[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]We thought you might like to know about some events organised by Paisley
Thread Mill Museum for September and October.

The guest speaker for our three talks is Valerie Reilly, previously Keeper
of Textiles at Paisley Museum.

The events are as follows:

Monday 29th September, 7pm: ‘Coats and Clark: the Binding Thread of
Paisley’s History’

Monday 20th October, 7pm: ‘From Harn to Harness: Paisley’s Early Textile

Monday 27th October, 7pm: ‘All Stitched Up: A History of Embroidery in
Northern Britain’


More information can be found in the attached poster. You are welcome to come
along on the night without booking. However, if you would like to let us
know you are coming please ‘join’ the events on Facebook or reply to this

You are welcome to share the attached poster with those you think
might be interested in coming along. Further information is also on our
web page:

We look forward to seeing you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Great Tapestry of Scotland coming to Paisley.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition will run from 3rd May until 8th June, open 10-6pm Tuesday to Sunday and till 8 Wednesday/Thursday. One of our members Ian Rae kindly sent in some photographs of the Great Tapestry of Scotland on a recent visit to Edinburgh, this will be displayed in the atrium of Anchor Mill which is a fitting place to view such a wonderful part of Scottish History.

You can also follow the progress of the exhibition on one of our partner websites Paisley Patter which is based at the Paisley Thread Mill Museum. Thank you to Ian Rae for sending in these excellent photographs.

Paisley Thread Mill Museum.

Following a recent award from the Weir Trust, we are now open all year around on Wednesday and Saturdays from 12-4pm.  Visitors can be taken around the museum’s displays by one of our volunteer guides, some of whom are former mill workers and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

We currently run a stitching group on the days we are open to stitch two panels about Paisley for the Scottish Diaspora project, designed to celebrate the Scottish influence around the world as part of the 2014 Year of Homecoming

New volunteers are always welcome, especially if you have a personal connection to the Mills or practicals skills that can help us maintain the museum and our displays.   If anyone is interested in volunteering, please drop in when we are open or contact us via our website, Facebook or twitter.



DSC_0507 - Mirren Porteous - WMT

Gathering Threads – A Celebration

‘Paisley was the mills and the mills were Paisley’ *

Thanks to the generosity of Mr Marcus Dean, the Anchor Mill Atrium appropriately hosted 200 enthusiastic Renfrewshire school children – a credit to their schools – to celebrate the publication of their ‘Gathering Threads’ anthology.

The school children have been working with local poets: Mo Blake, Kathryn Daly and Tracy Patrick, learning about their local mill heritage, increasing their writing skills, visiting the Paisley Thread Mill Museum, interviewing past mill workers and recording their impressions in poetry, drama and art. Their wonderful writing is published in the ‘Gathering Threads’ anthology. The cover images and internal artwork are the winning pieces from the project’s art competition, judged by the Convenor of Education, Cllr Jacqueline Henry, Margaret Burleigh of the Paisley Thread Mill Museum committee and Caroline Watson, local artist and committee member of Weaving Musical Threads. The ‘Gathering Threads’ project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, All Our Stories fund, Renfrewshire Council Education Department and the arts association, Weaving Musical Threads. The All Our Stories fund was launched last year to support and enable people to explore, share and celebrate their local heritage and the Gathering Threads project was one of the first in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant.

At the start of the ‘Gathering Threads’ project, local poet and workshop leader, Tracy Patrick said; “It’s a fabulous opportunity to explore the history of Paisley’s Thread Mills. There are so many stories to discover, spanning generations of people who worked in the mills and we’re especially thrilled that young people in Renfrewshire will now have the opportunity to engage creatively with that history and preserve it for future generations.”

The celebration in the historic Anchor Mill was a joy to be part of. A selection of the pupils from the Renfrewshire schools that took part in the project: Gallowhill Primary, Glencoats Primary, St. John Ogilvie Primary, St. Mary’s Primary, West Primary, Williamsburgh Primary and Paisley Grammar School, recited their poetry and drama in the Atrium.  Margaret Muir spoke on behalf of the Thread Mill Museum and Cllr Jacqueline Henry – whose own mother worked in the mills, in fact in Anchor Mill itself, and clearly remembers those busy days of Paisley’s industrial heritage – spoke on behalf of Renfrewshire Council Education Department. Every child was presented with a copy of their ‘Gathering Threads’ anthology and a Certificate of Achievement for participation in this very valuable and most enjoyable project.

Further copies of the ‘Gathering Threads’ anthology will be available from the Paisley Thread Mill Museum – which, with added volunteer assistance, for the first time will be able to be open during the winter months every Wednesday and Saturday from 12noon to 4pm.

Photographs are thanks to Weaving Musical Threads and to Brian McGuire and Ian McDonald of
*Margaret McFadden in ‘Mill Memories’ by Evelyn Hood

Old Paisley  

Old Paisley’s women working hard

Making Paisley Proud.

The men getting the easier jobs

And getting more money than the lassies.

The lassies only getting 65 pence a week.

“Nae mare!” they all said.

Thousands of Paisley Mill lassies marching

Oot the gates of old Paisley Mills shouting,

“Come on ladies let’s get a fair pay equal to the lads!”

Then old Paisley’s mills

were working once again in Old Paisley.


by Mirren Porteous

formerly of West Primary School, now S1 pupil at Castlehead Secondary School

Scottish_Gaelic - HLF logo portrait


Weaving Musical Threads at the Paisley Mill Museum

Musical Mills – a Celebration

Musical Mills, held at the Thread Mill Museum on Saturday 3 November and compered by Tracy Patrick and Dave Manderson, hosted a packed programme of poetry and words, music, art and heritage – raising awareness of the industrial heritage and the Museum that charts the thread industry. The Museum was full as all ages were entertained for the afternoon, including archive footage playing on the screen.

Premieres galore filled the day. Sandy Stoddart’s maquette of the William Gallacher Monument graced the venue, with the young, elegant Mill Girl seated by Willie Gallacher – Paisley’s man of conscience who was ‘admired for his honesty, humanity, humour and selfless devotion to principle’. Donations are welcome to make this sculpture a reality on the High Street!

The inspiration of the Mill Girl Poets had resulted in a song commission by Weaving Musical Threads (WMT) from Anna MacDonald –  the very artiste who sang over the rooftops of Paisley from the Observatory balcony during the WMT festival in March – ‘Looking back down, History’s fine thread….the Mill Girls the most radical of all’. Anna especially travelled up from London to be with us and premiere her song.

We heard words of poetry with three of the Mill Girl Poets (Tracy Patrick, Mo Blake and Kathryn Daly) appearing from all parts of the Museum reciting their work, such as ‘Half Timer’s School’, ‘Anchor Mill Strike 1907’, ‘May 1904’, ‘Open the Gates’, ‘A Streak of Gallus’ and ‘Anchor Mill’. Renowned local writers and prize winners also entertained – Dave Manderson, Graham Fulton, Ray Evans, G W Colkitto and (recently launched from the Titan Crane, from our sunny Glasgow suburb) the writer of working life, Brian Whittingham.

The WMT clay sculpture and panel was revealed for the first time – a legacy from Karen James’s clay workshop when in March the audience and participants of the WMT festival made their marks in clay.

There was a Gerry Rafferty theme, as Pauline Vallance, solo artiste who launched a beautiful new CD the night before and of Lochwinnoch Arts Festival, performed ‘Whatever’s Written In Your Heart’ on clarsach. Could this have been a world’s first?

Jim Gilbert, one half of ‘Wing and a Prayer’ and a once close friend of Danny Kyle, also paid tribute to the Paisley buddie.

We were delighted to welcome the Leader of the Council, Mark MacMillan, who pledged his support for the upcoming collaborative work with the Mill Girl Poets, Weaving Musical Threads and Renfrewshire Council, to take heritage work into the local schools.

Our hosts, the Thread Mill Museum, we gratefully thank, as well as Create for their sound and recording assistance.

The day was supported by the University of the West of Scotland, The Co-operative Membership and Weaving Musical Threads.

All Paisley Photographs taken by Tracey Clements for

Anna MacDonald


A celebration of Paisley’s industrial and cultural heritage







  • MUSIC     
  • ART…


…four good reasons to celebrate Paisley (as if you needed a reason!) and you’ll find all of them at Musical Mills in the Thread Mill Museum on Saturday 3 November.  Weaving Musical Threads and University of the West of Scotland orchestrate an afternoon of some of the best talent to be found in Renfrewshire. Not to mention a few guests from its sunny Glasgow suburbs.  Here are just some of the names who’ll lend their talents to a symphony of culture and entertainment:


Sandy Stoddart

Yes, you’ve blinked and his name is still there!  Musical Mills hosts the premier of a new, never before revealed artwork from the internationally acclaimed sculptor!


Graham Fulton

Paisley punk poet extraordinaire and author of such collections as The Iron Bar Man and Speed of Dark


Dave Manderson

Author of the critically acclaimed novel, Lost Bodies.  Read this and you’ll never walk alone in the dark again!


Brian Whittingham

Reading poems from his new collection, Clocking in Clocking out, recently launched from the Titan Crane in Clydebank (not Brian, the book)


Anna MacDonald

“…has angelic vocal tones so hair raising, it’s like walking down a cobbled street with a Scottish breeze sneaking up your neck ….” (Ark Magazine); Anna will premier her beautiful new song, based on the Mill Girls poetry – yes indeed – those same mill gals you’ll be meeting!


Pauline Vallance

Winner of the 2009 Glasgow Songwriting Festival, Pauline delivers her own unique and inventive brand of clarsach and vocals.  Eat your heart out, Cowell!!

Throughout the day, the Mill Girl Poets (Tracy Patrick, Gwen McKerrell, Mo Blake and Kathryn Daly) will bring you their perspective in verse of what was good, great or fair to middling about life in the mills for the thousands of women who worked there.   We’ll also have the eloquent Ray Evans, winner of the Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Poetry competition; G W Colkitto from Read Raw Ltd, Jim Gilbert, one half of musical duo A Wing and a Prayer, and Wullie Purcell, the oldest man in Paisley, reciting songs and poetry on his 200 year old guitar.


And if all that isn’t harmonious enough, we’ll have art from Karen James, and a special film interlude that will take you back in time to the Paisley that was.  Or you could just drop by for a chat and a look round the Museum and its many archives.


Oh yes, and if you’ve never heard Gerry Rafferty performed on a harp before, now’s your chance!


Join the Musical Mills symphony.


And last but not least, another good reason to celebrate Paisley:–



Thread Mill Museum

The Thread Mill Museum opens its doors on Wednesday the 4th of April for our 2012 session, we are open on both Weds/Saturday from 12-4pm until the end of September, we hope to have more items on display and have several DVD’S to watch on our flat screen TV, we have disabled facilities and we also welcome groups visits out with our public opening times and these can be booked via our Secretary, Mrs Grace Lamond.

We also have our popular photo albums and “Penny Papers” available for the public to view; we also offer teas and coffees, plus a photo copying service, if you see and friend or family member in one of our albums, we had an elderly lady visit last year almost in tears as she found a picture of her Dad who worked in the Mile End Mill at Anchor, she promptly bought two copies of the print, with one being sent to Canada, we are always happy to help our visitors if we can.

Visit the website here