A 17th Century Fashion Show

A 17th Century Fashion Show showcasing the latest trends of the 17th Century for Gentleman and Ladies of the upper class and also working class of the times. Come along and see what people used to wear and how it has changed compared to today’s fashion. You can also come along and find out how to make a very basic costume for Paisley Development Trust’s Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 on the 9th of June 2012.   All costumes have been designed by Ann McConway, a costume designer extraordinaire graduating from Cardonald College as a HND Clothing Technology student in 1988. She has created many costumes over a 30 year period including work for Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, Glasgow Grand Opera Company, Erskine Drama Group and also private work.


The Paisley Development Trust project RWH 1697 touring exhibition has been invited to do a presentation to MSP’s at the Scottish Parliament on 16th May.

The invitation and request came from local Paisley MSP George Adam following his attendance at the launch of the Touring Exhibition in the Paisley Museum in April.

George seeks to showcase the work of the Paisley Development Trust and the Witch Hunt project in particular  to MSP’s as a way and means, through cultural and artistic activities, to aid the regeneration of  the town centre.   The RWH 1697 project is being delivered  and led by the Paisley Development Trust  in  a partnership of grass  roots organisations based with the needs of the local community at heart and involving local people and volunteers .

It has had considerable support from Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery fund, Leader funds and Paisley Vision Board. However, the most significant element has been the social capital that has been devoted to the project by the volunteers in terms of their time and efforts. The finale will be on June 9th when Paisley town centre will be transformed in to the cultural backdrop that surrounded the Renfrewshire Witch Trials of 1697.

Chair of the Paisley Development Trust, Alan Morris has welcomed the invitation and the Project manager, Liz Gardiner of Fablevision said:

“This invitation gives a grass roots community led organisation the opportunity to show, via the development of an area’s culture and heritage, the positive  and long term sustainable regeneration outcomes from such activity. Our local volunteers are over the moon at  the prospect of presenting the story to Parliament.

The project has already delivered two school learning packs, developed a website and carried out original research on the 1697 trials and thefamily histories of those involved.  This month we are taking our touring exhibition throughout Renfrewshire and are looking forward tothe culmination of the project, the re-enactment day on June 9th.”

Volunteer Stewards Needed for June 9th

We are looking for people to help out on the re-enactment day on June 9th by acting as stewards.

We will need both information stewards and health & safety stewards.

The information stewards will be dressed in period costume and hand out leaflets.  If you are interested in doing this please contact Ian Findlay – ian.findlay@fablevision.org

If you would like to be a health & safety steward please contact Laura Breaden –




Opportunities for Actors and Performers

We still have some spaces for groups and individuals who are able to perform and/or create their own street scene and become part of the re-enactment.  We have drama workers who can come out to you and assist with this along with a costume shop where you can go for help with your costume.

Please contact us on 07873723420 if you would like to get involved or just come along to rehearsals at 7 pm every Thursday at the YMCA office on Paisley High Street.

Where to get your Costume Materials

We are very pleased with the support that has been shown from other shops in the Paisley Centre.   Helen’s Haberdashery & Hobigoblin on the second floor of the Paisley Centre are providing anyone who is making a costume for the 9th of June a 10% discount on all materials bought for a costume.  Below is a list of materials most commonly used for costumes and their prices.

Bi-stretch for  Skirts/tops/waist-coats                    £3.00/mtr

Calico for Skirts/tops/aprons                                  £4.00/mtr

Polycotton Plain for Petticoats/aprons/bonnets       £3.00/mtr

Polycotton Stripe for Aprons                                     £3.30/mtr

Lace Trim and Apron tape also Available

Please deduct a further 10%from all prices given

If you would like a discount on material to make a costume, please speak to one of our volunteers and they will provide you with a discount card to use in Helen’s Haberdashery.

There is a further list of materials and prices for download on the costume page of this website, as well as suggestions of materials that can be used from around the house.

Letter of Thanks from Weaving Musical Threads

On behalf of the whole Renfrewshire Musical Threads committee, thank you very much for being a part of the Weaving Musical Threads weekend. We could not have made it happen without your participation and enthusiasm.

As ours was a Making Music, Music Nation weekend we wanted to pass on the message received from Helen Thomas in London.

I hope that you and your group members had a wonderful weekend. Well done to you all for making such an amazing contribution to Music Nation, and for kicking off the Countdown to the London 2012 Festival with such panache.

Helen Thomas, Making Music, Once In A Lifetime Project Officer

We are gathering together any photographs or videos of the weekend – please do let us know if you have pictures or footage. If they are used the photographer / creator will be acknowledged.

We are discussing how Weaving Musical Threads as a platform for the Arts can continue. If you have any input you would like to contribute, please can you get in touch with us as soon as possible?

We look forward to the continued collaboration with and for the Arts in Renfrewshire.

Elise Kelly

Chair, Renfrewshire Musical Threads


Touring Exhibition Launch

Today was wonderful The team did the most terrific job… performances that convince to the extent that we are really beginning to believe in the characters Well done Ian and Margaret for co-ordinating … Well done Nat for directing and presenting The performers – I salute you with respect!!… what a lot of guts it takes to stand up there in front of 60 people ! WOW you were amazing!! Alan, thanks for telling us about the work of the Trust Stephen… the research work is substantial and everyone got the impact and depth,,, not to mention the amount of work you and the team have put in Ann the costumes are TERRIFIC and thanks to the fablevision team for capturing it all on camera Claire The learning resources are SO impressive your teachers were raving about your training session at the end – they are going away to get stuck right into it with their classes. WHAT A JOB GUYS WE DID OURSELVES PROUD So much so that George Adam MSP has invited us to go to the parliament in Edinburgh to give our presentation in front of an assembled group of MSPs as an example of a town on its uppers which is pulling itself up through grass roots initiatives YEAY!! WE CAN DO THAT!! WELL DONE ALL

Liz Gardiner

Can you sew?

We are looking for volunteers to help in the shop with making costumes.  If you can spare any time to help us,  please pop into our costume shop on the ground floor of the Paisley Centre.  We are open Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Calling all actors and performers

Hey guys, I’m sending out a shout for any actors that are looking to get involved 🙂 we need as many actors as we can get and the more the merrier 🙂 ‘phone me on 07949734450 or come along to the YMCA Shop at the top of New Street at 7 on a Thursday night for Rehearsals.  Bring as many people as you want, we’ve got loads of characters that we need to fill 🙂 – Natalie

Shop Launch


The RWH 1697 project is really progressing well. We have opened a shop in the Paisley Centre where you can find out more about the project, see volunteers in costume creating marvellous outfits for the cast and where you can create your own costume for the big day on the 9th June. Everyone wants in on the project, at the official opening which was performed by Brian Lawson (leader of Renfrewshire Council) the papparazzi (well the guys from www.paisley.org.uk) were in attendance  to capture the event as was the PDE. Our MSP George Adam was there too and our MP Douglas Alexander popped  in later for a chat with the volunteers and staff. Our thanks also go to the staff of the Muffin Break (delicious) who took part in the festivities by dressing up in costumes of the period. The project has grown tremedously with lots of community groups indicating their eagerness to take part in the grand re-enactment on the 9th June.

check out the pictures from the launch in the gallery section Here