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The first-ever Paisley Food Festival saw a crowd of thousands serve up a sun-soaked feast of music, markets and munchies on Saturday.

Abbey Close was packed with food-flavoured entertainment and activity as families queued to sample quality Scottish produce from a wide range of vendors.

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The Renfrewshire-Council-run event was taking place alongside the final day of the ever-popular Paisley Beer Festival, run by Renfrewshire CAMRA.

Now in its 28th year, the largest real-ale festival in Scotland attracted drinkers from across the country for another well-attended four-day run in Paisley Town Hall.

beer fesival

Both events were taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, supported by EventScotland and VisitScotland, which aims to showcase the abundance of local produce and artisan food and drink available across the country.

The star attraction at the family-friendly food festival was childrens’ TV favourite Mr Bloom, who delighted his young audience with two well-attended live performances.

mr bloom

The main-stage entertainment was hosted by Pulse FM DJs and also featured bands from local music charity Loud ‘N’ Proud.

Other attractions included food stalls from around twenty different vendors from across Scotland, as well as packed-out food-making workshops for youngsters.

There was also a chance to browse crafts and designs at the Slug in a Bottle Market while Paisley Farmers’ Market hosted fresh produce and cookery demonstrations in its usual home at Paisley Cross.

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Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “This was the first time the council has hosted the Paisley Food Festival but the event was such a success we will consider doing it again at some point in the future.

“Outdoor events are always better when you get good weather and we were certainly helped by the glorious sunshine on the day.
“Paisley Abbey and Town Hall once again provided a striking backdrop as a crowd of thousands packed the area to enjoy the food and entertainment.

“With the hard-working volunteers from Renfrewshire CAMRA having organised another successful beer festival in the town hall at the same time, it was great to see the town centre so busy.

“Events like this are going to be a key part of the wider push towards the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.

“I would like to thank everybody who came out and made it a really memorable day, and thank all the stallholders who added such a flavor to the occasion.”

For more info on Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, visit

beer festival

Paisley is gearing up for a taste sensation when the town’s first-ever food festival is served up alongside the ever-popular Paisley Beer Festival next weekend.

The day-long food event is being dished out as a side order to the 28th edition of Renfrewshire CAMRA’s real-ale extravaganza in Paisley Town Hall.

beer festival

The beer festival – from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th April – is the biggest of its kind in Scotland and thousands of visitors are expected to turn out to sample hundreds of ales, beers, ciders and more.

The family-friendly food festival – run by Renfrewshire Council – will take place on the Saturday only from noon to 6pm in Abbey Close and highlights include outdoor markets and an appearance from kids’ TV favourite Mr Bloom.

Both events are taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, supported by EventScotland and VisitScotland, which aims to showcase the abundance of local produce and artisan food and drink available across the country.

This year’s beer festival will see the addition of an all-new Scottish wine bar from Perthshire, as well as extra seating and catering within Paisley Town Hall.

Attractions at the food festival include the following:
– live shows on the main stage from Mr Bloom at 2 and 4pm;
– an outdoor food market boasting a hearty mix of the finest Scottish food and global cuisine with stallholders from across the country;
– workshops showing kids how to make their own pizza and chocolate. Advance booking is needed, details at
– the chance to browse the work of talented crafters from Renfrewshire and beyond at the Slug in a Bottle market;
– Paisley Farmers’ Market in its usual place at Paisley Cross from 10am to 2pm

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Renfrewshire CAMRA’s Paisley Beer Festival is a long-running success story and is always a popular event.

“We are adding to the mix this year by staging the food festival for the first time and are expecting the town to come alive with activity over the weekend.

“Hosting days out like this will be an important part of the town’s push for UK City of Culture status in 2021, so I would encourage people to come down and help support this new event.”

Bob McWilliam from Renfrewshire Branch CAMRA said: “This 28th Paisley Beer Festival will certainly be the biggest yet with the support from Renfrewshire Council.

“The festival will have the biggest selection of beers from Scotland and so much more plus using the full facilities of Paisley Town Hall.

“That means more comfort for people to include seating, cloakrooms and generally a great atmosphere with the Caledonian Brewery Pipe Band on Saturday afternoon. This is great for Paisley and great for real beer.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “It’s fantastic news that visitors to this year’s Paisley Beer Festival will also get to sample some fine Scottish culinary fare.

“From an outdoor food market to chocolate-making workshops, there is plenty to whet the appetite of visitors to this year’s festival.

“The Year of Food and Drink is all about celebrating our natural larder and mouth-watering dining experiences, so I would urge people all across the country to come along and enjoy what promises to be a delicious year for the Paisley Beer Festival.”

For more info, visit or, and for more on Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, visit

slug in a bottle market

As with all the previous Slug in a Bottle Markets organised, we want to create an exciting mix of both vintage items and contemporary / traditional craft & design.

At this year’s events we can expect contemporary and quirky items of silversmith jewellery from jewellery designers Judith Kenny Jewellery and Jodie Pope Jewellery; up-cycled and recycled accessories to dress your home from Tyler’s Attic; vintage / retro homewares from Love Me Again; Simone Wood handcrafted products in Harris Tweed; S Millenary handcrafted vintage inspired hats and accessories; Made by Suzi hand poured scented candles in vintage teacups.

slug in a bottle market

I’m also very excited to be debuting our first ever lampshade making workshop, provided by The Owl and the Pussy-cat, at our upcoming April event in collaboration with Paisley Food Festival.

slug in a bottle market

We could go on and on naming our exciting line up, the importance for us at Slug in a Bottle Market, is to provide variety, individuality and quality from each of our stalls.

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Paisley’s ever-popular beer festival is back for another outing – and this year it’s being served up with a side order of food.

The 28th Paisley Beer Festival – run by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale – will be in Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 April.

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The event is Scotland’s biggest real ale festival and every year attracts thousands from across the country to sample a wide selection of real beers, ales and ciders.

And this year for the first time it will run alongside a one-day food festival – organised by Renfrewshire Council – on the Saturday only.

Both events are taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, supported by Event Scotland and Visit Scotland, which aims to showcase Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and exceptional natural produce.

The food festival will be in Abbey Close between noon and 6pm and includes the Slug in a Bottle Market, food/craft workshops, live music from Loud ‘n’ Proud, and kids’ entertainment including TV’s Mr Bloom.

Focusing on quality Scottish produce, the food festival also includes the usual twice-monthly Paisley Farmers’ Market just up the road at Paisley Cross, where visitors will be able to take in live cookery demos.

Meanwhile, the beer festival will take in a first of its own, with Renfrewshire CAMRA having added an all-new wine bar featuring speciality wines from across Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall met with some of the members of the local CAMRA committee to help publicise the event, joined by Andy Hare of Hillington-based Jaw Brew, this year’s glass sponsors.

She said: “The Paisley Beer Festival is real home-brewed success story, and the volunteers of Renfrewshire CAMRA deserve great credit for building such a popular and well-established event here in the town.

“We are delighted to be adding to the mix by adding the food festival, which will give families and others a reason to visit the town while it is busy for the beer festival.

“The Paisley Food Festival is an event we are looking to grow in the years to come as we build towards the town’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021, which is just one of the ways we are using culture and events to drive regeneration.”

Bob McWilliam of Renfrewshire Branch CAMRA, who was one of the original organising CAMRA team 27 Paisley festivals ago in 1987, added: “Next month’s event will be the first time all the facilities within Paisley Town Hall will be used, which makes this the premier real ale festival in Scotland.

“This, with our partnership with Renfrewshire Council with the food festival is going to make it a real ale festival to remember.”

Annique Armstrong, regional director for VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support Paisley Beer Festival this year with funding from Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

“Hopefully the funding will help enhance this festival, which is a great event that aims to attract both locals and visitors to the area and is just one in this year’s calendar throughout the whole of Scotland.

“Food and drink plays an important role in the visitor experience, with £1 in every £5 being spent on it so I’d like to wish Paisley Beer Festival every success!”

For more info on the beer festival, visit, and for more on Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, visit


Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Beer Festival is now in its 23rd year and, as always, the intrepid band of loyal volunteers and beer enthusiasts will be turning the town hall into the largest bar in the area for four days.
Scotland’s biggest beer festival is expected to bring approximately 4,000 punters through the doors of Paisley Town Hall over the four days.
At last year’s event 20,000 pints of beer and cider were drunk – and organisers are expecting thirsty Buddies to sink even more this time around.
Festival organiser Danny Matheson said: “Paisley Beer Festival is the place to be for all the very best real ales, great fun and a great atmosphere.
“Our panel of experts have selected a range of beers which will suit all tastes.”
CAMRA volunteer, Karen Moore, added: “I’m hoping that loads of Buddies will come along this year and will help support this now famous event on Paisley’s social calendar.
“We all work really hard to make it a success.
“We are very proud of being Scotland’s biggest beer festival.
“If hundreds of great beers, good food and a fantastic atmosphere aren’t enough to persuade people to come along, they shouldn’t forget the potential there is to rub shoulders with the likes of Paolo Nutini, who I served last year!”

The festival kicks off on Wednesday, April 28, and will finish on Saturday, May 1.

Run solely by 50 volunteer members of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, the festival has taken many months to organise .
This year there will be approximately 170 different draught beers from all over the UK, as well as various foreign beers, cider, perry and mead.
The Scottish bar will feature beers from Barrhead-based Kelburn Brewery and the Houston Brewery among others.
Food will once again be available from the ever-popular Melbourne Catering Co, who will serve up some delicious German sausages and French crepes to soak up all of the beer.
Live entertainment on Friday night is still to be confirmed but the Caledonian Pipe Band is booked for Saturday to play right throughout the day.
As has been the case for the last several years, CAMRA Renfrewshire will be raising money for the charity, Myeloma UK, to remember one of their members who died from the disease.
This year, they will be dressing up as James Bond characters and collecting cash for the worthy cause.
As always the organisers desperately need more volunteers to help the festival run smoothly from set-up on the Monday right through to the Sunday take-down.
If anyone is interested in helping, all you need to do is e-mail Karen at

Volunteers must be CAMRA members but you can sign up at the festival if you’re not already a member.
Entry is £5 (£3 concession on Wednesday and Thursday) and includes a festival glass and programme.
This includes free re-entry on subsequent days as long as you bring your glass along.

Information taken from

For more information on CAMRA please click


Paisley is loosing one of it’s most loved Historic Art Novau Buildings under the West End regeneration, the former ABC Cinema which latterly became the Regal Bingo hall located at the corner of High Street and Lady Lane.

The Regal opened it’s door’s on the 26th November 1934 with 2054 seats with a grand ceremony performed by the provost.Designed by Charles macNair for Associated british Cinemas, it took the ubiquitous ABC name in 1963.The opening attraction was the film ‘The House of Rothschild’. Plans for the building by CJ McNair were submitted in 1930, although James McKissack has also been listed in connection with the building.
It was taken over by Caledonian Associated Cinemas in 1978 then sold to County Bingo in 1982, the sale of that company to Gala had triggered its closure on March 5th, 2006.

There has been activity at the building since early November maybe with hope we were all awaiting news it was to be re-opened and bring back the days of the ABC Minor’s but sadly it has fallen to Central Demolition of Bonnybridge to do the unblightening task of demolishing the entire building to pave way for a landscaped area, recent activity was this sunday morning 11/1/09 when the power to the building was disconected and Gas supplies being cut 14/1/09.
Paisley’s Most Palatial Super Cinema
The Regal
Specially designed to provide superlatively good entertainment, is certain to achieve an immediate and overwhelming success. In the spacious comfort that so increases ones enjoyment – and in an atmosphere of dignified and entrancing beauty – all the pleasures of perfect entertainment are yours.

Perfect Reproduction is provided by the most modern type of Western Electric apparatus, incorporating all the latest tangible improvements, including the new wide range System.The heating and ventilation plant is a marvel of modern engineering. It provides a constant supply of perished air, which provides a perfectly wholesome atmosphere.The cinema featured a Compton organ with an illuminated console. In the 1960s, it was renamed simply the ABC. Bought by CAC in 1978, it regained the name Regal, before finally closing in 1981. It has been a bingo & social club ever since.
Opening Advert

Charles James McNair, Architect Born: 1 November 1881 Died: 17 August 1955, Charles James McNair was born on 1 November 1881, the son of Henry McNair, butcher, and Catherine Sloan. He was articled to James Archibald Morris of Ayr from 1898 to 1903. In the latter year he moved to Glasgow to become assistant to John Nisbet and took over his practice on his retirement in 1910, with Robert Norman Houghton McKellar as his chief assistant from 1913.

McNair was primarily a cinema architect mainly through his partnership with George Urie Scott in the Cinema Construction Co: between the wars he worked with Robert Elder who was first chief assistant and then partner from 1936. It used to be said that McNair got the work and Elder designed it: Elder was an able designer but was remembered by an assistant, Robert Forsyth, as ‘a very shy man who didn’t want to take the credit’. Some of their later work was considerably influenced by T S Tait.

McNair was married twice: first to Agnes Jane Hamilton, and later to Margaret Coutts Jack. He died of coronary thrombosis in Victoria Infirmary Glasgow on 17 August 1955, his home address at the time of his death being 16 Carolside Avenue, Clarkston. He left estate of £8,902 17s 10d.
No doubt as the memories of the ABC come floding back and as you look out your old photographs with a tear in your eye please come into the message board on this site and share your memories and photos.As i write this this now the Demolition company will only state Demolition is Imminant but i expect within 3 weeks.

For images of the building please click here to go to the Flickr group page

Written by M Fedigan