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 Dermott Egan's story below.

As a former graphic poster artist for Glasgow’s Theatres, Dermott Egan knows how to create drama with his work.

But when creating a unique front cover for his home town’s UK City of Culture bid, he didn’t need to look far for inspiration.

He based his cover on the real life case of the snail in the bottle - a dramatic landmark legal case where a lady who fell ill after finding a snail in her bottle of ginger beer sued the manufacturer.

She won the case after it went to the highest court in the land.


Dermott, who grew up in Paisley the youngest of eight children, said: “It’s the snail in the bottle law case but it’s also a message in a bottle, so there’s a wee subtlety to it. The shell and snail whorl are symbolic of Paisley, also the fact that the snail shell and the idea of growth and getting bigger and bigger and leaves a trail are all other messages.”

Dermott, 58, says the fact a ‘whorl’ is also a small wheel in a spinning machine or spindle is anoteh rlink to the town’s proud textiles history.

The artist, whose brother Joe performed in several bands with the late Paisley musician Gerry Rafferty and who has had his work exhibited at Paisley Museum earlier this year, added: “It would be great if Paisley won, it could be the shot in the arm it needs. It would be nice to see it flourish.

“As an artist it’s be nice to see a piece of work recognised and tied into the bid.”