Where did we lose the touch, That seemed to mean so much…

EDIT Cultural strategy workshop May2018I was at the launch of the new Centre for Culture, Sport and Events (CCSE) at the UWS Paisley Campus last month. The Centre is a partnership between UWS and Renfrewshire Council and aims to establish Paisley as a centre for excellence in cultural regeneration, creating a space for collaborative research which will shape policy decisions relating to the regeneration of Paisley and the wider area. It is anticipated that the research will directly inform Renfrewshire Council’s ongoing work and will be used to influence policy and practice in relation to culture and sport.

It is pretty exciting to have this type of approach at the heart of regeneration in Paisley & Renfrewshire and it’s wonderful to think how this methodology can continue to help change the fortunes of the town. Change is inspiring though regeneration approaches mean we sometimes need to let go of things – even if we can’t feasibly know all of the possible outcomes and impacts…

Back when I was a student I lived in a high-rise block which I sometimes pass on my way home – except I can’t that anymore as it’s been sadly demolished as part of regeneration works in the town in which I used to stay…and there was me thinking they would have installed a ‘blue’ plaque. As I passed it in my car last week, over a period of a few days I watched as cranes and wrecking balls slowly brought the building down. At one point you could see right into my old kitchen… It was a brilliant flat; 17 floors up with great views and all the rooms were big and bright.  Of course as a student, most of the furniture was pretty basic and some of the curtains and blinds that covered the windows were, for want of a better word, haun’knitted. This included my bedroom – in there I had temporarily hung a large Scottish saltire flag across the window and that was that…ah, student days…

One summer night on the way back from the pub (heh, I was a student!) I looked up at my flat and I could see my bedroom window, that I had left open, had spun round to sit horizontally from the building. The aforementioned flag was now protruding from the window, and whipping about like a tethered kite in a very strong breeze. I suddenly had visions of the flag escaping from its mooring and landing on some unsuspecting passer-by so I made a bolt for the lift inside the flats. Once up there I got in my front door and made a scramble for my bedroom, quickly spun the window round trapping the flag and slowly pulled the cloth in. Safe.

It was then that I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, in the gloom of the twilight… there, on top of the portable TV that was balanced on my bedside table, was a pigeon. Now, I’m no pigeon fancier (is that what folk who breed pigeons are called?) but once I had got over the initial shock of meeting my unexpected guest I assumed it was a racing pigeon that had just gotten lost so I slowly crept toward it, reached out and as calmly as I could lifted it up. I managed to use my elbows to unlock the window again, pushed it open and…released the bird. It was only at that moment that I thought “what if it’s injured?’ I looked out to see the pigeon – thankfully – not plummet…

For more information on the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events see here:

https://www.uws.ac.uk/news/new-uws-culture-centre-drives-paisley-regeneration/

All the best

Alan

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