Guest blog: Paisley’s heritage and history is of global significance

I’ve always been fascinated by Paisley’s wealth of history and heritage. The town has so much to offer and we shouldn’t be shy in showing off what we have to the world.

I’m a volunteer in Paisley’s Thread Mill Museum and I believe we’ve got what it takes to be UK City of Culture in 2021. For many people who have worked in the weaving and thread making industries around the globe Paisley is the place to come. Paisley was HQ for the Coats family organisation and the mills here became the blueprint for mills worldwide. It definitely has an international appeal and we’ve got lots of artefacts that come from Coats mills all over the world that have made their way back to their spiritual home.

The Paisley Thread Mill Museum opened back up again just a few months ago and in that time we’ve seen people who worked in the mills in Germany and relatives of those who worked in Greenville, South Carolina who came over to see where the industry all began.

It’s fascinating to see the real lives of the thread mill workers in the artefacts we have – be it through photographs, items from social and sports clubs, and personal items such as crocheted gloves and scarves.

Eventually the mill owners packed up shop here in Paisley as they moved production abroad, but they left a lasting legacy of stunning architecture in the town, including the Mile End Mill where the Thread Mill Museum is located.

The mills created a fantastic sense of community through the social activities and that something we are keen to keep alive. We have a stitching group inside the museum every Wednesday and Saturday between 12 and 4pm and anyone can drop in.

We’re also looking for people to get involved in the Renfrewshire Tapestry project – anyone can download the pattern and create their own pattern or drop into the museum to join the stitching group. We want everyone to be part of the pattern.

So if you are in the area, why not pop in and say hi.