Sma' Shot Day is one of Scotland's oldest work festivals, and takes place in Paisley on the first saturday of July.
The mill workers were paid per piece of colourful thread in their yard, with the Sma' Shot being the cotton which bound the others together. As it was not visible in the finished garment, Victorian mill bosses, known locally as ‘corks’, refused to pay for this yarn.
After many years of dispute, the weavers won their cause. In celebration the traditional July holiday was renamed Sma' Shot Day in 1856.
The demise of the weaving industry, the introduction of the five day working week and a change in local government brought an end to Sma’ Shot Day in 1975, but in 1986 local councillors and the people of Paisley revived this unique day.
The day starts with a procession setting off from the Dooslan Stane at Brodie Park at noon. At the head is the Charlston Drummer, encouraging all to follow the crowd along Neilston Road and Causeyside Street into Paisley town centre. The drum is a replica of the original Charleston Drum, used to rally weavers and lead them to the departure point for their annual trip, usually down to the Clyde Coast. Behind the drum will be an effigy of the 'cork', local dignitaries and banners from the old weaver villages of Paisley.
The procession ends at Abbey Close, where there is street entainment and the annual tea dance at the Town Hall. The highlight of the day is the 'burning of the cork' opposite Paisley Abbey at 5pm.