71 children lost their lives in a fire that never was. The tragedy at the Glen Cinema on Tuesday 31st December 1929 unfolded when smoke from a film canister caused panic inside the auditorium. The children were caught in a stampede trying to escape. The emergency doors failed to open causing the children to pile on top of each other, resulting in them being crushed. This date is remembered as the “Black Hogmanay”
As Provost of Renfrewshire, it is an honour to be included in the Glen Cinema Lantern Procession to mark the 75th anniversary of the disaster on Hogmanay 1929. This event played a large part in the town’s history and today many people still have vivid memories of the tragedy. It is with sadness that myself, Renfrewshire Council and the residents of-Renfrewshire pay their deep respect to those who lost their lives, to the survivors and all affected by this disaster.
Provost Ronnie Burns JP
The Paisley Development Trust
The Paisley Development Trust has been working in partnership with Fablevision on a series of projects commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Glen Cinema Disaster.
These projects have included a mini excavation of the Glen Cinema, a research project, a worldwide campaign to trace survivors, a survivor’s research project, a youth work project, a reminiscence project with people in elderly care homes, the Cinema Buddies Exhibition culminating with the Candle Lit Procession and service in the Abbey.
In doing so, we have brought together people who survived the disaster, people who rescued them and today’s young people learned about the tragic events of Tuesday 31 December 1929.
The Trust acknowledges the support and assistance from everyone who helped to create these projects and in particular our thanks to the survivors; all at Paisley Abbey; the young peoples groups and workers; the elderly peoples groups and workers; Provost Ronnie Burns; Renfrewshire Council and Strathclyde Police.
Finally, on behalf of Paisley Development Trust, I wish to pass on our thoughts and offer our condolences to the survivors and to all those families who lost loved ones.