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Countdown is on to Sma Shot Day

The first big date in Renfrewshire’s summer town centre events calendar arrives at the weekend with the return of family favourite Sma’ Shot Day.

The popular annual event – one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world – will take place on Saturday 5 July in the usual place of Abbey Close.

Sma' Shot Day - Tony Lawler and Provost Anne Hall

The fun begins at noon when the parade, headed by the beat of the Charleston Drum, sets off from Brodie Park.

Attractions at Abbey Close include funfair rides and stalls including the Slug in a Bottle market, featuring a mix of traditional and vintage clothing and accessories.

There will be performances throughout the day on the outdoor stage from PACE Youth Theatre Group as well as various local bands from LNP Promotions.

The day will culminate with the spectacular Burning of the Cork – which marks the victory of the 19th-century weavers over the mill owners – at 5pm.

Elsewhere, older folks can step away from the crowds at a tea dance in Paisley Town Hall from 1 to 3pm.

A full schedule for the day can be viewed at

To help promote the event, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall met up with Freeman of Renfrewshire Tony Lawler, who will take up his usual place beating the drum at the head of the parade.

Sma' Shot Day - Tony Lawler and Provost Anne Hall

Provost Hall said: “Sma Shot Day is always a popular family favourite and we hope to see a big crowd come out and enjoy the day.

“Last year’s event took place in blazing sunshine so fingers crossed the Paisley weather is kind and we get more of the same this year.

“Sma Shot Day is important because it helps keep alive a link to the area’s proud past at the heart of the world’s textile industry.

“The council has recently announced big plans to use Paisley’s heritage and culture to drive regeneration and tourism over the next decade, and events like Sma Shot Day will be part of that.”

Sma Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century.

The owners refused to pay their staff for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls.

Sma' Shot Day - Tony Lawler and Provost Anne Hall

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma Shot Day.

Any residents planning a trip into the town centre on Saturday are reminded that parking is free in all council-metered bays every weekend.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tony Lawler

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Sma’ Shot Day Charleston Drummer Promotes Miscarriage Support

Leading the Sma’ Shot procession from Brodie Park to Abbey Close 2014 will be Charleston Drummer, Tony Lawler.

Tony will be modelling our new look Miscarriage Support tee-shirt on the day to help promote the counselling work that we do in aid of women and families Scotland-wide.

Tony Lawler

Tony Lawler pictured last year supporting MND Scotland

The Sma’ Shot Day celebration originates from the weaving industry in the 19th Century. Paisley was a one of the major textile producing areas in the British Empire.

The Sma’ Shot was the binding thread which held together the patterned shawls which Paisley is famous for; but because the Sma’ Shot was never seen in the finished shawls the manufacturers refused to pay the weavers for the yarn. After many years of dispute the weavers won their course.

In celebration of this, the traditional July holiday was renamed Sma’ Shot Day. The 2014 procession will take place on the 5th of July; come along and see the parade and give a big cheer for Tony.

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Tony Lawler

Everyone at would like to say a hearty ‘Congratulations’ to Tony Lawler who today discovered that he has been granted the honour of Freeman of Renfrewshire.

The Freedom of Renfrewshire has only been granted twice to our knowledge in the last few years, the most recent being The Argyle and Southern Highlanders also renowned

Tony Lawler

Sculptor Sandy Stoddart and prior to that it had not been awarded for 50 years.

Renfrewshire Council made Tony a Freeman of Renfrewshire in recognition of him carrying the Charleston Drum and leading the parade on Sma’ Shot Day for 20 years.

Those who know Tony will acknowledge that he is mightily proud of being given this position and he continually promotes the town of Paisley to the wider public.

(Pictured right is Tony Lawler, The Charleston Drummer with Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall)

For more on Sma Shot Day 2012 click here