Sma' Shot Day originates from the weaving industry, which, in the 19th century made Paisley and the surrounding area one of the major textile producing areas in the British Empire. The sma' shot was a binding thread which held together the patterned shawls which Paisley is famous for. But, because the sma shot was never seen in the finished shawls the manufacturers refused to pay the weavers for the yarn. After many years of dispute, the weavers won their cause. In celebration the traditional July holiday was renamed Sma' Shot Day and is celebrated on the first Saturday in July.
The Sma Shot Cottages are now open to the public, every Wednesday and Saturday from 12 noon till 4pm - April to September. The volunteers are very friendly and helpful - many thanks on my recent visit.
On Sma' Shot Day a weavers' march proceeds through Paisley. Starting from the Dooslan Stane in Brodie Park and ending at Abbey Close the march is led by a drummer with a replica of the Charleston Drum and features banners representing Ferguslie, Toonheid, Sandholes, Sneddon, Causeyside, Newtoun and Charleston. Also in the procession is the cork, an effigy of one of the contemptuous manufacturers, which is burned at the climax of the re-enactment of the Sma' Shot Story. For further information go to www.smashot.co.uk.