Yesterday, as members of the Scottish Parliament listened to the closing remarks of a debate in the parliament chamber, they turned around to the viewing gallery where they looked with amazement to see members of the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 enter dressed in full costume. They were there to see George Adam MSPs member’s debate regarding this project and the benefits it has had for our town.
Speaking after the debate, the first ever members debate to be held on a Tuesday, George said:
“I was delighted to welcome to parliament members of the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 and others involved in the project. I was able to secure a members debate after submitting a motion to parliament congratulating the project for the event which was staged in Paisley in June this year, while also highlighting the great benefit cultural events like this can have for any town in Scotland.
‘Liz Gardiner of Fablevision and one of the many people involved with the witch hunt has been keen to tell me how cultural planning can benefit towns around Scotland, picking up on a towns cultural assets, like the tale of the Paisley witches, and develop it into a event to bring people into our towns and showing the best we have to offer.
‘As I said in my speech, many people in Paisley know of the witch trials and the horse shoe marking the last resting place of the suspected witches on Maxwellton Street, but few were familiar with the whole story. So it is great that we have such an enthusiastic group of people here in our town willing to re-enact this piece of history.
‘I was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, was able to meet with the group after the debate to see the costumes close up and here a few extra pieces of the story. I would like to thank everyone that came through for the day, many of my colleagues commented on how seeing everyone in costume added to the debate, and hope that Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 goes from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing the event again next summer.
Motion which was debated during the member’s debate –
Motion S4M-03284: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/06/2012
Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697, Shining the Light for Community-based Events
That the Parliament congratulates the Paisley Development Trust and everyone involved with the event, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697; notes that the event took place across Paisley town centre on 9 June 2012 and included storytelling and numerous re-enactments; praises all of the volunteers who gave up time to make what it considers to have been a great and successful day; thanks especially the 250 people who donned historical garments to make the re-enactments as authentic as possible and the estimated 1,000 people from Paisley and Renfrewshire who came out in force to support the day; considers that community-led events such as the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 are a great way to engage communities, bring people to towns, spark interest in local history and culture and, more generally, provide locally based and produced entertainment and enjoyment for towns as a whole, and believes that more events like this in cities, towns and villages across Scotland would be of great benefit to local communities and would highlight the talent and imagination of so many throughout the land.