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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ferguslie Park and Birthday Murals

Today's post is inspired by two recent BBC Scotland television documentaries.
The first was Paisley: The Town that Thread Built telling the story of the textiles industry in the Renfrewshire town of Paisley and in particular the influence of the thread manufacturers J&P Coates who at one point were the third largest company in the world
There was a massive mill in Ferguslie Park which has now long gone and Ferguslie Park is now identified as the most deprived area in Scotland although some excellent regeneration work is underway.
Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan of Stealers Wheel were both Fegs as was the artist John Byrne who designed the cover of their 1974 album Ferguslie Park.

John Byrne also popped up in another documentary as he was one of three artists (the others being Jack Vettriano and Rachel Maclean) commissioned by Glasgow to paint portrait's to celebrate the 75th birthday of the legend that is Billy Connolly ( make that Sir Big Yin)
Not content with commissioning the portraits the city has had then put up as 50 foot murals on gable ends across the city here
Makes you proud to be a Weegie!

Stealers Wheel - Nothing's Gonna Change My Mind

Stealers Wheel - Steamboat Row


  1. As you know I was seeking these out yesterday when I took a trip into the town on the scooter. They are very effective and loads of people milling about taking pictures at all of them. I was speaking to one middle aged woman at the Byrne one, my favourite. She said that they should do something like this on all the shabby gable ends around the city "but no oanythin' blue or green" to which I could only agree.

  2. A very enjoyable documentary. I actually own a John Byrne print but my favourite out of the three portraits featured was the Rachel MacLean. Batshit crazy maybe but inspired batshit crazy.


  3. Fantastic - love seeing art incorporated into urban landscapes, especially on such a large scale - thanks for the link. Yes, should be compulsory to put art on all shabby gable ends... anyone got a good ladder?
    I'd like to see that doc too if it ever gets aired here.

    1. Don't know whether you would be able to get it on the BBC I player

  4. 'Stuck In the Middle With You' was a massive hit in the States in 1972, made it all the way to #6 on the charts and sold over a million copies. Everyone my vintage (I'm 53) has this song ingrained from childhood and it's been a radio staple ever since. Stealers Wheel are considered one hit wonders -- prior to today I never heard another song by the band. Cheers, CC!

  5. Tried posting this as Springsteen post but it keeps rejecting I'll try here!!

    Not here to vote; simply wanted to say that it's good to have you back CC. Hope you're doing ok.

  6. Still got to watch those docs but will soon. Love that the Big Yin is now immortalised on gable ends (not sure how to type that the way its probably pronounced) and thanks for the info on Gerry, Joe and John - Ferguslie Park must be proud. Interesting that Stealers Wheel were so big in the US as well - Doubt if Mrs Redknapp's version went down so well!

  7. Living down here in Sheffield, one of the great things about following you as I do, is picking up on such cultural stuff that just doesn't get any kind of look-in in the South East obsessed England. More power to your elbow.