A CARING Renfrewshire resident came to the rescue of a musician who found himself with nowhere to stay after travelling 1,500 miles for a major event.

Crawford Smith offered his home to piping enthusiast Lars Laenen, from Holland, for the night after the pair met in a Lochwinnoch pub.

Lars had just arrived in the Renfrewshire village from continental Europe on his way to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow – using his car as a makeshift hotel during stops in Germany, London and Manchester.

He was bracing himself for another uncomfortable night when a chance meeting with fellow musician Crawford in the Corner Bar led to a major upgrade.

When Crawford heard about Lars’ plight, he invited him to stay at his home in Ewing Road before seeing him off the next day with a hearty breakfast.

“I’d like to think that, if someone had seen me in that situation, they would have done the same,” Crawford told The Gazette. “I do a lot of gigs around Glasgow but also like to play at the Corner Bar. I turned up one night and noticed a guy playing the pipes, which I thought was unusual.

“I just assumed he was on his way to the championships in Glasgow and probably staying in the caravan site at Castle Semple, which a lot of people do, but then we got to talking and he explained he was sleeping in his car.

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“I loved that he had come all this way and gone through everything he had gone through to be at the event, so I invited him to stay for the night.”

Crawford added: “I really believe you should treat others the way you hope to be treated.

“Lars woke up the next morning and devoured everything we put in front of him.

“He hung about with my wife and kids before playing some songs on his pipes in the back garden.”

Lars, who plays in the Coriovallum Pipe Band, was among thousands of musicians from around the world who attended the championships in Glasgow.

Crawford said: “He’s just a good guy who enjoys playing music and spreading happy vibes as he travels.”

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