Jul 10 2012 By Kenneth Speirs
PAISLEY’S annual Sma’ Shot Day parade turned out to be a ‘bloody nuisance’ for well- known drummer Tony Lawler ... after a burst finger brought a halt to proceedings.
For years, Renfrewshire Council worker Tony has been the man who beats out a rhythm on the big bass drum that leads the parade.
And so enthusiastic for his once-a-year job has Tony been in the past that he has accidentally burst the replica of Paisley’s historic Charleston Drum as he made his way through the town.
He has also broken countless drumsticks while giving the percussion instrument what- for.
This year, however, it was more than the drum that took a beating as 50-year-old Tony made himself heard at the head of the parade.
Much to the disgust of those squeamish people who were present, he managed to cut the index finger of his left hand with a drumstick.
As blood poured out, the parade was brought to a temporary halt ... but Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall, who was also taking part in the parade, soon came to the rescue.
Provost Hall is a former nurse and knew exactly what to do to get Tony and his bleeding finger up and running again.
With the help of a first-aid box, she bandaged up his hand and made it fit for purpose.
The drum itself – which was traditionally used to summon Victorian weavers to meetings of fellow workers – also needed some running repairs as, once again, Tony had managed to burst one side of it.
Tony, who has been drumming on Sma’ Shot Day for almost 20 years, told the Paisley Daily Express: "Given the drum’s title, it’s ironic that this is the second time in 10 years that one side has broken as I have gone past the Charleston area.
"In addition to the damage to the drum, both heads of the beaters, or drumsticks, also came off and one of my fingers was badly cut.
"I was determined to carry on though and got a lot of support from people along the route, who could see things weren’t the way they should have been."
Tony, who is the brother of the well-known Paisley singer/songwriter Carol Laula, added: "Hopefully, things will be more straightforward next year."
Provost Hall said she was happy to be able to help.
She added: "Despite badly injuring his finger when one side of the drum burst, Tony battled on and completed the parade after getting some first aid.
"Tony typified the spirit of the occasion, which overcame some serious challenges to produce a day to remember."