Jul 5 2012 By Kenneth Speirs
ORGANISERS of Paisley’s biggest summer celebration are drumming up support for this year’s event ... and the message is ‘you can’t beat it’.
Sma’ Shot Day – which takes place on Saturday – July 7, is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in Scotland and a day of celebrations marking the historic pay victory of Paisley’s textile workers over mill owners.
The day kicks off at noon with a traditional parade from Brodie Park down through the town centre to Abbey Close, led by the beating of the historic Sma’ Shot drum.
Community groups and individuals are invited to join the parade in traditional dress or other colourful costumes as it makes its way to the town centre for an afternoon of entertainment and activities.
Taking part will be the Provost of Renfrewshire, Councillor Anne Hall.
Provost Hall said: "Sma’ Shot Day is a unique festival that celebrates an important episode in Paisley’s history that’s been celebrated with a parade and family day for over 150 years.
"It’s always fantastic to hear the beating of the Sma’ Shot drum and see so many people come out to either join the parade or line the streets to see it go by.
"This year, we’ve got an excellent programme of entertainment and activities for all the family throughout the afternoon, so I’m sure it’s going to be another brilliant day."
Paisley Development Trust member Tony Lawler will once again carry the drum to lead the parade for the 20th year in a row.
Tony said: "I am extremely proud to carry the Sma’ Shot drum and lead the parade through the town and, although I am a council worker, I do this as a volunteer because I live locally and am proud of my town."
Sma’ Shot Day celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers over the town’s mill owners in the 19th century.
The owners refused to pay their staff for the sma’ (small) shot thread which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley patterned cashmere shawls.
A long fight and political battle ensued, which the weavers eventually won, and they renamed the traditional July holiday Sma’ Shot Day.
This is one of a series of events taking place in Paisley over the summer, including the Paisley Pipe Band Competition, a Fire Engine Rally, Scottish Circuit Cycle Race Championships and Paisley 10K and fun run.