Today Saturday 18th August marked the annual commemoration of the 1820 Radicals at Woodside Crematorium Paisley.

The Radical War, also known as the Scottish Insurrection of 1820, was a week of strikes and unrest, a culmination of Radical demands for political reform under the banner of ‘Scotland Free or a Desert’.   Artisan workers, particularly weavers in Scotland, sought action to reform an uncaring government, gentry fearing revolutionary horrors recruited militia and the government deployed an apparatus of spies, informers and agents provocateurs to stamp out the movement.

The main leaders of the uprising were Andrew Hardie, John Baird and James Wilson who were executed for their actions.  A monument to them stands in Woodside Cemetery, Paisley.

For further info: 1820 Radical War: wikipedia:

Pictures from the Annual Commemoration at Woodside Crematorium Paisley, pictures taken by Mags MacLaren.

Meso Derek Mackay

A Renfrewshire company that sparked interest from Hollywood star Tom Hanks over its latest hi-tech project has welcomed a rising star at Holyrood.

Derek Mackay, MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, visited award winning product design company Meso Design at their Renfrewshire HQ.
The fast growing company was formed in 2008 by three design engineering graduates – Danny Kane, Gregor Aikman and Craig Lynn – and now employs 12 staff at its base in Inchinnan.

Since its launch, Meso has worked on more than 40 projects for clients across a range of sectors, including food and drink, medicine and consumer products.

Its latest collaborations include Popa, which transforms the iPhone into an instant camera, and MoviePeg, an easy to fit stand that allows users to watch movies on any smartphone and tablet device. Both products were developed by Manchester based Beep Industries with design support from Meso.

Another product, a portable camera dolly for film makers, designed on behalf of Paisley based Glidetrack, is due for release in the next month.
Meso’s growing client list of high profile clients includes SECC, Glasgow School of Art, Whyte and Mackay, Famous Grouse, Thales and Courvoisier.
And from next year, Meso intends to design, manufacture and market its own range of products, and expand into new premises in Renfrewshire.
Meso director Danny Kane said: “We were delighted to welcome Derek Mackay to meet the team at Meso. We’re a relatively small company, proud of our association with Renfrewshire, and ambitious for the future. We’d like to think that, in our own small way, we’re helping to establish Renfrewshire as a centre of excellence for product design and manufacture.

Derek Mackay MSP said: “I am thoroughly impressed by the work that Meso are doing, and from what I have seen during my visit, it is not surprising that there has been strong demand for their services and products.

“Renfrewshire is increasingly becoming a fantastic place for business growth and success, attracting business from both the local area and from further afield.

“This is a thriving local company, I’m pleased to see them expanding into new premises to support their growing business and I wish them all the best with their future success.” Read more

Here are some picture of the poignant service for the memory of the 71 young lives claimed in 1929 when the Glen Cinema disaster took place.

The service was presented by the Paisley Development Trust with the leader of Renfrewshire Council Derek Mackay, Provost Celia Lawson, Rev Birss and Bishop Tarttaglia all attending to give their support to the survivor’s to which many attended.

Pictures below is Robert Pope who is laying the wreath at Paisley Cenotaph.

For more information on the Glen Cinema please visit

For more information on the Paisley Development Trust please visit

All pictures taken for by our very own ‘westender’ you can see more photos at

Council Leader gets training back on track for 10K

With less than four weeks to go until Paisley 10K, Renfrewshire Council’s Leader is making a final push with his training for the big race.

Council Leader Derek Mackay paid a visit to race sponsors Pro-Life for a session in the gym to get his training back on track after summer holidays.

Cllr Mackay said: “I have to admit I’ve let my training slide a bit over the summer due to holidays and various other things getting in the way. Now that I’ve realised there’s only a few weeks left I’ve decided to step up my game. The Paisley 10k is sponsored by both Pro-Life and Renfrewshire Leisure, so really I’ve got no excuse.”

Pro-Life’s managing director Gayle Brannigan oversaw the training session. She said “We are delighted to be supporting the Paisley 10K this year. This is a huge sporting event for people in Renfrewshire and beyond. I’m sure plenty of our members will be taking part and we’ll be backing them and Derek Mackay all the way.”

While on his visit to Pro-Life, Cllr Mackay also stopped in at Good 2 Run, the on-site running and fitness sportswear shop, for some expert advice on what he should be wearing on his feet on the big day too.

He added: “I knew I needed a new pair of trainers so it was great to get some proper advice. I ended up buying myself a new pair so now I’m ready for the big day.”

Good 2 Run will be in County Square on the day of the Paisley 10k offering free gait analysis checks to all competitors and spectators on the day.

There’s still time to enter both the Paisley 10k and fun run and receive a discount on the entry fee. There is also a discount for groups entering the 10k with one person going free in every group of five.

Paisley 10k and fun run takes place on Sunday 29th August. Starting in County Square, Paisley, right next to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station.

To sign up for the Paisley 10k or fun run go to


Council Leader and staff are put through his paces ahead of Paisley 10K

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay was put through his paces in a gruelling exercise bootcamp session as part of his training for this year’s Paisley 10K.

Councillor Mackay was joined by council employees Philippa Simms and Jamie Gardyne to have their fitness tested by Renfrewshire Leisure’s tough bootcamp instructors Neil Hutchison and Gordon Law.

The trio were made to run and sprint round the playing fields at Ralston Community Sports Centre before more sprinting with weights, boxing, and sit ups.

Councillor Mackay said: “I have done the 10K for the last few years in a row so I like to think I’m quite physically fit but these guys do not mess around. They literally scream in your face and really push you to work harder but it’s all good for your training. I really enjoyed it and actually wanted to keep going when it finished.

“It’s given me an extra push to start gearing up for the 10K in August. Last year I was happy with time my but this year I’m planning to beat that….now all I’ll need to do is imagine Neil and Gordon are shouting at me again!”

The Paisley 10K and fun run takes place on Sunday 29 August kicking off in County Square. The event, one of the flattest, fastest and easiest courses on the 10K circuit, is aiming to be the biggest in its 11-year history.

Philippa, Business Development Executive with Renfrewshire Council, said: “Last year’s race was my first ever 10k and this year my target is to improve my time. I run regularly with Jogging Buddies, which is really sociable and a a great way to keep motivated, especially when you’re a beginner. Running is a really good way to keep active and signing up for a race like the 10K gives you something to work towards. I really enjoyed the bootcamp although it did make me think I need to get fitter!”

This year registration has been opened up to allow groups to register together and the Fun Run will see even more colourfully costumed runners take to the streets.
Councillor Mackay added: “The 10K is one of Paisley’s most popular events and this year we’re hoping it will be bigger than ever. Being able to register as a group means you can sign up with your work colleagues, friends or family or if you’re part of a club you can sign up with your teammates.

Councillor Mackay added: “The council is committed to giving people of all ages and abilities opportunities to lead a healthy active lifestyle and the 10K, along with the huge range of activities and new facilities available, is a great example of that.”

The exercise bootcamps are one of a great range of activities on offer by Renfrewshire Leisure, one of the 10k sponsors, this summer to help runners get fit for the 10K.

To sign up for the Paisley 10K or fun run log on to

To find out more information on services offered by Renfrewshire Leisure log on to


Blow to Paisley as major firm axes 230 jobs

More than two-thirds of the workers at a Scottish town’s biggest private employer are being made redundant in a cost-cutting measure.

BASF, the German chemicals company, has confirmed that there will be 232 redundancies at its Ciba plant in Paisley, which manufactures synthetic dyes for paints and plastics.

The cuts mean there will be just 120 people left at the Hawkhead Road factory from 2013 onwards.

It is understood to be the biggest single blow to the factory since it was founded more than 40 years ago. Hundreds of jobs have already gone at the plant since 2005.

The first of the job losses at what is said to be the largest classical organic pigment manufacturing facility in the world will occur this year. However, the majority will go in 2012, said BASF.

The company added that the restructuring would make the plant more competitive and give it a more sustainable future.

Concern about the future of the factory surfaced in July last year when workers were sent home for a month to save on operational costs as the economic downturn took hold.

BASF said yesterday’s decision was made because the site was operating at very low levels.

It added that the plant will take over production of some pigment products from BASF’s site in Louisville, Kentucky. Some production at Paisley will be moved to BASF plants with spare capacity in Asia.

The liquid preparation plant will be closed by the end of 2012, with work transferring to a BASF plant in Mexico.

Peter Wormald, the Paisley site manager, said: “This restructuring will reposition the site as a highly utilised, competitive manufacturing supply point in Europe. These changes will result in a smaller BASF site, but one that is more sustainable in the long term.

“Employees who are made redundant will be given support and assistance to help them find alternative employment.”

Ciba, a Swiss company that makes chemical additives for plastics, paper and coatings industries, was taken over by BASF in 2008 in a £3 billion deal. BASF had targeted Ciba after it reported losses following problems with the rising cost of raw materials, currency fluctuations and production difficulties.

Later the same year, BASF closed the Paisley plant’s research and global technical centre, with the loss of 36 jobs.

Before BASF came in, about 100 people were axed; while in March 2007 and in 2006 around 80 staff were made redundant.

In 2005, 30 jobs went as the speciality pigment manufacturing unit was closed down.

Wendy Alexander, the Labour MSP for Paisley North, yesterday argued that the extra £82 million the Scottish Government has received in the Chancellor’s March budget should now be used to resurrect the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL). Its cancellation meant the loss of 1,300 jobs and £300m investment to Renfrewshire and the west of Scotland, she argued.

She said of the BASF announcement: “Everything possible must be done to prevent these jobs from being lost.

“I will be urging the Scottish Government and the company itself to explore alternatives to redundancy and [to] try to find a way forward.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Derek Mackay said: “Our first concern at this difficult time is for the workers and their families. The council will be doing everything it can, along with other public agencies, to make sure they have access to the best advice and guidance available on retraining, finding new employment and getting all the benefits they are entitled to.

“It is clearly very disappointing that such a well established company feels the need to scale back its operations in such a major way.

“However, Renfrewshire isn’t immune to the problems of the global economy and it’s worth pointing out that the company has made clear that its decision was based on a wide-ranging review of its global operations and was in no way a reflection of the performance of its Renfrewshire plant. It’s encouraging at least that 120 jobs will remain here in Renfrewshire.”

News source : The Herald Scotland


We are begining to update our stock of Paisley and Renfrewshire photographs this year to give you full and high resolution quality photographs from around the town displayed free of charge to all our visitors, we will also be able to sell any image to you for a small donation to the website.

Here are a few of the pictures that are going into the gallery soon, your comments are always welcome and your input is essential.

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