Media Release: Paisley People’s Archive wins Heritage Lottery Fund support


PAISLEY People’s Archive (PPA), a newly-formed charity, has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create an oral history archive, which will capture the memories of people who worked in Paisley’s threadmill industry and preserve this important heritage for generations to come.

Working with heritage professionals from Strathclyde Oral History Centre, the project will enable local volunteers to be trained in oral history recording techniques in order to interview surviving workers and managers of all of the various mills and finishing factories spanning the decades from the 1940’s to the 1990’s when the last mill closed and recording their stories.

The recordings will be digitally stored to form the ‘people’s archive’. A website will be established to provide more information about the background history and also up to date information as the work progresses.

Other outputs from the year-long project will include a short film and an App which will provide a guided walk through the town, identifying mill buildings and other buildings important to the social history of the town and supported by clips from the sound archive. Resource for use by local schools will also be developed.

Commenting on the award, Shirley McLean, chair of PPA, said: “We are delighted to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and look forward to starting work on what we think will be a very valuable asset to the town and contribute to cultural tourism in the area.”

Colin McLean, head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “We are delighted to support this project as these people’s lives are inextricably woven into Paisley’s rich history. Sadly, it is an element which is in danger of disappearing as it slips out of human memory.

“This project will not only capture those vital memories but in doing so will give different sections of the community the opportunity to meet, forge new friendships and learn new skills. Together, they can celebrate, and take pride in their past.”



PPA has been established with the sole purpose of developing the social history archive, including oral history recordings and other digitally stored artefacts (photos, etc).

It is hoped that the mill workers’ stories will be the first chapter and that further projects will include other industries in the town: car factories, food processing, etc.

The committee is made up of local volunteers and a part-time project manager has been employed for 12 months.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. To date, it has invested over £500 million in Scotland’s heritage. Website:

For further information, images and interviews, contact

Richard Vassie, PPA Treasurer, 07717 001310,

Evelyn Laurie, PPA Project Manager, 07703 181788,

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Contact: Evelyn Laurie
Phone: 01418778433