It is probably fair to say that Paisley has been down on its luck in recent times.

Once one of the most important textile towns in the world, and home of the eponymous pattern, it has suffered a severe economic decline that was harsh even by Scottish terms.

For years, it was a place that was mentioned in hushed tones as it regularly came close to bottom of all socio-economic national tables.

But it appears that those who have written Paisley off may have to think again, as it undergoes something of a cultural renaissance.

For many, the thought of a Hollywood-style Walk of Fame in Scotland’s largest town would be met with a hearty belly laugh followed by a question about what drugs they were on.

READ MORE: Paisley honours stars as town centre turns Hollywood in tribute to local heroes

However, the number of Buddies on the initial walk is testament to Paisley’s rich heritage in the arts world.

It is a list of stars that many larger towns and cities would envy and it is quite right that Paisley is hailing the famed Buddies.

Now 10 “Hollywood Boulevard” stars have been placed around the town centre to pay tribute to the impact of several local heroes.

The 10 stars will see polymath John Byrne’s placed outside Paisley Library on the High Street, singer Gerry Rafferty’s outside the Bungalow on Shuttle Street, actor Tom Conti’s on New Street.

Singer Paolo Nutini’s will be outside his parent’s chip shop on the same street, actress Phyllis Logan on Causeyside Street, former Dr Who David Tennant’s on Glasgow Road, Hollywood star Gerard Butler’s will be on Old Sneddon Street, Porridge actor Fulton Mackay’s will be on Gilmour Street and boxer Norrie Sweeney’s on Storie Street.


It is a fairly impressive haul for a town of 77,270 souls and means that one in every 7,000 or so Buddies wandering about the town is destined for a glittering career on the screen. 

Throw into the mix Robert Tannahill, who was known as the town’s “weaver poet”, who is currently  being showcased in the new £45 million Paisley Museum.

Last month marked the 250th anniversary of Tannahill’s birth on June 3, 1774. The “forgotten bard” formed a partnership with the composer Robert Archibald Smith, who set some of his songs in the Scots language to music.

Most famously, the two worked together on The Braes of Balquhidder, which became the basis of the ballad Wild Mountain Thyme, with its chorus of “Will Ye Go Lassie, Go?”.

 The tune to his famous song The Bonnie Wood o’ Craigielee was also adapted to become the unofficial Australian national anthem, Waltzing Matilda, in 1895.

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In a more tenuous but perhaps more contemporary place in music history is Prince’s estate in the US called Paisley Park, named after one of his songs.

It was where the singer/songwriter died, but its production facilities were used by music royalty such as Madonna, Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder and George Benson. The estate is now open to the public, ensuring that the name Paisley will live on for generations of music fans.

Paisley may not be everyone’s cup of tea and undoubtedly has its social problems, but Buddies are amongst the most passionate about their home town in the country.

And that home town pride is justified for once. 

It could be argued that Paisley is Scotland’s cultural heartbeat and that is something to be proud of indeed.