My Story

As Paisley waved off its bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the bid documents themselves were all given a unique twist.

Artists, designers and groups with links to the town were invited to design bespoke front covers for the documents.

Bound with thread donated from Coats, the company to whom Paisley’s fortunes were tied and which is still a global force, each has its own Paisley inspired design.

As they are handed over to the judging panel of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who organise the competition, we can reveal the inspiration behind some of the 25 covers.

Read Brian Denholm's story below.

Keen amateur artist Brian Denholm from Bishopton, Renfrewshire, immediately knew what his front cover design must be – the late musician Gerry Rafferty.

Brian, 68, who almost died after suffering a stroke in 2004, is a member of the Glenburn Stroke and Disability Support Group and attends a weekly art class.

He said: “When I think of Paisley, I think of Paisley pattern of course - but also Gerry Rafferty.

“His music is known all over the world and will live on for a long time and it seemed as good a reason as any to paint him.”

Brian based his design on the Baker Street star’s 1978 'City to City' album cover, designed by famous Paisley artist John Byrne.

He said: “It just grabbed me. I was going to incorporate Paisley pattern in my painting but decided to use the silhouette of local buildings.

“It’s a great feeling to know my picture is on front of one of the bids. The covers all look amazing, I love the way they are bound.

“A winning bid would mean everything to Paisley. It’s been down on its uppers so long that it needs something to lift it."

Brian credits his own art experience in the town with the Glenburn Group as being vital to his rehabilitation.

He said: “The first time I went into a restaurant after my stroke I burst into tears because people saw me as an invalid. But the great thing about Glenburn its like the Invictus Games that are held for injured service personnel where you see all the guys coming together and regaining their confidence again.

“Nobody asks you how bad your stroke was. The body has an ability to repair when you concentrate on doing something else and for two hours we all paint. There’s a real camaraderie.”