Crowds turn out for Barshaw Gala Day

A big crowd braved an unseasonably cold and rainy day for the first big event in Renfrewshire’s summer calendar when Barshaw Gala Day took place at the weekend.

The popular annual council-run event offered up fun for all the family, with a wide range of activities on offer.

Main stage entertainment was provided by acts associated with the Erskine Music and Media Studio, who wowed the crowds with a range of musical styles.

Elsewhere in the park, more than 20 separate attractions offered something for young and old alike.

Established favourites like face painting, karaoke and children’s entertainers sat side by side with a falconry display and vintage fire engines.

Visitors were also able to take a wander through a selection of stalls, with a wide range of charities and community groups having a presence in the park on the day.

Sporty activities included orienteering and mini-tennis, with staff from the area’s award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary scheme laying on street football and a mobile youth bus.

Animal-lovers had the chance to say goodbye to the park’s long-serving donkeys, Jenny and Angel, who are soon to retire to an animal sanctuary.

Visitors were able to suggest names for the park’s two replacement donkeys, set to arrive later this summer after improvement work to the paddock is complete.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “Barshaw Gala is always a crowd-pleaser and this year was no different.

“After last year’s centenary celebrations, Barshaw Park is now 101 years old. And I’m sure we can look forward to this popular annual event going from strength to strength for years to come.

“Events like this are all about community, and can only be successful if the community does its bit and gets involved.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers who played their part on the day, and those who helped organise and manage the event.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who braved the elements to come along and enjoy the day. Everyone I spoke to had a great time.”

Among those with a presence in the park on the day was the Friends of Barshaw Park Group – which is aiming to recruit local volunteers to help look after the park and plan how it could be used in the future.

Anyone wanting to find out more about on getting involved can call 0300 300 0380.

Six establishments get clean bill of health from food bosses

Six Renfrewshire establishments have had a thumbs-up from food standards bosses after becoming the first in Renfrewshire to receive a prestigious hygiene award

The Rowantree Café in Paisley’s Barshaw Park, Capability Scotland’s Corseford School in Kilbarchan, and four sheltered accommodation units run by Hanover Housing have all been presented with the Eat Safe Award.

The four housing units are Ailsa Court and Newton Court, Paisley; Orchard Court, Renfrew; and Walkinshaw Court, Johnstone.

The Eat Safe scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency and aims to recognise excellence in food hygiene and food safety management.

It also aims to improve public confidence by showing consumers their food has been prepared with the utmost care.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, visited each of the three organisations being honoured by the scheme.

He was joined by Dr Jim Wildgoose, a member of the FSA’s board for Scotland and chair of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee.

Councillor Devine said: “We are delighted to be able to announce these awards and I would like to congratulate all those involved for their achievement.

“It is important for the public to know the highest standards have been applied to the preparation of their food. Each of these buildings can now proudly display a certificate showing they have met those standards.

Tommy Greenhorn, manager for Hanover Housing, said: “Good food hygiene and food safety management standards are a priority for us and we are delighted the efforts of the catering staff have been recognised and rewarded.”

Doris Milne, owner of the Rowantree Café, said “My staff and I are very proud to gain this award, and I would encourage other businesses to go for it.

“We have very loyal customers and it’s nice for them to know that the food is not only homemade but prepared safely too.”

Capability Scotland chief executive Dana O’Dwyer said: “This award is a fantastic achievement for the catering team at Capability Scotland’s Corseford School.

“Food safety is always at the forefront of our team’s minds when preparing nutritious meals for the pupils. It is good to see this being recognised externally by this award.”

Eligible establishments are assessed for the Eat Safe Award as part of scheduled food hygiene inspections carried out by council food enforcement officers.

Since the Eat Safe scheme launched in Scotland in 2005, more than 1,000 establishments have been recognised.

More information on the Food Standards Agency Scotland and the Eat Safe Scheme can be found at