Friday, 11 November 2011
Paris Or Paisley?
'Where would you like to go?' asked the agent.
'I dinna mind,' was the reply. 'Whether it's Paris or Paisley, it matters nae to me.'
So, true to form, the Accidental Bus Driver has also ended up in Paisley. I'm delighted. It is a fascinating place in many ways. There is the grand Paisley Museum - with the history of the Paisley Shawl and the Paisley pattern.
Paisley has a variety of unusual churches. There's the beautiful Paisley Abbey, with its magnificent French organ. The Thomas Coats Memorial Church which is sometimes described as the 'Baptist Cathedral of Europe', which in addition to its wonderful architecture, has a remarkably well preserved Doulton & Co blue and white porcelain Victorian loo. And there is the Oakshaw Trinity Church which has Europe's largest unsupported ecclesiastical ceiling, meaning there are no pillars holding up such a large ceiling.
But what's best about Paisley is it's Imagine campaign on how to make a difficult shopping climate look good. In this recession, many councils have let their town centres go to rack and ruin with boarded up shops and whitewashed windows.
They have had the imagination to paint their empty shops with optimistic and bold visions of the future.
The shops looked fantastic. Whether or whether the fantasy will be met by an equal reality in the future is another question. But it doesn't really matter. It has had the result of creating a bustling town centre. The charity shops which surround these beautiful creations are good too.
What more could you want from a town.
If it's a choice between Paris and Paisley next time ... it is tempting to swop the Cafe Royale forCardosi's Contemporary Italian Cafe.