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Fish suppers with a side order of Local News in The Castelvecchi Chronicle

kate-drummond copy

Over three days in March, artists Kate Drummond and Hannah Fox rolled up their sleeves and got behind the counter at 105-year-old Castelvecchi fish and chip shop in Paisley, Scotland. They worked alongside the staff as they took orders, cleared tables, and served up fish and chips – all while gathering news and stories from friendly customers. Using our digital tabloids, they collected these conversations in a one-off community newspaper, The Castelvecchi Chronicle.

Below, they tell us how the project came together and why it’s important to celebrate everyday experiences (ideally over a delicious plate of fish and chips).


Front page of the Castelvecchi Chronicle, printed as a digital tabloid newspaper.

The Project

We’ve known each other for almost 30 years, having graduated together from Glasgow School of Art in the mid 1990s. Throughout this time, we’ve maintained our own creative practices with our paths crossing for many and varied projects along the way.

The Castelvecchi Chronicle project was a response to an open call from Paisley Arts Centre and Take Me Somewhere Festival for their Out of Place programme. The prompt was to develop performance-based artworks in non-traditional venues. Once we had been awarded the development commission we spent a pleasant day “researching” the chip shops of Paisley and found Castelvecchi’s!

We knew instantly that it would be the perfect place to make the newspaper. When we explained our idea to the owners, Alfredo and Linda Nutini, they “got it” straight away. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to work in the cafe creating our newspaper and performance.


Hannah Fox jotting down orders and stories at Castelvecchi. Photo via Kate Drummond.

Gathering News

We wanted this project to enhance community connections in a subtle and playful way. The chip shop was the perfect setting for capturing the dynamic flow of people and lives directly and to present methods for gentle and easy conversation. 

We gathered news in a few different ways. Some people wanted to chat for a while and others were happier writing down short answers to our “menu of questions” (pictured below). The newspaper is an unedited collection of everything that we were told over the three days we were talking to people in the cafe.

The Castelvecchi Chronicle newspaper

Hannah Fox with the “menu of questions” at Castelvecchi. Photo via

One thing that was really interesting and surprising was how open some people were about what they told you. When you read the newspaper this really comes across. Everyday wonders were celebrated, all very much rooted in a very specific place.


Castelvecchi owner Alfredo Nutini with the Castelvecchi Chronicle. Photo via Kate Drummond.

The Castelvecchi Chronicle

On Thursday 30 May, The Castelvecchi Chronicle newspaper was delivered to the cafe for the classic "keep 'em warm and soak up the grease" function. The day’s takeaway fish suppers were wrapped in the newspaper (all digital inks used by Newspaper Club are food safe!) to be read by the customers while they ate their meals.

The Castelvecchi Chronicle newspaper

That evening, performing as “The Two Renies”, we also presented our work in the form of a live news broadcast at Castelvecchi, delivering highlights from the newspaper as a ten-minute sketch show:

Newsprint is familiar and accessible and is a form that can easily be shaped into something beautiful, tactile and poetic. There is no hesitation in taking a newspaper away. No decision to be made in choosing to engage with the art – it’s just there wrapped around your supper.


Inside spread of the Castelvecchi Chronicle, printed as a digital tabloid newspaper.

How absolutely brilliant that within a day an artwork can both shout about a place, a community, a neighbourhood, be taken home to keep the chips warm, be read, be shared and be in the fire (or the cat tray) by bedtime!

The Castelvecchi Chronicle was made for Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place Festival.  Kate and Hannah would like to thank all the staff and customers of Castelvecchi for their help and support in making this newspaper.

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