Paisley Daily Express

Hammermen group reunited at dinner


An historic Paisley institutio­n celebrated its return after an enforced pandemic absence, with a successful election dinner.

The Hammermen Society, which dates back to 1761, held its first event since the coronaviru­s crisis struck, recently.

More than 160 guests packed the Coats venue on the town’s High Street for the bash, which consisted of an evening of speeches, entertainm­ent and the introducti­on of new entrants.

The venue was a fitting one for the organisati­on - originally founded as a trade body for the town’s ‘Hammermen’ - skilled tradesmen who worked on tools, including blacksmith­s, plumbers and machine makers - which has long held links with the Coats family.

Thomas Coats and brother Peter were deacons of the ancient society in 1854 and 1864 respective­ly.

Deacon Alan Mclauchlan welcomed guests to the Coats Memorial Church, followed by a dinner in the pillared ballroom.

The event was supported by some 13 past deacons of the society, West College Scotland, Paisley’s two Rotary clubs, local businesses and the trustees of the Coats Memorial Preservati­on Trust.

Top table guests included Provost Lorraine Cameron, Past Deacon Ronnie McGinlay, David Westmore, Deacon of the incorporat­ion of Hammermen of Glasgow and Bill Frew, Deacon of the Irvine Hammermen Society.

Alan told the Express: “The dinner was a great success despite the challengin­g circumstan­ces due to Covid-19.

“The evening followed the traditiona­l format with the toast to the town of Paisley proposed by well known Paisley solicitor Ronnie McGinlay and the reply by Provost Lorraine Cameron.”

The deacon proposed the toast to the new entrants, which included Provost Cameron and the well known after dinner speaker Bill Copeland.

He also reported on the activities of the society in 2020 and 2021, including steps taken to modernise the organisati­on, launched more than 260 years ago.

Alan said: “We have designed and launched a new website, digitised our membership records, improved communicat­ions with members and the local press.

“We have extended our charitable works by making significan­t donations to the Men’s Shed and the Renfrewshi­re Foodbank and rejuvenate­d our work and support with West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland. We have welcomed Peter Pringle, Ross Aitken and Steven Drennan as new directors.”

He also told how the society is eager to: “build on these successes next year and in the years to come.”

Guests were shown footage of a mental health project, as well as the organisati­on’s support for a drama project - both created in conjunctio­n with the University of the West of Scotland, as well as being treated to entertainm­ent from mezzo soprano Taylor Wilson and internatio­nal pianist Karen McIver - who stepped in at the eleventh hour after late Coronaviru­s call-offs.

Paisley Hammermen Society supports a host of organisati­ons in the area through its philanthro­py.

For more informatio­n about the Paisley Hammermen Society contact the society clerk Harry Paton or the Deacon Alan Mclauchlan at info@paisleyham­ or by visiting the website at www. paisleyham­

 ?? ?? Successful evening Members of the Hammermen Society with Renfrewshi­re Provost Lorraine Cameron
Successful evening Members of the Hammermen Society with Renfrewshi­re Provost Lorraine Cameron

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