Dannsa at Paisley Arts Centre

Step Change – Making connections across Scotland

Step-dancers and musicians from Scotland and Cape Breton to tour new Scottish audiences with driving rhythmic footwork, fresh new dances and finely crafted music on pipes, fiddle, guitar and Gaelic song.  

Following the huge success of a Dannsa’s north of Scotland tour in April 2012, Creative Scotland have strengthened their backing for the Highland-based traditional music and dance company by supporting their first central belt tour as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Creative Scotland.

Although Dannsa have performed and taught throughout Scotland for many years, the tour that runs from 11th to 22nd September to six venues in the central belt is expected to bring a new audience to traditional music and step-dance.

Dannsa’s ‘Connections’ tour interweaves Scottish song, music and dance with the step-dancing and music of Cape Breton; exploring the connections between both countries’ living heritage with a warm and personal approach.

Connections is not simply a traditional dance and music show; its uniqueness is in the way music and dance are intertwined to create a great evening of entertainment. The dancers and musicians choreograph the show together, making pieces which are fresh, new and different and that reflect the performers’ rich background in the traditions of song, story and dance.

Dancers Caroline Reagh, Sandra Robertson and Frank McConnell are joined by Matheu Watson, multi-instrumentalist and guitarist for the soundtrack of Pixar’s Brave, Mod Gold Medallist Catriona Watt and step-dancer musicians Fin Moore from Perthshire and Mac Morin from Cape Breton.

Connections will tour to Stirling, Paisley, Glenrothes, Musselburgh, St Andrews and Cumbernauld, and also to Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire.

Thursday  20 Sept – Paisley Arts Centre, 7.30pm

Tour Dates and links to venue ticket booking

More information

Also Dannsa have a Paisley connection with our very own Frank McConnell..

Frank McConnell

Frank McConnell was born and brought up in Glasgow of a family with strong Hebridean ties and no interest in the arts. He trained as a PE teacher but found an escape route into dance from which he has never returned. After training with Royston Maldoom and the Arts in Fife, he cultivated at a deep interest in creativity but has maintained a passion for education in its broadest sense.

He is the founding member of three significant dance companies in Scotland:  Dundee Rep Dance Co (now Scottish Dance Theatre);  Dannsa (with whom he continues to perform);  and his own company plan B.

He has performed and collaborated with Communicado Theatre company on seven occasions

but it is principally known as a choreographer.  Having created work for Northern Stage (England), Freshmess (Scotland), Le Groupe de la Place Royale (Canada), and the National Opera in Holland, Frank feels equally at home working with a small community group in Achiltibuie (Scotland).

In May 2000, he was one of the first people in Britain to be awarded a Fellowship from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and used this time to explore his own creativity within a Highland landscape and culture.

Frank set up his own company plan B in 1989 (with Caroline Docherty) to explore new ways of creating and presenting original work.  The company is now based in Easter Ross and contributes to dance developments throughout the Highlands. plan B’s most recent production “The Shoogle Project” is currently touring Scotland – a collaboration with the band Shooglenifty.

Paisley logo large

We are going to do a feel good factor next Friday, is there someone in your community that is doing something that you think is brilliant and you think they should get a little recognition for it? It’s all part of our positive Paisley drive, we see the people of Paisley being the driving force behind change in the town.

We need to know who those people are, so please and remember to make sure it’s alright to print their name or even if we can post a photo of them? 

We can do a nice feature next Friday and really give these people a wee thank you back.

You can email myself Let’s get the ball rolling…. It could be anyone from a Lolipop woman to a teacher, to an owner of a business, your ideas are most welcome.

Let’s be positive about People in Paisley.

Read more

Fergus Fulton was born in Chile 1923, moved to Glasgow where his father originally came from in 1931. He started with J&P Coats in 1940 and joined the RASC in 1942 aged 19 yrs. After demobilisation he returned to work with J&P Coats,it was here that he met and fell in love with Jessie McLardie. They married in the High Church in 1948 and they had 2 sons. He was one of J&P Coats most loyal and respected salesmen. Fergus died in 1976 aged 53, his wife Jessie outlived him by 27 years and he is survived by his 2 sons Gordon and Graham who both still live in Paisley.

Graham decided to find a publisher as he felt it was a story worth sharing with a large readership, be they part of the dwindling band of veterans or simply younger people with a curiosity about the brave men who fought in the second world war to keep our country free from tyranny.

Place names, punctuation and grammar are exactly as they were in the original diaries which tell some of the story of one mans “ordinary” war.

Click here for the book on Amazon


Click here for the order form

Picture sent in by one of our visitors Jim Spiers. here is what Jim wrote about the picture.

“I’ve added the names of the families I can remember. All the parents were involved in decorating the street and tables were set up where all the kids sat and ate their food. We lived in No 45 but we moved to No 13 round about 1966. We were back there a couple of years ago and with everything gone it was quite hard to establish where the houses were situated taking into account the railway line. Maybe some of the kids can identify themselves. I’m in the middle row 4th from the right.
Jim Speirs”

If you have any photos you would like to add to the website please email and include a short bit of text to accompany the picture, where it was taken and of who/what…


best in the world

best in the world

A former firefighter from Renfrewshire has seen off competition from 19,000 rivals to be crowned the UK’s favourite lollipop man.
John Foley, 56, from Paisley, was recognised for his work at the town’s Bushes Primary School.
He won a £1,500 holiday voucher and £3,000 for the school to build a community garden.
Staff and pupils at Bushes Primary nominated Mr Foley for his enthusiasm and dedication to the role.
As well as helping the school’s 358 pupils get safely across the road, he also helps the dinner ladies set up for lunch and has even stepped in to change car tyres for teachers with a puncture.
Mr Foley, who retired from the fire service last year when he was diagnosed with ME, said he was “grateful” for the award and praised the school for its “feel-good atmosphere”.

He’s such an important part of our school and we really don’t think the title could go to a better person. The kids love him and so do we
Moira Monaghan
Head teacher

He added: “It’s marvellous, it’s just marvellous. It’s very generous sponsorship so it is good for the school as well.
“It is a wonderful school, and I am doing a job that I love. It’s a wonderful place. The staff, the kids, the whole ambience to the place is just marvellous.”
Mr Foley won the Scottish title last month before taking the UK title of Kwik-Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year.
He was presented with the award at a ceremony in the school on Monday.
Head teacher Moira Monaghan said: “We were over the moon when we heard John had been picked as the winner for Scotland but when we took the call saying he had won for the whole of the UK we just couldn’t believe it.
“He’s such an important part of our school and we really don’t think the title could go to a better person. The kids love him and so do we.”
During the presentation ceremony, pupils serenaded Mr Foley with their version of The Proclaimers’ hit 500 Miles, with the words changed to praise their lollipop man

Link and Text from the BBC website please follow this link to the full article


Coats Observatory  now also run public telescope viewing on a Tuesday evening as well as a Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 (last admission 9pm) from end of October to end of March. Admission free and no need to book


Paisley’s very own Alan McKim has released some new dates for his upcoming gigs, more info on Alan can be found on his website

Details of Upcoming Gigs:
2 May 2009 at 8:00 PM

SOHO (upstairs), 12 Shuttle Street, Paisley. PA1 1YD

**Road to Nepal Charity Nite**

Also playing are Dexy’s Bootleg Runners!

Doors open 8pm.

Cost: TBC


Wednesday 11th February 2009
Gusset, Paisley Arts Centre, Knicker elastic for the soul with a feel good factor that rides high. Tickets from £6. Ticket Line 0141 887 1010 7.30pm

Saturday 14th February 2009
St Valentine’s Day Dance, Masonic Club, High Street, Lochwinnoch, There will be a Mr & Mrs Competition. Tickets will be £5 per person and are available by phoning 01505 843359, 7.30pm

Saturday 14th February 2009
‘Brunch & Browse’, St Fillan’s Hall, Moss Road, Kilmacolm, Home made soups, home baking, tea, coffee, books & lots of stalls. Great value! Disabled Access 10am till 2pm  – £2.50

Saturday 14th February 2009
Wildlife Wander Plus: Valentines Day Special, RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Largs Road, Lochwinnoch, For many birds, February is the ideal time for finding a mate. Our special Valentine’s Day walk will celebrate and look for the signs of this, whether is be rekindled relationships or new ones blossoming. You may even meet someone special!
Stout footwear and waterproofs recommended.
Booking essential. Cost £2 non-members, FREE for RSPB members., 10am till 12 noon

Saturday 14th February 2009
Last of The Red Hot Lovers, Paisley Arts Centre, A vibrant mix of zippy one-liners and pathos make the perfect recipe for a great night out on Valentine’s Day. Tickets from £6. Booking line 0141 887 1010. 7.30pm

Sunday 15th February 2009
Build a bird a home!, RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Largs Road, Lochwinnoch, Want to give a home for a bird this spring? Join us to help build and decorate nest boxes, during National Nest Box Week.
£2 RSPB Members, £4 non- members (includes a nest box to take home) 11am till 3pm

Monday 16th February 2009
One And Only Peter Case Makes Welcome Return, The Steeple Hall, Kilbarchan, Case is widely regarded, then, as one of America’s most gifted song-writers. Last time he toured here in 2008, he played to capacity audiences everywhere, a certain sign that he is also highly regarded in the UK. For further information, telephone 01505 706346, 7.30pm £12

Thursday 19th February 2009
Coffee morning, RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Largs Road, Lochwinnoch, Join RSPB staff and volunteers for a hot drink and a chat, in the comfort of the visitor centre, whilst enjoying the wonderful view and wildlife of the reserve! Cost: £2 to cover tea/coffee and biscuits 11am till 1pm

Friday 20th February 2009
Prize Bingo Night, Masonic Club, High Street, Lochwinnoch, at 7.30pm. All welcome.

Friday 20th February 2009
Quiz Night, Houston Bowling Club, South Street, Houston, Houston Friends of Accord are holding their Annual Quiz Night and tickets for the event cost £7 which includes a light supper. They can be obtained from Rita Jackson (690623), Joan Andrew (690463), or any member of the committee, 8pm

Saturday 21st February 2009
Border Boogie Band Return to Brookfield, The Border Boogie Band – Brookfield Village Hall. Doors open – 7.30pm. Tickets (£12.50 – incl light buffet supper) from 01505 706346. All profits go to Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust

Saturday 21st February 2009
RSPB Art: Watercolours, RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Largs Road, Lochwinnoch, Join us at the visitor centre as local artist Kate Lilley teaches the basics of watercolours. Ideal for beginners but more experienced artists also welcome. Basic equipment provided.
Cost: £5, booking essential 10am till 12 noon

Saturday 21st February 2009
The Kilbarchan Singers,Wynd Centre, School Wynd, Paisley

The Kilbarchan Singers and special guests Dieci present ‘Ae Fond Kiss, a concert of Madrigals, Partsongs & Folksongs: including works by Britten, Finzi, Sullivan, Roberton & The King’s Singers. All proceeds going to CHAS & ACCORD Hospice.
Do come and support this group and the charities, 7.30pm  – £7.50

Tuesday 24th February 2009
Pancake Tea, Lochwinnoch Parish Church Halls, Come and Try! Pancakes will be made by ladies on site. There will be various stalls with – baking, Jams, chutney, books and bric-a-brac. All Welcome, 2pm till 4pm, Adults £2 Children £1

Tuesday 24th February 2009
My Grandfather’s Great War, Paisley Arts Centre, Cameron Stewart’s re-enactments of the Somme are so effective you can almost see the blasted landscape and hear the doomed cries. Tickets from £6. Ticket Line 0141 887 1010, 7.30pm

Tuesday 24th February 2009
Pancake Evening, Kilbarchan West Parish Church Hall, all welcome, £2 –  7.30pm

Friday 27th February 2009
Kilmacolm & Port Glasgow Agricultural Society Dinner Dance, Port Glasgow Town Hall, Come along for a great evening of dancing. Tickets at £25 each are available from Mrs J Adams, tel. 01505 873109, 7.15pm


Thanks to Mhairi once again for the events.

Friday 9th January 2009

Houston and Killellan Kirk New Year Ceilidh, Houston Bowling Club.  Tickets are £7.50. Music from The Elderberries
Includes a light supper. (Over 18’s only) 7.30pm till midnight

Saturday 10th January 2009

Sark, Kilmacolm Village Centre, Don’t miss our January sale – Hugh reductions – up to 75% off ladies clothes, accessories & Jewellery. Tel: 01505 874439 Mob: 07808 774209 Email: 10am till 2.30pm

Saturday 10th January 2009

Arts & Crafts for Young Teens, Lochwinnoch,RSPB Lochwinnoch,  Anyone aged 12+ who wants to try some arts and crafts workshops should come along to the classes led by professional artist, Cait Gould. Each session costs £10 which covers all materials too.
In the past the group have created stop-frame animation from characters they made in clay; mosaic frames; clay piggy banks (but being creative types, we ended up with a bird, haggis and a cat as well!). If you have a particular area of interest Cait will always try to incorporate it into the workshops. We hope to see you soon.

2pm till 4pm

Sunday 11th January 2009

A Winter Serenade of Strings, Chamber Strings of Melbourne present A Winter Serenade of Strings.

This young string orchestra who are touring the UK will perform a selection of music from Purcell, Telemann, Barber, Arensky, Sibelius and Vivaldi., This event is free to attend, with all donations going towards the Abbey’s organ restoration fund. 3pm

For more information, call Paisley Abbey on 0141 889 7654 or email

Monday 12th January 2009

Please Give Blood!, Boglestone Community Centre, Port Glasgow, You’ve got it in you to save a life! Visit for more info. 2.30pm till 3.45pm

Wednesday 14th January 2009

Senior Citizens, Cargill Hall, Bridge of Weir, Willie Kirkwood & Friends, 7.15pm

Wednesday 14th January 2009

Please Give Blood!, Community Sports Centre, Kilpatrick Drive, Erskine, You’ve got it in you to save a life! Visit for more info. 2.30pm till 3.45pm
Read more


Thursday 6th November 2008
Hannah and Harvey, Paisley Arts Centre, Hannah’s world is her bedroom; she loves to paint and dream. Dad doesn’t know what to do – until one day he arrives in a big rabbit shaped package. Tel 0141 887 1010 or visit for further information. 7pm tickets £8.50 conc £5

Friday 7th November 2008
Neil Wilson, Carrick Centre, Houston, Tickets are available at the door on the night. Tel: 01505 690907. Further details log on to 8pm tickets £8 conc £7

Friday 7th November 2008
A Tribute in Poem and Song,
Paisley Abbey,
Choral works and poetry set to music combine in this concert being given on the eve of Armistice weekend. Under 16’s free with paying adult. £12.50

Saturday 8th November 2008
Annual Scout Firework Display, BAE (RO)Car Park, Station Road, Bishopton, Cost £1 per person payable at the gate hot dogs, toffee apples etc. A great family night. 7.30pm

Saturday 8th November 2008
‘Brunch & Browse’, St Fillan’s Hall, Moss Road, Kilmacolm, Home made soups, home baking, tea, coffee, books & lots of stalls. Great value! Disabled Access. 10 am till 2pm £2.50

Saturday 8th November 2008
Paisley Farmers Market, County Square, Paisley – next to Gilmour Street Train Station,
Get your hands on some of the best fish, seafood, organic vegetables and meat products in the West of Scotland. An early arrival is recommended. Call 01655 770217 for further information. 9am till 1pm

Saturday 8th November 2008
Michael Marra, Paisley Arts Centre, One of Scotland’s most prolific songwriters, and a much loved and respected figure in the entertainment business. Tel 0141 887 1010 or visit for further information., 7.30pm, £10 (£7.50)

Saturday 8th November 2008
Antique Fair and Coffee Morning, Kilmacolm Village Centre, Kilmacolm Friends of Ardgowan Hospice welcome everyone. In addition to the Antique Fair, there will be baking and fancy goods stalls. 10am till 12.30pm

Monday 10th November 2008
Renfrew Horticultural Society, Renfrew Town Hall, The speaker will be Mr Hamish McKelvie from Houston and his subject will be Cactus and succulents in the garden. All are welcome., 7.30pm

Wednesday 12th November 2008
Houston and Crosslee SWRI, Compass Centre, Houston, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue will give a talk on fire prevention at the meeting. 7.30pm

Wednesday 12th November 2008
Senior Citizens, Cargill Hall, Bridge of Weir, 7.15pm

Wednesday 12th November 2008
Me and My Girl, Johnstone Town Hall, Ludovic Square, Johnstone, Adults – £7.50 Concs/Children – £7
15% Discount on Block Bookings of 20 or more on one night.
Tickets are non-returnable.
Contact Mrs Wendy Young on 01505 320554 or Linda Rae on 01505 342433.

Wednesday 12th November 2008
Parking Lot in Pittsburgh,
Paisley Arts Centre, This play will make you laugh, cry, cringe and despair at the family in-fighting that occurs. Tel 0141 887 1010 or visit for further information 7.30pm £8 (£7)

Thursday 13th November 2008
Cheese & Wine and Craft Evening, Kilbarchan West Church Hall, Shop early for Christmas and avoid the last minute rush, 7.30pm – 9.30pm £5