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MEDIA RELEASE: Day of digital celebrations planned for Sma' Shot 2021

Paisley's annual Sma' Shot Day celebrations will once again be marked with a programme of online events to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers.

This year's online event will take place on Saturday 3 July - the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

Last year's digital Sma' Shot Day was a huge success and this year looks set to be even better with a dynamic and varied programme of online performances planned to mark this special day in the town's calendar.

The move to take the event online for 2021 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with national guidance.

The traditional Sma' Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma' Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1 July 1856.

The Burning of the Cork - the centrepiece of Sma' Shot Day celebrations is back for 2021. People can log on to watch the spectacle that is the burning effigy and enjoy a vibrant, colourful and dynamic telling of the 'cork' and 'weavers' story captured on film featuring captivating performances lead by aerial performance company, All or Nothing, in partnership with PACE, Right2Dance and Jennifer Scott Dancers.

Other programme highlights include The Charleston Drum Rally film, funded by Renfrewshire Council's TH.CARS2 programme, which will shine a light on another historic element of the day's celebrations. Loud n Proud will be showcasing a short film version of their production, 'Sma' Shot, the Musical', reimagining this famous point in Paisley's history, in advance of the extended live musical show which will follow later this year.

The Makers Market is also back and online for 2021. Delivered in partnership with Incube - people will be able to browse and buy a variety of unique gifts and items handmade by local makers including Camper Plants, Pottle Jewellery and Karen Hanvidge Ceramics.

A new immersive walking tour app, Paisley Radicals Catalysts for Change, is also being launched to coincide with Sma' Shot Day, acknowledging Paisley's role in Scotland's Radical Wars. Part radio play, part mindfulness app and part walking tour the app, produced by Civil Disobedience and Inner Ear, will address the events leading up to and including the Radical War of 1820. Part of the 'Future Paisley' programme, the 'Paisley Radicals' project is a joint production between Renfrewshire Council, with support from the 1820 Society and Paisley & District University of the Third Age (U3A); and the Museums team.

Renfrewshire's Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: "Sma' Shot Day is always one of the highlights of the annual events calendar, representing an important part of Paisley's heritage. Last year's online event was a massive success and this year's looks to be even better with the welcome return of the signature Burning of the Cork.

"The online programme will give everyone plenty of opportunities to participate and learn more about this important part of the town's history. I for one will be looking forward to logging on and getting involved in the fun on the day." 

More information on the full programme will be released in the coming weeks.  For the latest information on this event please visit


Published on 10 June 2021

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