naked eye as permanent damage to your eyes will occur very quickly.

Admission to the solar viewing events is free and there is no need to book. For further information log onto www.renfrewshire.gov.uk or follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.

Please note that solar viewing is weather dependent and will not take place in the event of thick cloud or rain.


Forget expensive foreign travels and rainy British beaches… you can have your summer holiday at Paisley Museum, where we’re bringing the sea and sun inside from 10 July to 19 August for the Big Summer Chill exhibition.

Like other holidays the fun just begins once you check in, and just like your favourite resort there will be something to see and do for all the family plus some fantastic competitions to be won.

For younger children there is a soft play rock pool and pirate ship where you can dig for the hidden treasure. Older children can have a go at indoor fishing or enjoy our art and reading area, and the whole family can enjoy playing our exciting array of board games with a nautical theme.

There are also great exhibits of weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the sea.

At the big shipwreck exhibit we would like you to share your holiday memories and imagine your ideal holiday destination. This section will continue to grow as visitors, both young and old, are encouraged to contribute their memories and dreams by filling out the luggage tags on display.

Not only will visitors experience the fun and surprise of an authentic holiday in Paisley Museum, every 1000th visitor will win Family Passes to M&D’s Theme Park.

Renfrewshire Arts & Museums service are excited to be organising such an exhibition like Big Summer Chill and visitor assistants at the museum will be delighted to welcome everyone through the doors.

Big Summer Chill will run from 10 July to 19 August and is free.

For further information on our range of events and exhibitions log onto www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/museums or follow us on www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.


Local lads Mark Pettigrew and James Mcmahon have decided to do some serious fundraising for MND Scotland (motor neurone disease) this year.

The lads from local company Code Red Fire Safety are arranging a race / auction / disco night in Five on 5 in Paisley on Saturday 4th of August to help get funding for this deserving charity that only fundraises for Scotland.

Mark, who will be trekking the Inca trail to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, will also be doing a charity bag pack in Tesco greenock from 12 – 4pm on Saturday 4th of August, so if you’re free and can help he would love your help. Mark, who has been a volunteer counsellor for the charity, decided that they could do more locally this year against this terrible disease that’s increasing in the country.

All of the money they raise will stay and be used in Scotland so if you’re looking for a great night out with fantastic drinks prices and great prizes then please call Mark on 07894900244 or 0141 561 2735 to buy your tickets. You can also volunteer to help them go head to head for this amazing charity by calling the same number.

Visit the following links to give your support and find out more information on helping this great cause.



Download the pdf with more information.

We had an email the other day there from a former student of the University of the West of Scotland and he showed us some amazing images of paisley Town Hall, I wanted to make a blog post to show the talents of Ian below.

Here is what Ian says.

I built this model of Paisley town hall as a project to myself as i’ve always been interested in cgi architectural modelling, this is an industry which is really just taking off and would usually involve a developer having the property modelled via CGI in order to display it to the builders (before building) and the customers (whilst being built). This is one of many uses for a CGI property being built as well as the obvious advantages in promotion.

I wanted to model a building that was easily recognized and my end goal in the town hall was to have a model that would actually look and render as a realistic form. I am happy with the model and am constantly adding parts to it or editing it. I am currently building a scene in which the town hall is a run down derelict building, this is far from finished though (i’ve attached a render to this email)

The town hall was modeled, surface and rendered using professional software Lightwave (9.6) which is a professional piece of software used in many films and CGI projects. architectural modelling is certainly something which i would like to ‘get into’.

I recently graduated from University of west of Scotland in Paisley with an honours degree in computer animation (2:1).

If anyone would like to contact Ian please email brian@paisley.org.uk