Renfrewshire

  • Glen Cinema Memorial

    GLEN CINEMA PRIOR DEMOLITION c 1930 The cinema (opened in 1901), known as 'The Glen' and 'The Royal Animated Pictures' once formed part of the Good Templar Halls (now occupied by Burton's shop). On the afternoon of 31 December 1929, during a children's matinee, a freshly shown film put in its metal box in the spool room began to issue thick black smoke. Soon the smoke filled the auditorium containing about one thousand children. Panic set in. Children ran downstairs so fast and in such numbers, that t... Read More

  • Johnstone Festival

    This festival originated in the late 1800s, and today is a fun day out, free of charge, for the local area. A 'queen' is chosen by local people voting in a competition run through the local newspaper. Duties of the queen are to declare the festival open, visit all stalls in the park and also oversee the stage productions. There are vintage fire engines, community stalls, organised games, and a full programme of musical acts performed by music groups, school choirs, dance groups etc. And last but not least, ... Read More

  • Lilias Day

    Lilias Day is a Kilbarchan festival said to be named after Lilias Cuninghame, daughter of an 18th century laird. In the past, Lilias Day was celebrated with a cattle market and races, with a procession through the village of men from different trades banging drums and waving flags. The Lilias Day tradition died out at the end of the 19th century, but has been restored in recent years. Nowadays the village is decorated with flags and there is a fancy dress parade which includes a Festival Queen and her ma... Read More

  • Paisley Burns Club

    Paisley Burns Club was founded on January 29, 1805, and claims to be the oldest formally constituted Burns Club in the world. Formed by a group of enthusiastic Paisley men, mainly weavers and including Robert Tannahill, the Paisley poet, its primary purpose was to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns and cherish his memory in other ways. The club’s membership, traditionally all male, following Burns’ Bachelor Club format, has included many influential and notable local men as members and honorary m... Read More

  • Paisley Hammermen Society

    In 1658, Paisley Town Council first granted a charter making it possible for the trades people of Paisley to form societies. The purpose of these societies was to protect their trade and exclude strangers from carrying on the trade within the town’s boundaries. The Paisley Hammermen Society was established in 1761. Its membership was open to various tradesmen employed in a wide range of trades including ironmongers, saddlers, engravers, shoemakers and watchmakers. Membership also appears to have extend... Read More

  • Paisley Natural History Society

    The Paisley Naturalists' Society was formed on 22nd March 1892. One of the first tasks of the society was to make an application to the Paisley Museum Committee for a use of a room in the museum in which to hold their meetings - a meeting place that the present Paisley Museum Natural History Society still uses today. The first paper was read at the meeting of ther 26th April 1892 'Economic Uses of Entomology, as applied to Agriculture, Horticulture, etc' by Mr John Dunsmore, local entomologist. During... Read More

  • Paisley Philosophical Institution

    Founded on the 13th October, 1808, Paisley Philosophical Institution has included many educated and professional people of the Paisley area, including doctors, ministers, lawyers and businessmen. Their aim was to continue to educate themselves, and other people of the town, by lectures, the collection of scientific books and by forming a museum collection. Their first lectures covered scientific subjects such as botany, anatomy and physiology and electricity. Over time the range of lecture subjects became m... Read More

  • Renfrew Gala Day

    Renfrew Gala Day began in 1982 at the initiative of the local community. It seemed incongruous to many that until 1982, a burgh of Renfrew’s historic importance did not have a Gala Day whilst many surrounding towns and villages did e.g. Lillias Day in Kilbarchan and Bishopton Gala Day. Renfrew has an important place in Scottish history through its connection with the High Stewards of Scotland. Castlehill, near the present Ferry Road, was the site of Renfrew Castle, seat of the High Stewards. No trace o... Read More

  • Sma' Shot Day

    Sma' Shot Day is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world. Sma' (Small) Shot Day celebrates the historic victory of the weavers over their employers in 19th century Paisley and has developed into an annual celebration of arts and culture. The Sma' (small) Shot itself was a cotton thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the celebrated shawls. The shot was, however, undeen in the final product, and consequently the manufacturers refused to pay for it. The workers, the... Read More

  • The West End Callans Association

    The West End Callans Association was founded in the late 1860s as a charitable association whose purpose was “....to make life a little easier for the deserving poor, particularly the old and helpless”. Assistance could be in the form of gifts of coal, goods, sums of money, or any other form determined by the Committee of Management. Only those who had been born in the West End of Paisley or who had lived there for more than twenty years qualified for assistance. The geographical area covered by the ... Read More

  • Wallace Day

    The life of William Wallace is commemorated every year in August on the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of his death. The day starts with a march from Johnstone to the site of his birth in Elderslie beside the monument. A wreath is laid at the monument and there are speeches celebrating his life. The day ends with a ceilidh in the village hall. Sir William Wallace was born around 1270. He rose to prominence in the late thirteenth century as a leader in Scotland’s first war of independence with Edwa... Read More

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